Friday, March 20, 2009

The Sander Never Sleeps

Anyone involved in restoring or maintaining boats knows about sanding. Everything you do requires sanding. Need to reinforce a bulkhead? You'll have to sand it first. Want to fair a hull – get ready to sand and fill and sand some more. And, if you want to paint anything – you have to sand it, prime it, sand the primer, paint it and sand it, paint it again and maybe wet sand that. It’s unavoidable and never ending.

I tried to think of sanding as a Zen exercise bit I didn't attain enlightenment - only a deeper hatred of sanding. When you’re crammed into the stern of a boat in a space the size of a carry on bag, wearing all manner of claustrophobia inducing safety gear, and you’re wrapped up like a burrito by several feet of Shop Vac hose and power cables trying to sand the underside of the cockpit sole, it’s hard for the mystical transformation of consciousness thing to kick in.

Despite that I’ve developed a compulsive desire to buy power sanders. Sometimes I walk into Lowe’s or Home Depot for no apparent reason and walk out with a belt sander. I decided to collect all the sanders from the boat and the tool shed to gage the true extent of my problem. And……………..I am sick. I’m a sick man…………… It might be a compulsion or possibly a fetish, I don’t know, but I am sick, sick, sick.

And, I just realized I'm the Imelda Marcos of power sanders.

The sander collection - minus two that were ruined when water got into the boat last winter and one that burned out.


  1. So that's where all of my sanders have gone.

  2. I think I'm going to regret sending my blog link to Jerry.

  3. Glad to see that you are restoring a Rodgers 24! It will be well worth it in the end.

    I owned and raced one of these about 10 years ago. By far the most fun boat that I've ever owned or sailed on (and I've done a LOT of sailing). Great PHRF rating, great performance, easy to trailer and sail by yourself. I regret that I ever sold it, but at the time life didn't allow for much sailing time.

    I will be watching your blog and keeping up with the progress.