Winter Cover Is On-Let the Fun and Games Begin!
This weekend here on the Massachusetts Coast the weather gods blessed us with a near perfect weekend to build a winter frame and cover Malaya and actually remove an item from our winter work list. This weekends weather is in contrast to the usual covering weekend where it is snowing and windy.
For the cover frame I was able to find enough scrape framing material around the boat yard to build the frame so I got Malaya’s winter cover on for $140.00 in materials (plastic sheet, tie down clips, tie down line, staples, stapler, light weight poster board) The only material we weren’t able to find locally was 12′ x 100′ wide plastic sheet so we had to make do with 10′ wide material which left the material overhanging the rail mid-ships a little skimpy.
For a cover I used clear 6 mil clear plastic that is pulled taught and stapled to the rafters. To keep the staples from pulling out of the plastic I staple them through a piece of poster board. For a door at the rear of the cover I purchased stick on zipper material designed to make a doorway in a plastic wall on a construction site. Where necessary we reinforced with a strip of shrink wrap tape which we also used to close off the bow end of the cover and to install a rectangular piece at the stern that holds the zippered doorway.
While this type of cover is labor intensive it will allow us good light and on sunny days the solar heating will allow us to work comfortably on deck, even on days with a cold outside temperature. In fact this morning when I went to put some finishing touches on the cover I notice it was considerably warmer and drier below decks than it has been even though the temperature hasn’t changed all that much in the last few days.
When it snows or we get freezing rain I will climb under the cover and knock the snow off so a heavy snow load won’t collapse the frame or tear the plastic. Since I work in the boat yard where Malaya is stored keeping the snow load off the cover won’t be too difficult.
Now that the cover is on we can begin removing the teak decks that are over 30 years old and showing signs of leaking. Eight years ago I recaulked and refastened the decks as there was enough material left to work with. Now even though we have taken care to wash them only when absolutely necessary they are getting thin in places and the outside planks are getting water under them causing some irritating leaks into clothing lockers.
We are also going to remove and rebed the cap rails as water has also been getting under them and I think might be a source of some interior leaks, though I cannot prove that theory. I will also remove the inlaid decorative teak from the seats and combings in the cockpit that failed years ago but because it was glued into a fiberglassed recess water intrusion into the deck was never an issue. This cockpit teak is being redone for cosmetic reasons alone, I was going to remove the teak and then glass over the area but found a source of teak from a scrapped boat that will allow us to replace the cockpit teak for the price of epoxy, sandpaper and labor.
Stay tuned I will be posting pics of the progress.