07
Aug
08

Our Thompson Brothers Runabout Part 4

This week I have worked two jobs…full time jobs.  My regular daylight gig in commercial sales and also since our full time bridge tender is off, I’ve been filling in on the railroad bridge before and after, and sometimes during my other job (With my employers consent!  She’s very family oriented and understands employees have lives.  A great lady!)

At any rate, owing to the fact that we use a small aluminum boat to get to the bridge which we normally leave open for maritime traffic, I am dying inside a little bit every trip on the river.  I look at how beautiful the sunset is, and the smooth water, and think to myself…I WISH I WAS IN MY BOAT!

A view from our railroad bridge at sunset.  Ahhhh!

A view from our railroad bridge at sunset. Ahhhh!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A big friehgter heading off to the lake at dusk.  What a great job!
A big freighter heading off to the lake at dusk. What a great job!

Now as to our little boat…work continues to progress.  I still had to sand yet again the side of the hull due to not being happy with the minor sags from the varnish.  The heat and humidity I think are mostly to blame on this count…and perhaps may impatience.  However, we’ve had a bit of rain and temps have dropped back a tad as has the humidity, so today I met with some success.

The side of the hull was hand sanded with 180 grit sandpaper and a sanding block.

The side of the hull was hand sanded with 180 grit sandpaper and a sanding block.

A sag in the varnish is evident in this photo even after sanding.  What to do?  Sand some more!

A sag in the varnish is evident in this photo even after sanding. What to do? Sand some more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another coat of varnish was put on the hull, and this will be the last one.  If there are sags, so be it.  It will have to get fixed in the fall.

My wife and I began working on sanding and varnishing the bench seats.  This involved repairing some “tear-out” and chipping of the wood over the years with epoxy.  Not the perfect solution, but this way the original seats could be saved and used.

The "BEFORE SHOT" showing the seat as removed from the vessel.

The "BEFORE SHOT" showing the seat as removed from the vessel.

 

The seat were disassembled and old varnish removed, the slats sanded, then restained, and then made ready for fresh varnish.

The seat were disassembled and old varnish removed, the slats sanded, then restained, and then made ready for fresh varnish.

A couple of coats of varnish and some sanding between coat.  Just like new.  New stainless steel hinges will be used in place of the old hardware.

A couple of coats of varnish and some sanding between coat. Just like new. New stainless steel hinges will be used in place of the old hardware.

Some of the stiles that hold the slats together were regular in color, all of them didn’t match, so we’re modifying them slightly and changing the seat slat spacing a bit to give a lower profile to the seat backs.
 
A “Punch-list” has been made and is ready through August 15th for a completion date.  I am currently two days behind due to working two jobs this week…but will probably be able to make up some time over the coming weekend.
 
Yesterday I tried cold calling on a prospective customer.  He does furniture restoration, but is closing soon to retire.  We got talking boats, and he pointed out the window to FOUR of his boats he is going to “restore someday” and one which he plannerd to scrap since his “neer-do-well step-son loused it up.”  (He was more explicit in his language.)
 
He took me over and I noticed a nice horn and dashboard complete with an old Airguide speedometer.  I asked if he’d part with the horn.   “Oh sure…10 bucks its yours!”  I asked if he was aware the current price was 135 bucks.  “I don’t give a damn…I ain’t gonna use it!  While your here…might as well look her over and take what you want.
 
Well…25 bucks for the dash panel, speedometer and all the switches, 10 bucks for the horn, 10 bucks for an Airguide compass, 5 bucks for a brand new battery box, and he threw in a brand new emergency kit compete with fusees, a distress flag, and flare pistol.  It had never been opened…new i the box!
 
I told him I was trying to find someone to strip my old Johnson/Evinrude pressurized fuel tanks so I could repaint them and decal them.  The old man said “Bring ’em in!  We’ll see if my furniture stripper concoction will do the job!”
 
It did!  He said he do both tanks for 30 bucks.  Fine, but then I realized I had no cash.  I ran to the ATM and got a 100 bucks out, went back and paid the old man for the goods and services, and an additional sum to get the tanks done quickly.
 
He called first thing this morning to tell me they were done.  Now thats service!!
 
Then I took the tanks to a bodyshop customer of mine who wanted 150 bucks each to primer and re-paint them red.  I swear, if a tradesmen hears the words “marine” or “boat” the cost goes up 3 times from normal!!  I hedged of course.  He then said since he used to enjoy my traffic reports when I was on television, he offer to primer them and fix any rust…and sand them properly so I could paint them myself.  Cost 60 bucks for the pair.  FINE!  I’ll pick them up next Tuesday.
 
The first company I checked with about stripping and painting the fuel cans wanted $175.00 per hour plus materials.  YIKES.  Outta my league a touch.
 
My next post will be about the State of Ohio and and the Watercraft Division…and the insane amount of paperwork that one must go through to get a boat licensed, and a title for your outboard motor.  Yes the motor has to have a title.  Good grief!  It has been a real joy dealing with the state on a simple matter such as a boat, but right now I’m just to irritated to discuss it logically, let alone write about it.
 
That and more coming up next time.  Thanks for checking in!
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