We made the very difficult decision today to paint the exterior teak trim on our Cape Dory
33. Yes, we know it should be a felony, and no, we wouldn't do it if we didn't feel we had to....but at this point it's either that or we need to replace it.
We do not have the time, skill, or resources to replace all the wood ourselves and we can't afford to have someone else do it right now. But what we can do, and what we did do on our Cabo Rico
caprail (which was in a similar state), is use epoxy
to repair the damage and glue up cracks, fill in the ridges and gouges instead of trying to sand them away, fair everything up nice and paint it.
This poor boat has been neglected and unprotected in the Baltimore
winters and summers for too long, plus suffered some damage in a storm, so the condition of our wood goes far beyond just being grey and dirty. We have wood that, first of all, had been sanded too aggressively over close to 30 years so a lot of the wood is getting too thin. I had to remove a lot of screws and counter sink them deeper just to be able to get wood bungs to stay in the toe rail at all. On top of that we have gouges all over the place from the storm and other mistreatment/mishaps, sections of damaged rub rail that need to be replaced, and very deep grooves and ridges from years of weathering. We also have wood that is dried out to the point of splitting. I spent several weeks last year working on parts
of it without great results and didn't even get to the worse parts of it. The amount of sanding
I would have to do to get to decent wood would just be too much and that still wouldn't address all the damage.
The eyebrows were too thin and damaged even for that so I think we are going to just leave them off and fill the screw holes. We are painting the cabin
anyway. If we feel we need the visual break that the eyebrows gave we can paint on a stripe or use vinyl striping.
We plan to use the Pettit Easypoxy Brightwork Brown. That will maintain the traditional look, at least from a distance. I am not worried about treating the wood so that someone could return it to varnish in the future. If it could be done and look decent, I would do it myself. I think this wood is beyond that. Removing the paint in the future would just expose a lot of patches and repairs
. We know it will no doubt affect resale value but that can't be our primary concern right now. This is our boat and we need to make it nice for ourselves within the time and money
constraints we have.
In my fantasy I win the lottery, pull the boat in to Robinhood Marine
someday and say "make her look like she did when she was new, I'll be back to get her in a couple of months." But then I wake up......
So arrest me....I know I'm committing a felonious act but I plead justified.