Boat Restoration, Below Decks

Sailing Blog – Excerpts Of Sailing Trips
And Times Without Wind

Sanding and re-varnishing the furniture

After many years of service that the boat had provided its owners, it was time to give some TLC back to the boat itself. Scrapes and scratches, bumps and dents had naturally occurred over many years of wear and tear as the boat sailed its crew through many seas during its 38 years of age. The original design of the Rivals interior had been changed to represent the owners’ individual desire for a more open space below deck.

So after noting down the areas that needed attention, it was a case of picking out a particular area and getting started. Deep breaths all around as once you have started to sand down the teak, there’s no going back. A 2 door general store cupboard just aft of the kitchen was the first recipient. The old varnish had to be sanded off and the wooden frame taken back to its bare naked state by using an 80 grit sandpaper.

The Rivals original design was unique in the way that it resembled an entrance to a hobbit’s home with an elliptical bulkhead that separated the chart table, kitchen and aft of the boat from the seated living area and bow of the sailing boat. As seen on our sailing boat page the final result enables the crew below to engage in face to face conversation without having to move around so much. This also meant that there was less teak to sand which was to become music to our ears.

The plywood doors were stripped back with a 120 grit paper to ensure that they were not over sanded to cause a color distortion by going through the top layer of wood. Both the doors and frame were taken back through the grades of sandpaper, 80 grit, 120 grit, then finishing with a 240 grit paper to really bring the patina of the wood to its original beauty. After cleaning up and ensuring a dust free space the cupboard was sealed with a polyurethane varnish thinned out 50% with thinners so that it could easily penetrate the wood. A quick sand with 240 grit sandpaper was necessary to cut back the raised grain caused by the moisture swelling the open pores of the wood. Then came a full top coat of varnish which was left to dry for 24 hours before another quicksand, another wipe up then the final top coat. When the final coat had dried, it was time to stand back and admire the first piece of restored boat furniture. Looking around, this seemed to emphasize how much more work there was to do. Next up is a well-worn chart table…….

Rival Restoration