Sunday, March 8, 2009

Working on the keel: Sandblasting

Here is an update on my work on the West Wight Potter 15 #1036.  As you can see in the last post we managed to get the boat off the trailer and up on blocks.  The keel came out with a little help from a friend, and this weekend I took it over to another friend for sand blasting.  If you ever need to do something like this, here is a hint that might help you.  Sign makers often have a sand blaster for making sand blasted signs!  That was the case with my friend Walker.  He runs a small sign shop out of his home and was happy to lend a hand with the keel refinishing project.

I am taking advantage having the boat off the trailer in another way too.  I am replacing all the parts that contact the boat.  That means a new winch, new rollers, and new bunk covers.  I remember last year I crawled under the trailer for most of a day and rewired it and replaced all the lights.  Then the next time I launched the boat I could see all my work from above, and thought it would be so much easier to do that if there was no boat on the trailer!  

I bought some keel rollers at West Marine for $10 each, but then saw a similar roller at Cabela's for $5.  Cabela's also has good prices on bunk carpet and winches.  The carpet at Cabela's was about half the price as West Marine.  And when it came time to pick out a winch, I was able to get one at Cabela's for less than $40 that more than doubled my pulling capacity.

So the next step in the spring re-fit is to get the keel to the galvanizer in Ballard, then re-assemble it all when the keel is finished.  I may be adding guide posts to the trailer.  I would like to mount the tail lights up high so that the salt water will not be able to get to them.  My waterproof lights I bought last year lasted less than one season before the salt water ate away the electrodes in the fixture.  I am glad I bought the extended warranty.  Too bad it doesn't come with free installation!

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