bla-bla-bla progressions

working under pressure: the rainy season!

People keep asking how I’m doing during this rain… To be honest I’m the driest I’ve been on the boat so far! That’s mostly due to me positioning the tarps better, though. The work for a dry boat is just getting started 🙂 I should have started this a while ago, obviously, but when the sun is out I have a hard time being cooped up inside.


At the top of the picture you can just barely see the frame of a porthole (window) and it’s a little greenish. It’s currently soaking in goo, which is made up of vinegar, salt, and flour. That’s what’s in the blue bowl on the table. I’ve found this goo works better if it sits for an hour or two where the salt can dissolve. It makes for a good mixture to put on the brass frame, which is applied with a paintbrush. It turns green as the patina comes off, and after a ton of scrubbing with a wire brush, there should be some nice shiny brass.

Then I’ve got some Goof Off, which works great for getting the black sticky stuff off (you can see it better on the frame to the left). Pour the Goof Off where the sticky stuff is and take a wire brush to it. Scrub a dub dub. The flathead and 5-in-1 work good for removing thick concentrations of the black sticky stuff, too.

After the black sticky stuff is gone, I paint the brass pieces with the vinegar goo and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Scrub scrub scrub with the wire brush, rinse it off, dry it off, re-paint with goo. Repeat several hundred times until the brass is all even-colored.

Finish off by polishing with Brasso.

Don’t forget to wear gloves like I did. Your fingernails will be green for a week if you don’t protect your hands.

Celebrate a victory and attempt to remove the next port. This includes some PB Blaster, a punch, some pliers to remove the cotter pin, and lots of swearing. Not to be out done by attempting to remove the piece of glass from the frame. Lots of swearing really helps. Perhaps listening to Metallica helps, too. While you’re at it, have some whiskey. It’s going to be a long week when it takes two days to remove and clean up two portholes and you’ve got six more to go… !!!!

I’ve found the correct gaskets online, I’ve ordered new pieces of glass, and right now I’m just jamming out to some music as I get the frames prepped for the new glass and new gaskets. I hope to have SHINY brass port lights that are DRY by next week!