We are so close to being able to shout, “There! The topside paint and transom varnish are gone!”
Yes, so close, but also just not quite there. We’ve completely stripped the starboard topsides and the transom, but the port topsides have dug in and are battling against our Circa 1850 Heavy Body Paint and Varnish Remover and our Sandvik scrapers.
RJ and I leave each day with ever-stronger, but always tired shoulders and lower backs. But we are about halfway through to watching the exterior stripping challenge fade into our wake … at least the one above the waterline.
Some years back we preserved a 1955 20’ Lyman runabout, for which I kept “score” as I stripped the topsides. When I hit 93 lbs., all I could say was, “This is silly!”
Well, since I’d collected all of the scrapings from starboard into two big garbage bags, why not? They weighed close to 50 pounds in total. Stripping the 8 or so layers of paint has not been our biggest challenge here. Somewhere around layer 4 or 5, someone decided to apply some sort of battleship gray fairing compound to almost the entire topsides.
Yes, on both port and starboard. This stuff is like concrete and takes four applications of the stripper to begin softening.
On the happy news front, what a fantastic hull! She’s 60 years old and there is nary the tiniest spot of rot anywhere, strakes and transom planks included. Moreover we have yet to come upon a clench nail that is other than as tight as the day it was pounded home in Sandusky, OH.
It’s a real honor to be trusted with preserving such an original boat that is in such good shape. I know we will find issues as we keep working, but at least the hull’s major components are straight, true and strong.