When the property was purchased, there was an assortment of floating docks that had become untethered and somehow ended up strewn along the shoreline. I’m not entirely sure to whom they belonged but they were clearly no longer functioning for their original purpose. I recruited my sister to help dismantle them into manageable pieces and stack them neatly on the shore.
When the job was finished, there was a fairly sizable stack of usable lumber that must have been treated. Some of the other material was too far gone to use for any sort of building purposes but I thought it might help firm up some softer, boggy areas where I intended to eventually build paths. I took notice of a rubber roller fastened to the edge of one dock that must have been used to help pull a canoe out of the water. I have to keep that clever contraption in mind for a dock of my own in the future. We ended with a five gallon bucket half filled with rusty nails, cleats, corner irons and other hardware. I could tell some of the materials were quite old because not only was the dimensional lumber actually 2″ thick, some of the nails appeared to be hand cut. The nails that were already laying among the rocks would crumble when handled, so I pulverized them, mixed the iron oxide dust with honey and gum arabic, and made some watercolor paint. It took some trial and error to figure out how the coarseness of the pigment would take to the paper, but I painted a few pictures of moose with the watercolor.
I inherited a 1982 Grumman sport boat from my Grandpa who had used it for duck hunting. It had various coats of rattle-can spray paint applied over the years into something resembling camouflage. After a sand-blasting, the aluminum was fairly pitted and probably far from ever having a mirror finish again but I thought it might hold a coat of tractor enamel pretty well. I bought some paint from an Ag supply store (John Deere green and Massey-Ferguson red), some etching primer, reducer, and enamel hardener. I applied two coats of etching primer and let that dry for a few days. Then, after taping off the sections of the boat I wanted different colors, I mixed up the paint, reducer and hardener and applied the mixture with a spray gun. The glossy finish has held up pretty nicely even when the boat scoots along the gravel when coming ashore. I also added a cedar transom and motor mount with new brass hardware. The cedar has proven too soft to hold up to the screw clamps on the motor’s stern bracket so I’ll either have to find some marine grade plywood, rot resistant hardwood, or some sort of plate to fit between the swivel plates and the cedar. Also, the 2-stroke 8hp motor is a little heavy for trailering the boat with the motor mounted. Side note: the boat bears a likeness to the Greenpeace vessel, the Rainbow Warrior, which was blown up in the Aukland, NZ harbor in 1985 under DGSE’s Opération Satanique. It’s only missing the trademark dove and rainbow on the bow. The current leading contenders for this boat’s name are Rainbow Warriorling, Yule Tide, and Walleye Sleigher (the latter two names are playing off the Christmas color scheme in case you didn’t pick up on that).