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Aspara's V-Berth Locker

December 1, 2011. Doug Pease has been working on a locker beneath the V-berth of his Aspera, Yankee #153. Here is his report and pictures (minor edit)

Hi Ron,

Hope the holidays are treating you well...

Here are pictures of a recent small project on Aspara (I know I took pictures of the construction, but I'm darned if I can find them!).  

I have a fair bit of useable space in the forward section of Aspara, aft of the water tank; I've shoved stuff down there from above, in front of the water tank, for years. And then, of course, I've forgotten about it, and found it a year or two later, and wished I hadn't stuffed it in there...   Recently, I thought it might be smart to put a teak access door in the molded liner section at the front of the Vee-berth; I think I've seen such a thing on other Dolphins, and it didn't seem like much of an undertaking.

Arrow points to locker - unframed door in place
Locker door with frame

It wasn't, for once...  I bought the teak door, with vents, off the shelf from H&L Marine.  I took some old teak stock I had laying around and fabricated a frame for it, cutting 45's on all corners, and joined them up with wood glue, making sure the frame was flat.  I cut a hole in the forward molded section below the vee-berth--always a tentative moment for me to cut a hole anywhere in my boat--and flashed the edges of the hole  with West System for good luck (And to dispel any moisture).  I set the frame in place with 4200, some clamps, and a few countersunk, marine -grade stainless screws.  I bunged off the screws with teak bungs, aligning the grain in the bungs to match, because I'm picky,  and built up some varnish on the frame.  I hung the door with some Perko hinges and a good brass catch, and, Voila!  A new place to stuff more crap!  

Sorry I don't have some better pictures; I'll find them, or get some more, but I thought this little project might be a good addition for all Dolphin owners, who are perennially looking for a few extra cubic feet of stowage...There are some old speaker wires hanging back there; I will fasten them up, soon enough...

Friends who spend time on Aspara often ask about her interior finish; it's a satin finish, to keep the glare down, but it's an "Old School" type of boat finish that doesn't come from a can.  I don't care for the high gloss of traditional varnish inside, mainly because it barks when scuffed, and gives an unsettling high sheen when the sun makes its way inside.  I've tried "Satin" graded varnishes, but they come off dead and yellowy.  What I've done inside Aspara is something called a "Rubbed" finish.  It's a traditional, glossy varnish (Epiphanes, an old friend, once you've played with it enough).  I build up coats until it's flat and beautiful, then wet-sand it with 600 grit until it has a uniform, dull surface.  Then I hand-rub the surface with straight Carnuba wax (Good beeswax is even more durable), and buff it to a nice sheen.  It's "Satin," but the value of the coating shows through, and the occasional jamming from a whisker pole, or a rigid guitar case, doesn't seem to score or bark it.  Every year or two, I break out the Carnuba and rub down the whole interior.  I've gotten over ten years from this treatment, without re-coating...

Fair winds,

Doug Pease










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