Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Refinishing the Companionway Stairs

Our companionway stairs, like our cabin sole, were in bad need of refinishing.  We should have brought them home right after having the boat hauled for the winter but thought we'd wait a little bit since we really weren't in a hurry.  As it happened, Ron's parents had borrowed Ron's truck right before we covered the boat and since the stairs wouldn't fit in my car, we left them on the boat again.  The last time that we went to check on the boat, with Ron's truck, we decided it was time to get the stairs home for refinishing.  Except now we had the tarps tied down all over the place.  We had to undo a few ropes and the traveler, wrestle the stairs out the companionway, through the cockpit, around the tarp and down the ladder.  Some how we managed with no major mishaps.  Probably would have been easier to do ealier but we like to keep things interesting.

The steps were worn down to the wood and looking pretty rough. 

Adding a coat of stain helped to bring back some of the color.


Then it was up to me to varnish.  We used regular semi-gloss polyurethane.  I did 2 coats on the storage compartments, 4 coats on the side pieces not being walked on and 5 coats on the steps themselves.  Of course I sanded and used tack cloth between coats as well.  Having never used tack cloth before I didn't expect it to be so tacky.  I had to wash my hands a couple times to get all the gook off after using them, nasty! 

Tack cloth and 200 grit sandpaper

We're not quite sure how slippery the stairs will be when we get back to using them on the boat so we may need to put grip strips or something down to keep ourselves and our guests from falling on our faces.  Since Lexie doesn't use the stairs on her own we don't have to worry about her at least...unless we slip and drop her in the process of getting her up or down. That could be bad.
 

These should hold up for a while.  I hope. 

One winter project done, a lot to go. 

I'm also getting real dishes for the boat for my birthday.  Yay! No more plastic plates and we won't have to eat out of plastic ziplock bowls anymore.  We're really moving up in this world.  This also means we need to devise a plan to securely store non-plastic dishes in the boat.  Any ideas? Bueller...Bueller...Bueller...

6 comments:

  1. Nice work! The stairs look brand new! :)

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    1. Thanks Kim, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out!

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  2. They do look great, good job! What's a tack cloth, by the way? And yes, be careful bringing Lexie up and down. When we still had our dog, I took a nasty spill one time trying to get her down the companionway. My whole ass was black and blue for a week!

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    1. The tack cloth picks up all the dust from sanding so the next coat goes on smoothly. Sorry to hear about your butt bruise! Although I've heard many stories about your (lack of) gracefulness ;) We very well may need some tread or something. I'll make Ron try it out first!

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  3. Our dishes clanked a lot in seaway. We got rubberized shelf liner and cut squares big enough to keep them apart. One boat just used same sized paper plates between each. No noise. I also ended up using a big sponge. Our plates were held vertically but the space was about two inches too deep. The sponge filled the extra space. It is fun to have a problem and then create a solution. Those steps are looking great, but they will be slick when damp.

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    1. Great ideas for the dishes, I'l keep them in mind! As for the steps, we'll try them out and use some tread if need be. Thanks for reading!

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