P.O. Box 91
Gloucester, North Carolina
Notes from the Field - "Cherokee" Huckins Restoration Project
July 15, 2002
Summer is finally here with heat enough to send a dog flopping into a mud puddle.
You can see yourself in Cherokee's transom, as the lucky seventh coat of varnish has been
applied. The crew has been using AwlSpar varnish, a fast-drying, single-part spar varnish compatible
with AwlGrip two-part clear urethane. The seventh coat will be sanded flat (blocked out). The name will be painted, and additional
coats will be sprayed on. The last coat (two-part urethane) will be sprayed after the transom
sits for several weeks to assure all solvents have flashed off. The crew is now applying paint
below the varnished transom to finish the priming of the hull.
The bunks in the master stateroom are getting varnished, and now cradle lovely new mattresses. Below
left is the swing-out cabinet on hinges that allows emergency access to the engine room. Right shows
the cabinet closed.
Master Stateroom Bunk and Swinging Cabinet
Deck Box and Painting of the Headliner
Above Bryan is demonstrating the finished forward deck boxes. The small visible opening
to the left will hold an LP gas bottle - the kind you can buy at any convenience store. This bottle
will power the gas range. In the same compartment to the right is the domestic water fill. This
compartment can be locked to avoid tampering with the potable water on the boat. Above right Kerry is
painting the bead board ceiling planks which will be used as headliner throughout the boat.
Below, the first step in building a galley took place today. A framework has been completed to
hold the counter top over the refrigerators and dishwasher.
Galley Appliance Counter Frame
To the left is the new ice chest being built by Jeff. It is adjacent to the
ice maker, allowing for easy ice shoveling. To the right, Jeff is finishing up the lid
for the chest. The chest is constructed out of Divinicell and fiberglass. "We should
have just bought a twelve dollar ice chest from Walmart and thrown a cushion on it,"
Leonard Sanding Aft Bulkhead, Jeff Finishing Lid
Problem-solving, think-tank, brainstorming sessions have lately revolved around this
question: how do we keep dust and other finite trash out of our pretty top-coast paint
jobs at a site like this? Solution: lay carpet on the ground, and erect a net-tent with
burlap covering next to the water to catch the clean, Core Sound breezes. Kerry models
the tent below, which contains pristinely-painted door panels.
Dust-Free Cabana, Cabinet Doors
Every shrimp season brings controversy within the community of NC commercial fishermen, as some
believe Division of Marine Fisheries is dragging its feet in opening certain areas to
trawling, while others believe DMF is jumping the gun. "The shrimp are yet too small, and we're
wasting the product harvesting that bait!" says one fisherman, while another remarks: "It's
not soon enough - them 60/70 count shrimp pay my light bill!" Because shrimp is an annual
crop, not living beyond a season anyway, the question of when to open trawling is more a social
and economic question than a biological one. Boats range from 15 foot open skiffs with
hand-cranked winches to 40-50 foot trawlers pulling four nets - this vast range in boat size
brings about differences in fishing philosophy. "This comes down to big boats versus little boats,"
a fisherman's wife pointed out at a recent meeting. "The big trawlers in Pamlico Sound want the
shallow areas to stay closed 'cause they can't get to them!" She turned to the advisory
group, made up in part of scientists and sportsmen who were considering changes in crustacean
management. "Some of you don't know what it is to go a'shrimping, some of you don't know what it
is to start out small," she said. Realizing the danger of displaying disagreement among their
ranks given a somewhat hostile political climate toward fishermen, the captain of a large trawler
stood and said, "Just so long as we come up with something that doesn't hurt each other.
As the saying goes, we hang together or we hang separately."
Signing off for now, Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake
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