For the Love of Spanish Cedar

One of the best things about a boat our size is this: everything we do is a dramatic improvement.  We’ve worked pretty hard on this lovely creature, and she keeps paying us back by looking and functioning and feeling better and better and better. If I’m glowing a bit, it’s because we just did a single day’s work that brought together months of effort.  Long time back, we tore out every speck of cabinetry, paneling, etc, down to bare hull.  We’ve been building that side back up slowly.  First, we built the battery box.  Second, we build the settee. Third was to be the settee cabinet, but a winter intervened and I’m very glad it did.  We discovered that our old solid-construction fiberglass hull sweated like mad.  For the non-mariners in the group, that means that cold weather outside, contrasted with warm air inside, causes condensation to form on the inside of the hull.  It forms; it runs down; it makes everything that touches the hull sopping wet. We quickly developed a plan to create a little open-air insulation.  Modern boats have a core sandwiched into the fiberglass hull that insulates; older boats need actual foam or at least some space for air to circulate and cool.  We decided that we’d make her look her age…ahem…I mean, traditional…by applying horizontal battens a half-inch from the hull, with a half-inch between, in order to encourage a dry hull.  The salty term for this is ceiling planking, where the ceiling on a boat is the “wall” created by the hull.  It reduces the sweating and, when condensation does happen, these battens will keep all our various fabrics away from the water. We purchased 200′ of Spanish Cedar from Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, MD.   John Harris was tremendously helpful, by reading[…]

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