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.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Refinsihing the Cabin Sole with Lonseal

When does a project actually begin?  

I maintain a project list in the form a a spreadsheet.  The projects are assigned a 1 through 5 priority, with 1 being the most urgent need.  Refinishing the cabin sole rose a number one priority after enduring rough crossing from Wilmington, NC to Green Turtle, Abacos in which the varnished sole became wet and resembled a ice skating rink (see Happiest Thanksgivings To All.)  Did the project begin when it rose to the top of the list?

Last spring on our drive north to drop our car in Beaufort, we stopped by Seafarer Marine to pick up Lonseal Flooring and adhesive.  I felt sure that during hurricane season while hauled out in Beaufort I would get the new sole installed, but then the engine haul out consumed my fall. (see Success C'est la Vie's Engine Is Out.)  Did the project begin when we purchased the materials?

In February of this year I announced to the world on this blog that the cabin sole refinishing project was underway (see Refinishing C'est la Vie's Cabin Sole.).  I pulled the flooring out of storage, removed the tiny quarter round trim, and ripped up some of the old veneer.  In the process I realized the interior brightwork had lost its luster.  Recognizing the mess that sanding all the interior wood would create, I put the sole project on hold.  Did the project begin when I shared it with the world?

I can now stand before you all, two and a half years after the project rose to a top priority, one year after purchasing the materials, and over one month after a false start and confirm that the cabin sole project is underway.

The Lonseal Flooring is a textured, flexible, mat approximately 1/8" thick.

Lonseal Flooring laid out atop a 4'x8' work bench
Seafarer sold it by the linear foot off a 6 foot wide roll.  We purchased 8 feet (48 square feet) and a gallon of the 2 part Lonseal adhesive #300. 

Initially I planned to create cardboard templates of the cabin sole, but some of the complex joints proved difficult to capture in cardboard.  Based on past successes with plastic sheeting as templates when sewing, I switched materials. 

using plastic sheeting  to trace out cabin sole sections
The plastic proved ideal for capturing the shape of the floor sections, but less effective than cardboard to test fitting all the pieces. No problem... I transferred the plastic patterns to the cardboard.

The cardboard provided stiff templates that I could piece together for test fitting on C'est la Vie's sole.

test fitting cardboard templates in C'est la Vie
Once satisfied with the fit, I removed the center panels from the boat and together with the cardboard reconstructed a portion of C'est la Vie's cabin sole  atop the Loseal.

Laying it out in this manner allowed me to ensure the holly strips would line up well along the length of the galley and salon.  The material proved relatively easy to cut with a razor knife and straight edge. 

using a razor knife an straight edge to cut the Lonseal Flooring

The curves were cut free hand.   Some of the shapes. like the one below that fits around the galley sinks, proved quite whimsical.

I chose to begin the glueing with three of C'est la Vie's removable floor panels.  This allowed me to work with the unfamiliar two part Lonseal adhesive #300 in a more ergonomic environment than the hull of the boat.   

gluing the new flooring down (pssst:  don't tell Anne I used her rolling pin.)
Albeit sticky and slimy at the same time the glue proved easy with which to work.  It must be troweled on, but has a long open working time.  The total dry time is 72 hours.  Checking the work this morning 14 hours after application, I am pleased with the results.  

To Be Continued....


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Busy Week on C'est la Vie and Sunset Island

Last week was a blur of activity all of which is drawing us closer to casting off and cruising for a couple years. 

We are in the process of moving out/off of Sunset Island, our residence for the last 8 winters and for all practical purposes our home base.  My parents drove down from North Carolina to assist with the transition and to shuttle some of our belongings northward (Thank you!).  

C'est la Vie also drew much of our attention last week.  Every morning began with a couple hours of sanding on the cabin truck.  The week started with 80 grit paper on fairing filler and ended with 400 grit paper on Interlux Brightsides.
One coat of Interlux PreKote on the cabin trunk.  The unpainted areas on top will be covered with Kiwi-Grip non-skid.
Completing sanding in the morning allowed us to apply primer / paint midday when our tarps cast the entire cabin in shadow. 

The companionway slider and turtle with two coats of Brightside Paint.  The center of the turtle is primed for Kiwi-Grip.
We removed  turtle & companionway slider, and worked on them inside.  These pieces were one day ahead of the boat (i.e. primer, paint, and non-skid went one on day before the boat.)  This allowed us to become more familiar with the products prior to moving onto C'est la Vie. 

Neither of us had previously worked with Kiwi Grip so the ability to practice on smaller areas prior to tackling the top of the cabin was particularly helpful.

Anne spreading Kiwi Grip on the cabin top.  I would soon follow with a textured roller.
The Kiwi Grip proved to be a pleasure with which to work.  It goes on in one coat, is forgiving, dries quickly, and cleans up with warm water.  Compared to the process of painting with the Interlux or Awlgrip Products - multiple coats, lots of sanding, proprietary chemicals to thin / clean, and long overcoat times  the Kiwi Grip is a dream.  I know we are comparing apples to oranges, but  Anne and I jokingly discussed simply painting everything above the toe rail with Kiwi Grip.  Now what remains to be seen is the durability of the Kiwi Grip.

Painting completed on the cabin trunk.  Next up are the decks.
Nearly two weeks ago, 13 days, we began this project by stripping hardware off the deck.  The handrails, turtle, dodger, etc. still need to be re-installed, but it is wonderful to be able to step back this morning and feel a sense of accomplishment.

C'est la Vie shows off her new topsides paint and solar vent fan.
More images and details about this project are available in our photo album: Painting Cabin Trunk - Spring 2013

Our efforts during the week were not limited to painting or packing.  During the drying times we installed the new solar powered vent fan in the head, continued work re-finishing the cabin sole, and installed the PV charge controller in the electrical panel.   I will likely pen additional posts about these installations, but images and details are now available in photo albums...

Solar Vent Fan Install - Spring 2013
Refinishing the Cabin Sole - Winter 2013
Solar Power Install - Spring 2013

Back to work...