Trawler Re-store Up-date

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Light Arm4

Before starting, peeling paint and old lights

My dream stays afloat
As the winter flies by
I think about boats
While I stay warm and dry.

LightArm3

After scraping old paint off and re-painting.

Having just missed the tornadoes in New Orleans by one day, we are back in the snowy Keweenaw. M and I spent last weekend below sea level, and as she attended a three day printing conference, I roamed the streets, rode the trolley and talked to people. Among them were, an Australian lady, a Louisiana charter captain, a retired resident fisherman, a swamp tour guide, a couple of writers and, yes, my wife. No, I didn’t get to fish on this trip, but maybe soon I’ll get to pull some fish through the ice.
Now that I’m back in my own element, my boat is getting more of my focus so I can eventually roll along on the waves and drift down the Mississippi.

If you’d like to test your sea legs on a part of our nautical adventure (starting next fall), we are planning a night at Drummond Island and another at Mackinac Island for starters. For the Lake Michigan stretch, I’d like to go along the Western shore, perhaps by Door County, Algoma, Port Washington, and do a little fishing in the Milwaukee area before entering the Chicago River. I’ll map out some more possibilities as I can fathom more time. M doesn’t plan to accompany me for all of the Great Lakes open water leg, as she’s a little motion sickness prone…or maybe I’ll convince her that Dramamine or the wrist bands actually work. She’ll have to test her sea legs beforehand.

Light Arm2

Re-assembled and lights replaced with new LED lights for less power consumption and brighter illumination.

Light arm

Testing the lights with 12 volt battery.

Meanwhile, here’s an update on my refinishing progress. I bought some tools: some specialty contour cabinet scrapers (and I’ve ordered another set of contour scrapers), and a Dewalt cordless multi-tool that I will mostly use for detail sanding. I first made the mistake of buying the tool, batteries and charger all separate, until I realized they come in a more complete and cheaper kit, so I returned the first purchase and bought the kit. Why cordless? Because my boat’s on dry-dock with no power.

To remove the old finish, I’m just using scrapers and a heat gun, without refinishing chemicals because of advice I got from a professional boat restorer, Mary. (http://www.fineyachtfinishing.com/) Maybe I’ll break down and try some paint stripper. I’m not sure about what kind of finish to use yet…have any advice? Sikkens Cetol, varnish, urethane, epoxy? If you have expertise and/or an opinion, please let me know. Mary’s advice is to use 10 coats of oil based spar varnish, thinning out the first coats to seal the wood, then lots of full strength coats. It seems to me (but I’m not the expert here) there must be a quicker, easier finish that gives a nice result.

If you’d like to catch up on other posts –
Blog about the loop dream: http://sandpointcharters.com/off-season-planning-dreaming/
The boat that I’ll rename the “Yooper Looper” blog here: http://sandpointcharters.com/my-recent-aquisition-great-looper-boat/
On Facebook, Sand Point Charters page, I have some pictures and posts: https://www.facebook.com/Sand-Point-Charters-LLC-117105408355629/

Inquiries are coming
From friends near and far
Who want to go cruising
From wherever they are.

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About Brian Helminen

Brian is the owner and Captain of Sand Point Charters, LLC. He also owns and operates Designotype Printers, Inc. with his wife, Margaret. They have a cottage on Lac La Belle that can be rented by the week in the summertime.

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