Navigating the Sea of Life
Today’s post is a continuation of Steve’s Boston Whaler Dinghy Story from yesterday. If you missed it–click here to read it first.
My buddy Spencer and I hauled the boat back from Orange Beach to Spencer’s custom-built 5000 square foot boat shop, we call it Sunbelt Marine. We began to work on it immediately. The 40 hp Yamaha four-stroke motor was up and running again after a few hours of repairing and tweaking. The tilt/trim motor had to be replaced with a new one because it had been ruined by rust. I removed the motor cowling and took it to Apalachee RV. The lead painter, Ben, stripped it and repaired the damaged areas and repainted it Yamaha marine grey. Ben’s paint skills and the new Yamaha stickers combined for a great new look.
Next, I had the bottom of the boat soda blasted to remove that terrible blue bottom paint. Again, I called on the Picasso of painters-Ben from Apalachee RV-to work his paint magic with official Boston Whaler color marine paint.
One of the most timely and expensive aspects of the restoration project was the replacement of the neoprene bumper cover. This is a unique design by BW and a feature that makes the 11 foot boat so much more roomy than a typical rigid inflatable boat (RIB). The neoprene doesn’t hold air like a typical RIB. It has a foam material underneath the cover which is similar to a swimming pool noodle. The neoprene and foam provide the same ability to bump against the side of a big boat without causing damage as a RIB but is narrower than the typical tube on a RIB. This design gives more interior space allowing space for six people in the 11 foot boat. We get more space without increasing the overall length. This extra interior space is what makes the Impact 12 look like a soap dish. Flotation comes from the foam filled hull which is found on all Boston Whaler boats.
The installation of the new neoprene cover took a tremendous amount of time. The old cover had to be removed. Someone had painted the trim a gray color that was not original to the boat. Since we did not have replacement trim, it took hours to remove the old paint, mold and algae. It was a three-man/woman job to caulk and reinstall the new neoprene cover but it was well worth it because the cover along with the new cushions and paint made the boat look like it had just come from the factory.
That’s all for today folks. Tune in tomorrow for the finished Whaler!
Steve & Joy