The Hull is Sealed

So we were having issues with the tubes rupturing and blaming the moisture in the air; while we believe that’s still partially the case we realized the push rod wasn’t exactly straight. Garrett rounded this scrap piece of wood and presto! It works perfectly, keeping the rod straight and! helps squeeze every last bit of compound out leaving no waste.

On that note, now that Garrett’s finished all the cotton, the only thing left to do to seal up the hull is to fill the rest of the topside seams.

The best part is coming back over the filled seams with the putty knife pushing in the compound then scraping off the excess to leave a fare seam. The hull looks magnificent.

As a write, now every seam is filled. What happens next is a week waiting period for the compound to set then we lightly sand her smooth and PAINT! I can hardly stand it. Every day, every minute, I feel we are closer. From the inside no light leaks through a single seam. She is ready to swell. So the bottom planks because of their orientation, cross-planking, don’t need any cotton. Being short runs of flat sawn timber the bottom seals up just like a wine barrel. Garrett was able to install each plank close enough together, a really tight fit, that it won’t take much absorption to make her water-tight. So the tar I squeezed into every bottom seam is purely to slow the flow of water into the boat until she takes up. This is going to be fun!

The sun sets on one day of work only to rise again on the next, we are accomplishing progress each day. We’ve got some solid leads on some of the prop assembly and even a possible subscriber to help fabricate the rudder fittings. Things are happening you guys and it feels great!


Cotton Conclusion


The week has finally come to a close. It was our first solid week of continuous boat work. It’s kind of nice when a task has a few stages and is just a matter of time to get it done. The work isn’t complicated but it’s time consuming. Garrett’s been stuffing the seams with cotton while I’ve been filling the bottom seams with tar. I dance around Garrett to prime the seams after he’s done caulking. Garrett switches between the mallet and his new toy, the electric caulking gun:

After going through two tubes with the manual gun we thought there’s got to be a better tool for this! We searched Craigslist because buying one new was going to be somewhere around $140, since we also needed to purchase the battery and charger. We found one less than an hour away for $30. This thing goes through a tube in less than a minute evenly filling the seam. We can’t buy the compound fast enough now!

We’ve had a few rainy days which has swollen the planking a bit. It’s neat to look at the seams we’ve already filled and fared and see after the planks have swelled they’ve pushed the compound out a little. The wood’s alive!

But…. because of that rain the cardboard tubes of compound got damp. Trying to slowly push the sealant out still didn’t stop every tube from rupturing.

So we didn’t get too far on filling the topsides… The starboard side is over half way done though which is exciting!

I’m in charge of the bottom planks. The rain’s made my job a little easier as the seams keep getting smaller. I’ve narrowed the starboard side down to just 5 seams left to fill. It’s really cool seeing the hull become fare. I started on the sunny side so unfortunately I’m about to switch to the dark side. The port side sits in the shade most of the day and really holds the cold air in Rediviva’s shadow.

Just give this girl a gallon of tar and she’s happy

Give this guy some cotton and he’ll be stoked

Garrett’s dwindled the caulking to just 6 seams on the transom left to be stuffed. He’s really perfected the technique. He moves along the planks so quick. Getting his loops beautifully even.DSCN5403

I’m sure it’s become like second nature as it’s so repetitive. He cleans/reefs out the seams, makes his loops, then comes back over and drives the cotton in with the mallet.

Sometimes it’s easy and he can just use the screwdriver reefing tool but other times the tar used to bed the planks is thick and dry and he needs the oscillating saw.

especially in the rabbet and corners of the transom

But that’s not the fun part. The fun part is realizing the boat is nearly completely caulked!


Garrett’s had such patience and persistence building Rediviva. I remember when she was just a crazy idea and Garrett had this vision of getting to the point where he was caulking the seams of the boat he built himself. Well here we are. A fantasy now reality. I’m sure it’s not quite as sparkley as the daydream once was but I think the truth comes pretty close. Rediviva is stunning and we can’t wait to see what she’ll look like finished.


Today will conclude the cotton caulking.


Treasure Hunting


The drive to Minney’s is now less than 8 hours, and when compared to the near 20 it was from White Salmon there’s no way we weren’t going on a road trip! Minney’s Yacht Surplus is a must for any sailor even remotely close to southern California. I have no idea why marine exchange and consignment shops are vanishing. We’ve collected so much history from these little treasure troves. Garrett and I have been hunting in some of the smallest buildings looking for old boat crap. So when we found Minney’s years ago, which is two stories plus a back lot and riddled with sailor’s gold, we almost cried and have returned as frequently as the bank account allows. We’ve scored on anchor gear, sails, miscellaneous micro boat bits, books and maps. This time we were casing the joint. We logged away the possible pieces that could be of use.

Or… are just on the wish list.

Last visit Garrett remembered a whole bucket of Dead Eye’s but this time only two, and one was broken. The lesson may be don’t hesitate but at the time we didn’t have a traditionally rigged boat so, as much as Garrett will beg to differ, there was no need to buy them then. We need about 8, maybe 10, for our rig and at $36 a piece it wasn’t going to work.

I think this goes on the ‘dream list’ because it’s probably way too big for Rediviva but there were so many sexy ship’s wheels waiting to lead us to the horizon.



Garrett took his time combing through every aisle. Our most immediate need is engine parts. He found a few rudder brackets but they were too small. We need the whole exterior engine assembly and rudder fittings before launching. For the engine this means: prop, prop shaft, cutless bearing, and stuffing box. For the rudder, which we can also have fabricated, we need the metal strapping, pintles and gudgeons. We didn’t find any. So anyone who might have a lead on various boat parts send us an email:


But we DID find an awesome anchor windlass! This workhorse will see us through many anchorages. It fully runs on manpower, which we have plenty of, so it’ll never fail. I can’t wait to clean her up and give her some fresh paint.

Maybe not the most practical thing to buy at this very moment but we’re so happy to have it on board. Sometimes it really helps morale to get a functioning piece of cruising equipment. For some reason spending the same amount on a box of fasteners or a dozen gallons of tar doesn’t have the same excitement. There’s a vision that comes with looking at the windlass. It includes chain attached to an anchor rooted in white sand 40 feet beneath Rediviva’s keel through crystal clear waters. Garrett and I standing at the bow with the windlass between our feet gazing upon a place we’ve never seen before. So, in other words buying this windlass now; priceless.


More Cotton Caulking and Sunshine



What makes a happy captain? Progress. Garrett is just blasting through the caulking. He’s only got about 6 feet to reach the bow on 7 seams and then the rabbet and chine on the port side left to go! Other than the sickness Garrett’s come down with, which is now just an annoying residual cough, his body is feeling great and his mind is catching up. I’m so thankful for his determination.








Swab on the other hand…

Won’t even get out of the car.







Garrett starts by cleaning up the seams with his makeshift reefing tool homemade from a flathead screwdriver. This removes any dried tar in between the seams and fares any uneven cuts.

Unfortunately, the marina store hadn’t received the next shipment of cotton since the last time Garrett went in and decimated their stock. So we’re a little held back from finishing the port side but that’s alright, plenty of other tasks to do.

Like priming all the stuffed seams and hunting for prop shafts. After the hull is painted the next task before launch is to make sure we have all the external parts for the engine; prop, prop shaft, stuffing box, and cutless bearing. We probably won’t fully install the engine, meaning lining up and bolting, to save time/money but we want to have all the fittings for under the waterline to be there so we can hook it up later. Maybe a trip to Minney’s Yacht Surplus (aka boat candy store) is in order!

With each day getting a little longer we’re excited to be able to get more hours in. The earliest the sun set was 4:50 here which gave us an extra half hour compared to Washington. We’re feeling pretty good with the change that’s for sure!

First Bucket of Tar in 2018

My mind’s been having trouble remembering where in time I am. It now feels like an eternity ago we were in the remote hills of Washington and having done two restorations in the Napa Boatyard there’s a sense of home about the yard, a sort of normalcy to it that feels like we never left. The last project we finished here was in 2013 and so much of the yard is exactly the same. So many boats still sit in the same spot untouched, the yard guys go about their business at the same pace, the talk between old men and their boats is the same, but we are not the same. The difference being, before, we were kids. We still carry the same title around the boatyard, “The Kids,” but we’ve earned our salt with a vessel built by our own hands standing behind us. When the yard first met us we were 20 years old and wanted to restore a 1959 Kettenburg 40 that, among many things, needed a new transom. Garrett told them we’d do this in a month. We splashed on day 30. Following with another restoration but this time wanted to bring back an old technique for protecting the bottom from growth we copper-plated our little Ronin. Reframing almost the entire little 30 foot boat and rebuilding the interior we launched in 6 months and she was sailing. So when we called the yard manager and told him we’d build a 35ft wooden boat keel to stem he didn’t hesitate to let us in. It feels good to be a yard-tard again!


Our new year started with a stop at the local Home Depot before going to the boat. It’s so nice the store is 5 minutes down the road not an hour! We restocked on sealant, chip brushes, a putty knife, and of course TAR.

Garrett continued caulking on the Port Side leaving me with a fresh gallon of black magic to seal the bottom planking on the starboard side. It feels so good to get our hands on the boat again. We both feel the momentum picking back up and the water is a mere 50 feet away. I’m such a nerd because I love working tar into the tight spaces of the boat. I liken it to how a mother doesn’t mind picking her child’s boogers or cleaning spit up. That love is something special and not much else matters. So I take care smearing tar into the rabbet and working it up the spaces between planks. The bottom planks won’t receive cotton until later in life because in their youth they’ll swell together tight but to lessen the flow of water upon launching until that happens the tar is there. Like training wheels. We use tar because we want the planks to be able to push it out as they come together.

 Once all the bottom seams are tarred and the topsides are sealed we’ll be able to paint!!!!!! A few weeks from now Rediviva will be reveling in her fancy new colors.

Garrett’s over halfway done with the port side cotton. Another good day and he’ll be able to lay the caulking mallet down for a while. This year Rediviva will see the water. This year we will sail. This year Garrett and I will realize this dream to the finish line.


Thank you everyone for helping us build Rediviva.

Cheers to an amazing and prospective fresh year!