Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tender Floor Replacement

Though I've repainted and even replaced parts of the wooden floor in my inflatable tender, after 10 years of staying mostly wet on the down hill side, it rotted away. The Hypalon tubes are still very good, perhaps aided by a coat of paint a few years back, but the floor is toast. But sometimes, not often, luck is all good...

... and just 6 months earlier, care of "dumpster diving"  (actually left next to the dumpster) I came across a new floor that just needed a bit of trimming. New, you say? I understand it was from a display model, discarded do to sun rotted tubes, but with no miles at all. Mahogany plywood, aluminum extrusions for the tunge-and-groove between sections, edge pieces and edge coupling moldings. Much higher quality than the original, from a better brand than Boat US. The hole for keel inflation was in the right place and the width was dead on, but the cut of the bow piece and the length were not perfect. However, a brief 20 minutes of effort with a jig saw, disk sander, circular saw, and palm sander made them perfect. Well, after I gave the fresh cut edges a few coats of paint.

I took her out for a test drive, of course. Much stiffer to walk on. Faster to jump on plane. I must have stored up some good karma.

But then I looked at the pictures, realized that my high-tech camera is no better than my inability to see the controls without glasses, and realized my visual story board was a complete bust. I'd been taking interior shots for an up-coming article and left the camera on manual, wide open and slow. What a bummer. I accept it as a minor scolding for pride over unearned results and for gloating that I didn't drop any tools or parts in the Bay and made no trips to West Marine.

This is the best I could salvage...

At least you can pick out a few things:
  • Unloading the tender onto the dock was a simple matter of backing up and lowering it off. Couldn't have been easier.
  • Every job requires 6 times its weight in tools and spreads over 8 times the area of the actual project.
  • The old floor is pretty busted up.

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