Attending to the Queen

The Quonnie Queen in summer of 2013
The Quonnie Queen in summer of 2013

Our stately tour boat, the Quonnie Queen, has been tucked away in a snug warehouse since last fall. Week after week and month after month, as the snow flew and the landscape froze, she has sat idle in her restful place waiting for the day in late spring when she will slip from the trailer into her briny realm and retake her place at the head of our dock.  But though she has been out of sight all these days, she has not been lacking for attention.  

Throughout the winter we have attended to her needs and now that the weather has broken she is being rolled outside on dry days for the heavy sanding and wash-downs that will lead to fresh varnish and gleaming brass.

Woodwork stripped of old varnish and ready for fine sanding
Woodwork stripped of old varnish and ready for fine sanding

The Queen wrapped up the 2013 season in sound mechanical shape, but the varnished oak and the oiled teak, along with the brass and bronze fittings, were all showing the effects of sun, wind and rain. In keeping with her environmentally-friendly electric drive, we have been using natural cleaning agents and non-checmical wood strippers wherever possible. The attached pictures offer a glimpse of the process going into her preparation for the 2014 summer season.  When you come to stay, be sure to sign up for a complimentary ride around the bay on the Quonnie Queen.  She will be shipshape and looking brilliant.

Weather-stained wood is carefully sanded to remove stains, but retain as much of the aged wood tone as possible.
Weather-stained wood is carefully sanded to remove stains, but retain as much of the aged wood tone as possible.
Heat gun and scraper is the best way to remove heavy layers of varnish.
Heat gun and scraper is the best way to remove heavy layers of varnish.
Heavy stains and tarnish on the metalwork were removed with lemon juice, ammonia and Scotch Brite pads. Small pieces were soaked in a similar solution and then buffed on the polisher. Metal polish was used to bring the metal back up to a bright shine.
Heavy stains and tarnish on the metalwork were removed with lemon juice, ammonia and Scotch Brite pads. Small pieces were soaked in a similar solution and then buffed on the polisher. Metal polish was used to bring the metal back up to a bright shine.