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10 May 2015


It'll never be this spiff again!
Hatches should be ready in a few days.
Bookshelves will fill that big white patch on the bunk wall.


Progress of late seems to have slowed to a crawl.

Spring is picking up with construction personnel and the chores surrounding them. The last big tides of the year had us out beach logging. The garden has to be gotten going, no small task.
Also, the new owners of SLACKTIDE were on their way (now arrived), so much of this last month was given over to getting her ready for them.

And that means getting the new boat ready for ourselves. With people coming and going, and SLACKTIDE no longer ours, we'll want a space with a little separation... a little privacy. A place of our own.

When I was a boy, a favorite TV show was Branded, with Chuck Conners. Unjustly accused by the Army of cowardice, his hat is knocked off, epaulets torn from him, his buttons cut of, his sword broken.

I may get my Quick and Dirty insignia trampled for this...

The problem began when Orrie - our friend/employer/host - introduced us to PRISM, a water-based, clear finish. The floors of the cabin were finished with it, and they look beautiful some five years down the road, despite the grit and gravel from the beach out the front door.

Just wipe it on with a rag, he says. No sanding between coats, he says. Nothing to it, he says. True enough. Application is a piece of cake.

But any clear finish means a LOT of finnicky prep work!

Sanding, caulking and trimming exess, tweaky filling of gaps with sawdust-thickened glue, sand some more. Elbow grease, and fingers abraded to the pink.


But the result is - by our standards - awesome. No one would mistake it for a yacht finish, but neither is it our usual slap-dash.

The ceilings, and soon the hatches and table, gleam with warm tones ambered by the finish. Best of all, the gorgeous cedar framing, which we had painted over in LUNA, is gleaming in plain sight. Gloss white paint sets it off and makes for light, easy to clean lockers and lower surfaces.

Over time, paint tends to take over more of our boats. A woodstove is hard on clear finishes, and we're not the kind to refinish. At least I don't think we are. Didn't think we were varnishy types, either, but seems we was wrong. Creeping vanity.

Guess it's worth it.

Adding a bead of cedar-dust thickened Titebond III to cover 'unsightly', trimmed LPU glue.
Mix in Ziplock and take a snip from one corner... squeeze out like cake frosting.

In some cases, we'll swipe along with a finger to make a small fillet.



  1. Looks Beautiful!! I would love to see more pictures.

    1. Hi Dennis,

      I hope to post more pics very soon as we get moved 'aboard' (still in the construction zone... swore we'd never do that again... what we get for swearing!). Some of that is that now we can't see the forest for the camping gear, but also that were days away from it looking fairly homey.

      Stay tuned!

      Dave Z

  2. We've searched online with keywords: "PRISM" and "water based" and "clear finish" with surprisingly little success in pinning down the exact product you cite. Do you have a vendor name or URL? (Admittedly, our connection is veeerrry slllooow, but still...

    1. Hi Peter,

      It's made by a company named PoloPlaz ( Our advisor says it's not an outdoor product, but works great indoors. They seem to have a line of interesting products.

      Good luck!

      Dave Z


About Me

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Anke and I live aboard WAYWARD, our T32x8 ketch. We sail by wind, tide and muscle in the waters of mid- to northern Southeast Alaska. We try to maximize the joys of life, and minimize the chores. ........ We live between the communities of SE Alaska, but drop in to visit with friends. Lately, we've worked, every other winter, care-taking Baranof Wilderness Lodge in Warmsprings Bay. This has given us a window on Web. ........ We're working toward a subsistence lifestyle, somewhat impeded by addictions to coffee, chocolate and cheese. ........ We think TEOTWAWKI is looming, and while we won't be ready, we'd at least like comfortable seats.