meanwhile. . . transparent sea

While I couldn’t be much help on the deck steps (it involved math. OMG), I went down to the boat and removed all the sides. 
I really don’t know why I didn’t do this 33 years ago when we first bought the Chartreuse Monster. Back then there weren’t any elegant boats on Trego Lake so I probably thought it was normal. Chartreuse is not and never has been normal. I have painted it numerous times over the years and one year actually removed all the sides and rails. But this time I drilled out every one of those Lit-tle Tiny Rivets and popped off all the sides leaving only the rails. I actually think this is legal to use, as I see people now and then driving around with what looks like a Huck Finn raft with pontoons and a motor.

Mine has rails. Safe. Transparent. Invisible?

So here are the sides wearing their coats of many colors relaxing in the shade of a tree. They needed a rest after 46 years of living on a boat. I threw a little paint stripper on one of them to see how it would go.

Yikes. There are many layers of paint. All but the snot-colored stuff comes off easily. Under all that is a textured aluminum surface that may be a pita to strip. I’m thinking pressure washer, so once I get down to the chartreuse layer, I may try that. THIS was the color of our boat for many years. With a linoleum-pebbled-type floor that sucked. It hurt feet and was amazingly ugly. I had the boat re-decked and carpeted some years back.  Like 23, I just calculated. Yikes. Again.

(Always begin and end a paragraph with the word Yikes. It really engages the reader.)

I do have to relate the Trim and Tilt Saga. The hydraulic trim and tilt didn’t work this spring. Always something, of course. So, I connected a couple of stray wires. Worked! Then blew a fuse. Replaced that, thanks to Phil & his buddy Mike (Mike ran home on a Sunday to retrieve a new fuse from his stash. I owe Mike. And Phil.) So then the T&T worked, but the motor was stuck with the prop out of the water. ?? Everything we did would not make that motor drop. Hours of YouTubes, asking questions on forums, trips to see Tom Cleveland at Lakes and Trails in Spooner. Nothing solved the Mystery of the Stuck-up Motor.

I complained. Hmm. Don’t like that word, but there’s nothing for it. I’m a veteran whiner when Bruce was here to spec the deck-steps job and he said he’d take a look. Bruce and I removed a bar at the bottom of the hydraulic assembly and Released the Motor from Stuck Up Captivity! Now the t&t hydraulics are under the water. Probably not ideal, you think? But the prop is IN THE WATER and the motor runs like a top. So, the boat would actually travel around the lake, but might lose its t&t assembly (over $1,000 for a new one online) in the process.

So, when I have a couple of strong young offspring here, (Kent, Brenda and Ansel are coming this next weekend) I might have them lift the motor. We can replace the strange rod that was preventing the motor from lowering and m-a-y-b-e the t&t will cooperate? Doubt prevails. But who ever fixed anything when doubt was involved? Sheesh.


steps in the right direction

The direction of the lake, that is. For years I’ve wanted steps off the deck that would take one directly to the lake. There were two reasons for this. Get to the lake faster, of course. (My mom said I was in a hurry to be born and have not slowed down since.) Second reason: ditch the damn rail that looks like this:

Yes, a fence. Between me and the lake. Geoff told me once that if I had a slide to the outside, it wouldn’t be fast enough to get me there. That was when we lived in Eau Claire and I wanted a door (and a deck beyond it) from the dining/kitchen to the backyard rather than walk through not one, not two, but three doors, food in hand, spilling one’s drink to even reach the back steps. We were pounding in the last nails of that deck (finally!) when Geoff got the news that we were moving to Spooner. 🙁 But really :). It’s all good.

So, the fence illustrated above is still there. But a much less complicated solution began to evolve when I ran into a guy I’d known in the past — he was performing at the local pub, which is called Hub’s Riverbend, but really should be Hub’s Pub, but I wasn’t there for the baptism of that establishment. Pity. I somehow remembered (even after a beer or two) that Bruce had once done construction in addition to performing music. I reintroduced myself and asked if he still did carpentry. And that was how the steps were born.

Not only did he use some of the materials I had on hand — that landing is two sections of dock that have been languishing at Libby’s for an eternity — but he let me help! I wasn’t much help, but I do have a cordless drill and for most of the stair treads I hit the stringer. Most.

It was beastly hot the first day and we did everything in our power to get out of that infernal sun (93 degrees), but alas, we were both pretty sweaty. The second day wasn’t much better.

Q inspects the job after the day’s work is done. She was smart enough to spend our work hours under the bed on the cool concrete. She’s cool that way.

See that umbrella? It wasn’t much help, but at least we weren’t scorching. I was kind of a baby and kept marching over to the shade of the nearby tree when I got too hot. Especially when we were digging. Bruce is smart. He designed the steps and landing for minimal digging.

See that deck edge? That now leads to steps rather than a four-foot fall onto the grass below. See that pile of lumber scraps? I’ll look after that tomorrow. Among a thousand other things.

Here’s the new unencumbered view. Just imagine it sans sawhorses. I’m delighted. No slide, but steps are a good alternative.