Painting the Tub

The cockpit in the Goderich 37 reminds me a lot like a big square bathtub. Although fairly deep it is only about 6 feet long by a little less wide. It is a tight little area that makes it cramped for entertaining more than a couple people at a time so I won’t be have big dinner parties on board thats for sure. But the small space does provide a sense of comfort and safety while sailing in big seas. It is going to be pretty hard to knock me overboard deep inside this little tub ūüôā

The original paint sure needed a refresh and brightening. But additionally there were a few minor rust areas that needed attention. It was a few hours work scrapping off the old paint. Initially I was only going to do it in patches and slap a coat of fresh paint over everything. But as with most jobs once you get into it more and more work reveals itself and requires much more effort. I ended up having to scrape of all the top paint right down to the zinc coating with a few places ground down to remove any pitting and rusted areas. 

I started first with the a sander and the needle descaler but surprising these need up rather slow. The tool that worked the best was simple elbow grease and a wood chisel. Who knew? Well I do now. The chisel will be my go to tool for the rest of the deck which I will soon have to turn my attention to.


I am quickly running out of time and summer to get the boat ready for departure. In fact I have resigned myself to setting out in early October, before completion of the Sea Gypsea, to catch the last days of the operation of the Erie Canal that runs through New York State. Because I still have to work for a living, or rather work to pay for boat repairs, I have had to return to work for the month of June and into July. I am currently in a Northern Ontario First Nations community called Sandy Lake. I will return to the boat in a few days and have an additional 6 weeks to work on her before yet again having to return to the cold reality of work.

The Erie Canal system that runs from the Hudson River to both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie will be my route out of the Great White North before the snow flies. 


The above map is found at

The Erie Canal, original known as the New York State Barge Canal, began construction in 1817 to provide a cheap transportation route for bulk goods. It now serves as a wonderful recreational waterway through New York State and best of all a fast way out of dodge for many sailors heading south for the winter.

“Hey, you are headed the¬†wrong way”

I had navigated the canal only once before after a¬†circuit¬†route to¬†Newfoundland in 1997 when I participated with the¬†Newfoundland¬†Flotilla for Cabot’s 500¬†Anniversary of ¬†the discovery of the New World. I sailed with this flotilla of boats from Lake Ontario to Bonavista Newfoundland then returning to Toronto via Nova Scotia and the Eastern Seaboard and ultimately up the Hudson and Erie Canal. I still remember the smart ass shouts of the passing¬†southbound¬†sailboats…. “Hey, you are headed the¬†wrong way” ¬†as I meandered the canal heading north into Lake Ontario and the coming winter season. I wonder if I will be able to call out to a north bound vessel and taunt them in return come this¬†October?¬†

My plan is to head down to, I think Charleston, South Carolina, to complete the boat in the warmth with the knowledge that I am free on the cold ice grip of winter. I expect the remaining repairs will take another month, perhaps 2 allowing me a final glorious departure to ports unknown in late December or January. 

For most of my journey south I intend to take the Intracoastal Waterway and am quite looking forward to seeing some interesting countryside that would otherwise be overlooked  by a purely Ocean passage. I think it also prudent to take this route as the Sea Gypsea II will be untested as I was unable to finish her for sea trials this summer. 

So stay tuned, more repairs to come as I tackle the electronics and battery installations. And soon…. video presentations ūüėõ



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