Paying the Seams

We’ve got our supplies and we’ve got our power stance.


We wanted to use the standard seam compound from Interlux but the little marine store wanted nearly $60 for a single quart. That just wasn’t going to do. We thought about our good ol’ buddy tar but a little hesitant because we don’t really want it to run or seep through. So we thought about our next go to, polyurethane. At $5 a tube, that was a little better.

It’s a good thing we’ve had plenty of “grip” exercise from clamping every plank into place because squeezing the caulking gun at a slow and steady pace really kills your palms.


It’s so cool to see these seams close up. We put the first plank on February 11th last year!


This sealant doesn’t smell nearly as good as the SL30 which smells just like chocolate. The best part was smoothing over the seams. After we got about 4 rows done it began to look like a finished hull. I’m really excited to be doing this step because I’m even more excited about what comes after, painting the topsides! We might do something crazy like RED!

Although a lot of folks love the minty green. There’s only one coat of primer on the topsides so the green wood preservative is shining through. We’ll see 🙂


Back in the Game


Alright! Here we go. Time to get back to work. Rediviva has her spot in the working yard. In this leg of the marathon, Garrett and I have found it hard to keep going. This truly has been the biggest and longest project of our life. It feels like we have to choose everyday to move forward. I’m going to be honest, we’ve talked about taking a break, a step back. Garrett has given Rediviva his all. His body, his mind, his energy, his love and hate. I can see why a lot of boat builds end here. I used to think, ‘how could you give up now? when you’re so close?’ I now understand because there’s not much left. I also think this is a natural path for a journey such as this. I believe this doubt is part of the struggle it takes. We thought about moving the boat back to the storage yard, we talked about it at length. Then one day, when Garrett had planned on speaking with the office, he saw the boat. He saw Rediviva and had this overwhelming feeling, ‘I’m not done. Not yet.’

I am so proud of this man. The words in my heart can’t seem to find their way out. We’ve managed to turn the page, together. Let’s continue the story. This week was full as Garrett dug out the caulking cotton, mallet, and irons. He completed the entire starboard side!

Instead of looking at what’s left to complete Rediviva we’ve narrowed the scope. What do we need to do to launch the boat? This makes the project seem more attainable. A smaller portion to handle. Get the boat to the water, then make her livable, and then make her sail! Trick is to not think too heavily on what comes after the task at hand.

 Task one: Caulk the boat. This entails filling the seams above the chine, the stem and transom, the chine itself, and the rabbet with cotton then priming those seams and finally coming over with seam compound. Task two: Paint the boat. Three: finish the rudder and its fittings. Four: install prop shaft and prop. Five: throw her in the water!

With the majority of task 1 complete the whole thing feels slightly less daunting. I think once we move onto task two and get to paint her we’ll feel closer to the water. Doing the cotton is an important part to unifying the boat as a single piece, no longer just a bundle of timber fastened and glued together. We primed the stuffed seams and are ready to get our first quart of seam compound.

Even Swab’s back in the swing of yard-life:


While I fill the starboard seams with compound Garrett will be moving onto the port side. We got the interior of the boat cleaned out (during the move Rediviva became more of a U-Haul than a boat) so now you can see what a difference caulking the seams makes. The port side has so much light shining through where as the starboard side with fresh cotton is solid.


We’ve come so far and still have so much to do. Getting some work done feels really good. Rediviva’s traveled a long ways and it’s not her fault but there’s a lot of emotions tied into her bones that are hard to escape from feeling every time we lay our hands on her. We’re focusing on healing the pain it’s taken to get where we are today. The wisdom from others has been heard and we’re lightening up on ourselves and remembering to take time for us. Thank you to all that have encouraged us. We want to see this thing to the end. Finish what we started. I can’t wait to live here!