C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A shiny, pretty thing

We applied the second top coat this morning and now have a shiny dinghy!

Despite a few passing showers during the day today, I believe we have a good finish on the hull.  We used Interlux Brightsides for the topcoats.  I have used both Interlux Brightsides and  Interlux Perfection coatings on different projects in the past.  Perfection is a two part finish with durability that far surpasses the single part, polyurethane Brightsides.  For projects that can be completed in a controlled environment or that will see heavy wear go with Perfection (i.e. refinishing the dinghy oars.)  For most large, outdoor projects, I lean toward Brightsides for the simplicity and I find it easier to work with when temps are above 80F (which seems to be the norm anytime I begin to paint on a boat project.)

When temps exceed 80F I typically thin the Brightsides around 10% by volume with the Interlux 333.  I then use a short nap roller and a foam brush to tip.  When working in warm temps this is a two person job.  It is also very important the project area be in the shade.

While I'm on a roll with providing advice... If you plan to operate a motor vessel of any size in FL it must to registered.  This means that it must be titled.  I discovered that there is no honest way to title a dinghy that was built by an unknown person at an unknown date at an unknown location and was then given to you by an in-law that found said dinghy in a barn in New Hampshire and was generous enough to drive it down to south Florida. The staff at the DMV office were very helpful with the titling process.  In the end I declared that I constructed the dinghy (shhh don't tell anyone.)  I then had to provide receipts from the building process.  Fortunately I was able to scrounge together enough receipts from the rebuild to satisfy the DMV.    
The moral to the story is to hang on to your receipts if you ever build a vessel that you hope to title.


  1. You sure do pretty work. That dinghy looks great! When are you going to take it on a test run?

  2. Thought the test run would be today, Saturday, but, to borrow a line from a song, the weather outside is frightful! We hope to cast off for the Tortugas on Monday so the test drive will need to happen soon.