Overall she is in amazingly good shape, and what I thought was remarkable, she had nearly the same paint job she had in 1973.
But there was an era when some folks felt the ribs should be removed from dories. To me, they are not only a lot of the strength of the boat, but impart a true classic look to a Briggs boat. As well, in an attempt to make the hatch lids more waterproof, great massive aluminum gutter systems with intricate plumbing were installed, with mixed results. One result was wicked abrasions and avulsions when scraping your hands against them. Yet another innovation that turned out to be a nightmare was the idea of permanently epoxying the outer gunwales to the hull, making repairs pretty much impossible. Another infuriating trend–ensuring that repairs and modifications would be irreversible by using space age caulk that is stronger than Godzilla.
We wanted to get Peace River back to something more classic. We had our work cut out for us. I mean really cut out. And ground out, and hammered out. Damn, they really didn’t want that thing to be repaired again! Here is Bill removing the back deck, which was half an inch out of level.
We had every annoying, screaming, cutting tool I own going simultaneously for about four hours. By evening we had removed what had probably taken various builders weeks to create. We literally ground off the outer gunwales. Sorry. I know you earlier repairmen meant well. But…
A side project–making High Density Polyethylene skids for the coolers at AzRA, so they can be dragged around with greater ease. (The ones we put on our prototype ChillyBin last year were a great hit, making the truck driver very happy.) Janek is sintering forty of them here, so the epoxy will bond.
Countersinking epoxy-grabbing holes is a strangely satisfying feeling, like machining butter.
This morning we fired up the steam bender to limber up the new gunwales. While they were cooking we sanded and cleaned up all the gutters and last night’s glass work.
Steamed gunwales bent to shape.
Later: cooled and hardened gunwales scarfed and glued together.
We should have those installed this weekend.
We also managed to sandwich in some more work on Kate’s amazing woodcut dory. To protect her artwork from issues with the river, the hull needed to be stabilized with penetrating epoxy. And oh my god did that make the colors jump. We thought the boat was striking before. Wowzers.