Monday, March 31, 2008


Aside from homeschooling, house duty, yard work & gardening, official mail opener & bill payer and barber to 3 men, my OTHER job is teak restorer.

I wanted to crawl right back into bed after waking up this morning, but I forced myself to get up, get everybody fed and start school. In between every single paragraph I read, I wanted to crawl back into bed. Yet, I pressed on.

I have no idea why I do this, especially when I don't want to do anything; but, I decided I needed another job. Why not put a coat of varnish inbetween grading this or teaching that? Varnishing doesn't take but a minute and there is a lot of down time between coats to delegate more school work.

I did that a couple more hours and by 2:30pm, I was outside full-time still barking orders like, "Do your Spanish", "What did you score?" and "pick up". I had decided to sand (80 grit) more teak between varnishing about 10 different pieces now sitting on 2 boards in the sun.

By 6pm, I was shocked at all my labor on a day I initially wanted to crawl back into bed. Gee, I even threw some football with the boys. I have to say that all this hard work is really paying off in the right arm muscle-building and my shoulder bursitis pain is decreasing. (Shhhh, don't tell Jack. He'll have me polishing cars or painting the house after the boat is done.)

By the time Jack gets off for his weekend, he can water seal & install so much in an hour. Then, he can focus on the floor and finishing up the livewell (live fishies!). It will be good not to waste an entire weekend on sanding again.

Happy Fishing all!

Friday, March 28, 2008

by Robin
It is amazing how much progress can be seen each day now as things are put back onto the boat and very little is actually slowing down our progress (i.e. rain). Most of the hard work is done and we're down to a list of things to reattach.
Last night's progress: All the drains have been reattached and have been connected to drain fittings & hoses. Bilge pump is working. Note: We were going to paint the floors but realized the boat desperately needed a bath to wash away all the weeks of sanding dust, pollen and oak tree droppings before we could resurface the floors. Drains took priority.

Today's progress: Non-skid surface applied to cuddy top, cuddy step and down the back gunnels and back of transom.

See the difference in the surfaces? This is the gunnel. Top left shiny spot gets a cleat tomorrow. Bottom right is a ledge. Everything else is non-skid.

Top of cuddy cabin & step (unpictured below) were masked off and then non-skid applied with fresh coat of paint. Those circles are just rings of tape Jack had up there. I love this new upgrade and hope this keeps me from falling or slipping. This is my favorite spot to stand on and look for tripletail, cobia or mahi mahi. If I'm lucky, I spot turtles, whales, sharks and way too many balloons from those cruise ships.
Pole holders & outrigger mounts are put back into place after being polished and inserts painted black.

I am standing approx mid-way on the boat, looking back at the cockpit. That whole strip got non-skid painting and then its hardware back.

Can you see the difference with the new white paint and the floor paint? A white floor would look beautiful but in reality, it would blind and bake us in the FL summer sun. The new color will be something between those 2 colors shown in the pic.
We had company a lot of the late afternoon so all work skidded to a stop. The kids met some new friends and it looks like we will be fishing next weekend with the other family. Also, there was some talk about putting together a lady's fishing team for a May tournament. We ladies were very excited but it was hard to convince the guys it was worth their effort and gas money.

Tomorrow: Rehook-up Trim Tab pump, Transducer (to find fish) and all the wires involved. All cleats reattached. That will take both of us. When I have spare time, I need to knock out some more teak sanding & varnishing. (Anchor Locker door shown in 'silvered' state.)

Next weekend: Paint the floor in off-white with non-skid.
Happy Fishing to all those going out fishing tomorrow. It is beautiful weather this weekend in FL.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Her entire face looks different this morning. Somebody got a nose job at 9:30 am. Her pulpit (nose) is back on and the guard rail was added too.

Jack is out there putting on the final screws and making sure everything gets a dab of sealant to prevent water leaks and eventually damage.
After lunch, we'll focus on painting more non-skid and those remaining small spots that haven't been painted. Once that is done, we'll be able to put all those other little pieces of hardware on, like pole holders. We're in those final steps.

We will have to spend an entire day with some work on the trailer before she travels anywhere. Because the boat has been sitting for so long, the one trailer wheel is locked up with rust. Ahhh, the joys of owning a boat. You're never finished with your project. LOL
If you're new and just joining us on our Mako 248 restoration project, welcome. We started our project back around Sept 1st. It has been a long 6.5 months of dedication most weekends. It won't be long and my Robin's Reports will be back to showing fishing pictures!
Happy Fishing,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Even if I can't get out to fish, Mom and Dad keep me entertained with their fishing pictures. Yesterday, Dad caught a monster catfish out of Lake Lanier. I'm not sure who got naming rights but this is Big Joe.

Dad uses light line to catch various bass in the lake so it was an effort to get this big guy out of the water. Joe was released after the taking of these pics.

BOAT UPDATE: We are getting help tomorrow. Jack knew I couldn't possible do all the pulpit installment work without another pair of hands. That thing is heavy!!

When we took it off, I loosened the bolts and Jack simply stood on a ladder and grabbed it when it released from its position. I'm so happy that John is coming to help. He's a good guy and he loves being around the kids. He's a grandpa himself. He works with Jack so he is very handy to have around too.
I'm dreaming of warmer days and heading out on the water to hold one of these in my hands again. It won't be long now.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

RUB RAIL - Check!!

This stinker was like trying to fight a 62 ft python. It had a mind of its own with all those coils from sitting in the box. Jack was so patient with my ever-whine.

SIDE CUDDY WINDOWS painted - Check!!

I know it is hard to tell but those windows went from brown to brown & white (paint faux pas) early in the upperdeck makeover to BLACK!! Yeah. Our uniform color scheme is finally coming together.

PULPIT - Check!!
Sorry that I got pics from different angles but you get the idea. Sanded, primed and painted in Snow White!

Non-skid beads added to flat paint and put on top of the pulpit. This is so I don't slip off a rocking boat while trying to cast to a cobia, mahi or tripletail.

Here is a better view of it. Also, you can see where Jack masked off the edging and it gives it that more detailed, professional look.

Didn't Jack do a fantastic job on it?

I tell ya, the weather tried to wreak havoc on us but it didn't win. All 3x paint was applied to (top, bottom and non-skid top) pulpit, it sprinkled outside. Thankfully, we used our large backyard shed for some of the work. The non-skid was actually rolled on in the garage.

We also used flat paint instead of high gloss finish so the glare doesn't kill our ability to find swiming across the top of the water. Beween sun from above and glare from below, it can really ruin & weaken your eyes. We wear great polarized glasses and I sometimes will wear a dark bandana around my cheeks. Yeah, I know it looks like a bank robbery but it really does help me spot fish much better than anybody else on the boat.

Have a blessed Easter weekend with your families. We will be a celebration service in a.m., having family day and no boat work will be done. Thank you Jesus for taking up the cross, dying without sin and rising again!! By your stripes, I am healed.

Your humble servant.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Stingray Kills Sunbathing Woman in Fla.

Published: 3/20/08, 1:46 PM EDT

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) - Officials say a woman died in the Florida Keys after a stingray jumped out of the water and struck her upper body.

The spotted eagle ray had hit the 55-year-old woman while she was in a boat Thursday. Officials say she was hit in the face or neck.

It's not clear whether the animal's barb struck the Michigan woman, or if the impact killed her.
Spotted eagle rays can grow up to 17 feet in length and weigh up to 500 pounds.
They are+ known to occasionally jump out of the water but are not aggressive.


My opinion: Wow!! I know they jump out of the water but I can't imagine how this thing killed her via barb. I'm curious to get more details on this story if anybody else hears more, please direct me to it. (Below, I have a YouTube video of jumping rays.)

Jack is outside wet-sanding on the boat. We had a rain delay in our project today.
Happy Fishing,

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Being the constant Homeschool Mom, I felt the need to throw this out there:

Gunnel, gunwale. Pronounced "gun-nel." The rail around the edge of a boat.
Smaller versions are called toe rails.gybe.

It freaked me out the other day when Jack said gunwale but I had been bloggin gunnel. Now, I feel much better having settled this internal conflict. Btw, we don't have toe rails on our boat but many newer offshore boats have them. I thought they were a stupid feature until one day I was fishing on our boat and almost went overboard when my feet slipped out & backward from under me. Who knows, we may make them an additional feature at a later date.

High winds still prevail.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Our Weekend of Restoration
by Robin

I know that this isn't the most interesting blogging material for many folks but I have to see it as a means to the end - - namely, FISHING again!!! This was by far our sandiest weekend.

Jack got an hour or 2 off of work early on Wed. I stayed home from church with boys having low-grade fevers still. Jack changed clothes and went right to the garage for sanding the teak that goes on the left set of shelves of the Co-Captain's area (my shelves, if we're honest here).

Thursday, we busted out all the elbow grease we could muster for upteen hours. Jack sanded down the ruined paint on the gunnels while I did all the miscellaneous work inside. Those jobs included removing the anchor locker teak, hand sanding under cleats, removing step lights, removing back drains, securing protection over the exposed hatch areas (to protect from overspray paint) and hand sanding down the water trenches on each side of the cockpit (back fishing area ladies) area. That doesn't seem like it should take all day but it did. At the end of the day, it was all done & all ready-to-paint areas had been washed to remove dust. (pic: drain pulled out)

I do want to emphasize that hand sanding is no fun. I am so very thankful for all our power tools that do the majority of the work. I think I spent an hour on those water trenches. I'm sure they have better official names but those little 1" "trenches of pain" seems more appropriate. I used 80 grit sandpaper which not only removed old paint, exposed fiberglass cracks and whatever else (need a 3rd thing, don't you think?) but they grounded down my fingernails on the right hand. By bedtime, my hands were numb and sore to the quik.

Sleeping came hard and fast but so did 7:30 am. I'm still living on pre-time-change hours. It was cool and damp as I wiped down all the dew and Jack taped the protective papers up around the edges. Last time we painted, we rolled the paint on but this time, Jack bought a couple cheapy paint guns and we were prepared to spray our way to a better finish. Friday was our short day. We were done with painting by 12:30, cleaned up for 15 minutes and got ourselves over to the Warbird Air Show by 1pm.

We saw some nasty clouds go by but we had no rain the entire night inspite of radar showing us this at 1pm. Thank you God. Our paint dried with only a few suicide bugs and pollen specks.

Saturday, the boys were finally past their flu bugs and we all were outside for most of the day. My primary job was to varnish like nobody's business. Jack hung things up as they were done. Also, he did a little bit more (metal) sanding and painting on some back hatches that we added to our project. Getting access to hoses, hardware and wires was a pain until we put these in. Jack did a great job of finishing these in no time at all.

We also did some work on the underside of the pulpit at the end of each day. Jack had to sand out the corrosion then sprayed primer onto the area. The next day, I was able to practice my spray-painting skills by painting this area. Sadly, my work will never be seen, but I know how good it is. That area will be attached to the bow of the boat in another week or so.

Here you can see the restored cuddy door hung back up. What a feeling of accomplishment!

Now that the gunnels are done, Jack can wet sand the area next weekend, work on the pulpit and reattach everything. I can't wait to see the guard rail back up. It will be nearly complete when that happens. The last bit of painting left will be the flooring & adding some non-skid surfacing to certain areas on top of the cuddy (where I stand), steps and back sides where we step onto the boat.

The finished inside transom "wall". See the new hatches? The battery hatch (center) will have some pole holders added to it soon.

Very tired but pleased family by Saturday night.

High winds this week = 3-5 ft seas. Be careful if you go fishing.

Friday, March 14, 2008


How sweet it is!! We've had a wonderful and exhausting 2 days on the boat and well..... drumroll please..... it is painted and DRIED without rain ruining it. It should be pouring now, but God held back the clouds for us and for the Air Show (that will be a later blog on the fisherman site).

I'm too tired to write much else or post pictures. My typing fingers are raw & numb from sanding. My eye suffered a speck of dust getting under the contact yesterday. But God is good all the time. Possibly Sunday I can give a better report.

Happy Fishing

Monday, March 10, 2008


I'm varnishing the backside of the cuddy doors while I'm between loads of laundry and dosing the kids. We're dealing with fevers, coughs and some head congestion.
This is coat #2 and I'm probably throw another couple coats on for good measure. The sun is glorious outside and drying the varnish quickly. These pictures do it no justice to the beauty of a thick varnishing on teak wood.

Maybe with Daylight Sav'g Time, Jack can hang the doors in an evening. He already attached the new plexiglass top section to the boat. I can't wait. Then, after that part is done, we'll be focusing on sanding down that bad paint on the gunnels again.
It has been a long and big project but I can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. Once it is done, we will fish the boat until it is falling apart and then get something else. She's already 20 and I figure we'll get another 5-10 yrs out of her. Of course, this all depends on whatever the transom wood is doing. (Ladies, that is the back end of the boat where fiberglass covers the wood that holds the engine.)
Happy Fishing,

Sunday, March 09, 2008

CONSOLE / HELM- finished!! YEAH!

We added the finishing pieces of teak on Friday & Saturday. I did a lot of sanding & varnishing while Jack put in his new tach - - which happens to work when you get one that is in working order. (Ah-hem!) I'm not naming names but after Jack said something about his situation to a friend, we found out several other folks have had similar situations. I don't know if a report to BBB is in order but we certainly won't be recommending them any more.

Here is a side view from a distance. The big cuddy doors were sanded on Thursday and Jack varnished them Saturday. They need a couple more coats and they will be hung ASAP in that blank spot on the left.

Here is a close up of the little door that opens up to the wires in the back.

Blogger is unhappy with my gunnel pictures but I am able to add these of the doors. The top one is still silvered/ weathered look. The bottom one has been sanded down and is waiting for varinish.

Here is a self-portrait (w/ timer) of me sanding the doors. What a mess it makes to sand. I had safety goggles on but they were fogging up with my mask on. I paid the price with getting dust in my eyes and not being able to wear contacts for the next 2 days.

The good thing about sanding is that it is easy enough to set up & work for 30 min while the kids ride bikes or play a little football. I plan on doing more pieces for Jack after we're done with schooling this week.

Oh good....... blogger accepted this picture. Here is a pic of the gunnels being painted. See the paper on the bottom to protect the hull's paint? The new white is mostly on the left (above the paper), but then Jack painted a little block of white under that metal cleat. You can see the old off-white in either side of it.

It was a beautiful job that Jack did. No runs, nice coverage, perfecto. THEN.........

Lots of rain came and hit us. It ruined the paint job. We had to laugh to keep from crying. And Christians will understand this, but we did some self-examination Friday morning to see what God was saying to us about this boat project. Every single time we paint, we have to repaint 2 or 3 times. It may seem incidental or coincidental to many, but for Jack and I, we felt it on a spiritual level as well. God was disciplining a small area of our homelife for a bigger purpose. I hope that we've understood God correctly and we will continue on with the boat restoration, hopefully with a lot less extra painting.
So, that was the weekend update on the boat. Once those gunnels are completed, we can put the pulpit & guard rail back on this baby and be very close to completion & fishing once again.
Happy Fishing,

Friday, March 07, 2008

(pictures added later)

They were prepared, sanded and painted yesterday and five minutes later, God opened up rain clouds that weren't suppose to be here until Friday. Infact, God made quite the liar out of many weathermen this weekend. No rain was suppose to hit our area until the wee hours of Friday. Fronts move faster than expected. Rain went much more to the north today than expected. We really should have painted early today, but we took a risk yesterday and lost.

What are you going to do? Just resand and repaint.

Also, yesterday morning, I took a couple hours to sand down the cuddy cabin doors, so they are ready for their coat of varnish whenever Jack is ready. I'll love seeing it back up there, restored.

We also have another issue going on. Jack's old tachometer worked when put back in so this morning, he goes to take back the "new" one that isn't working. They won't take returns. I got hopping angry when I heard this and I got on the phone with the owner and went over details of my picking up the tach and how I never saw it working, tested, whatever he wants to claim. In short, he decided it would be ok to allow an exchange. Jack turned around and picked up another "new" one. He was a little embarassed that I got involved in order to fix this, but I don't care. I've mellowed fairly well with age, but don't try to cheat me out of a dime, buddy. My impression is that he saw "Woman w/ kids" coming and took advantage of the situation. I guess he didn't see the Italian, German, slight Irish part of the woman. That's a deadly trifecta.

Happy Fishing. We'll be out there soon.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


I grabbed these off of YouTube so you could see what I see sometimes offshore fishing. I absolutely miss fishing, but more than that, I miss just BEING offshore. I love the sealife. I love the sun and blue water. I love seeing the unexpected that I generally can't capture on the camera. I'm so glad that somebody caught footage of these acrobats.

The first one if a view from below the water. Cool. 25 sec.

Here is one on the run. Very short.

Happy Fishing to all! I'll be out there soon. By the way, Jack got Battery #2 to work. It had corrosion on the connector and so it was a matter of elbow grease and sandpaper to remedy the issue.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

This was an original picture from a month or so ago. The radio was in the middle and everything else sat on mounting brackets. The brown & cream color is still everywhere. We had no room behind that electronics panel which is why the DVD player was put in the middle. The entire backpanel was cut out. (see last picture)

Now, the electronics have been flush-mounted into a big piece of starboard. (Steering wheel removed for the moment.) There is a new tachometer and other instruments are repainted with a fresh black enamel. Throttle (on right) box was also repainted.
At the bottom, new cigarette lighter was installed on bottom left so that we can now use our hand-held spotlight for night fishing. Switch panel (bottom - horizontal box) was also repainted black & given new placards, LED lights for night reading and some new wiring in the back. Oh and everything is now sitting on a WHITE console. Whew-whee!!

Here is a closer peek at the switch panel's new placards to go with each switch above it.
In front is the old, faded placard.

Here is the console prior to painting this weekend. You can see the completely open electronics area. In the 1987 Mako 248, the upper space is very shallow because the idea of flush-mounted electronics hadn't been invented. There was very little in the way of electronics at all. So, this entire area needed removing and reworking. Jack will have to make an entirely new backside (inside the cuddy) to protect & make easy access to the back of his electronics.
We did run the engine last night but battery #2 was dead. Tachometer wasn't working either. Could be a simple wiring fix on the tac or it the combo of the two could lead to a possible alternator problem. Jack was discouraged by this, but my outlook was, "Hey, what's the big deal? We've fixed everything else on the boat. Might as well fix this too." This is also why we have two batteries while out fishing. You can still run home on 1 battery just fine.
Happy Fishing,