Piece of Cake

I am still building a dinghy.  It is still almost done, a bit further down the almost-ness scale than when last I wrote.

I've accepted the fact that I am not the varnisher that I once hoped to become, but c'est suffice.  After a trip abroad and the distractions of nice weather, The Big Push has begun, and the trigger is in part the baking skills of a friend, Leslie Braley. 

There's a long story here, but the essence of it is that one musician has offered to play on recordings for other musicians for a kick-starter contribution of a given amount, and my friend, Leslie, wants very much for it to happen for her, and is offering cake-baking skills to raise money.

Every boat christening should involve bubblified adult beverages and cake, so I have commissioned a cake for the event, and my Mom is hot to have a party, so I have to get this event scheduled.  That is, finish the damned dinghy.

Today marks the 4th coat of varnish... i'll do 6 or 8.  Then I have to repaint the interior, because what I needed was masking paper 8 inches wide rather than simply masking tape.  Install the oarlocks, assemble the tiller/rudder assembly, add pintels, add the name decal, attach the mast step, apply leathers to the mast and mast partners, screw down the thwarts, sew a sail, sew a boat cover, and affix  the duckboards in an easily reversible fashion.  That should do it.  A deadline will help.  Thank you, Leslie.

In the meantime, Ripple's Spring Varnishing Jamboree is underway.  If you're going to do one, you may as well do both.  A trip to Port Townsend for my favorite varnish (Le Tonkinois, official varnish of the French Navy) and I have no excuse not to get this done.  Not a month too soon, either, as the minimal number of coats I applied during last year's epic refit were starting to look awfully thin.

The need, combined with perfect weather, created the opportunity to get this done.  It took me the better part of a day to tape off the companionway, the bowsprit, the hand rails, the house bullnose, the combings, the cockpit, the tiller, and the rails.  That done, each coat takes about three hours, maybe a bit more if sanding is needed (a light leveling sanding every two or three coats).

By the end of the coming week I'll have 6 coats on all the brightwork, and the dinghy will be in final punchlist status.

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