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Companionway Restoration

2011/05/22 - Last, but not least, I made a temporary companionway door out of plywood and removed the washboards so that they, too, could be stripped and refinished. The photo (above, right) shows how badly weathered these boards are.

2011/05/28 - Further inspection of the companionway washboards showed that the splines that had been inlaid into the vertical sides for wear resistance were all badly rotted and pithy. This was removed with a table saw and router and new sides were milled out of ipe (ironwood) to replace them. With the new sides, it was possible to trim back each end by about 1/2 an inch.

2011/06/26 - Glue-up and sanding of the companionway washboards is complete. The new ipe edges look good and should add considerable wear-resistance to the boards where they slide in and out of the companionway frame.

2011/08/20 - The companionway washboards have received their final coat of varnish and are looking almost new. All that remains is to reattach the small pieces of hardware around the "latch" and the refinishing is complete.

2011/08/25 - Some years ago I picked up some small sliding bolts to use as restraints to keep the washboards from falling out of the companionway should the vessel capsize. Since the boat was pretty well disassembled, I thought I would revisit this concept again. The geometry of the door frame and washboards suggest that they would be very easy to install and will add some considerable security for the crew. They can also be used to help secure the cabin from inside while in port.

2012/06/30 - The boat is back in the water again and the refinished woodwork is drawing attention from passers-by.