There are 3 Novus products: Novus 1 is a straight cleaner and anti static preparation for acrylic. It is not a scratch remover.
Novus 2 is used to remove fine scratches or hazing.

Novus 3 is a much more aggressive scratch remover than Novus 2 and can be used for deeper scratches. Novus 3 should be followed by Novus 2.

If you have some real serious scratches I have used 1000 grit wet dry sandpaper followed by 500 grit and then Novus 3 and Novus 2. This will remove very deep scratches and bring back full clarity, but you will have a dip where the scratch was.

For my project I had some instrument covers that needed refinishing.
This is a picture of a cover from the top deck. I used some masking tape to divide it into 2 sections, and then went over the right hand side with Novus 2. This cover was virtually a throw away but Novus 2 brought it back to full clarity, and very quickly.
These 2 pictures are of the guage cover of the battery charging unit. This was in very bad shape. As well as having everything rubbing against it (it was located in a locker), it appeared to have been swiped with acetone or some other solvent. 

I only used Novus 2 on this and it took a long time to bring back clarity. The clarity is better than the picture shows as my focus is a bit off, as shown by the printing to the right of the bezel. Novus 2 saved me having to concoct a new bezel.

The Novus products are not a magic bullet. They do require elbow grease, but they do the job. Available, of course, at PlasticWorks.
Propane Sniffer

The old propane sensor was dead and needed to be replaced. My plan was to replace it with the same brand in the same location and avoid any rewiring. The old unit was quite flat and screwed directly to the valance. The new unit was bigger, and made to be mounted in a cut hole. Seems not all new models are advances. The sensor was kept in the same location by enclosing it in a black plexiglass box and mounting the box to the valance. Because of the increased depth of the unit the box had to hang below the valence. It works, is convenient to the stove, and avoided some rewiring, but not as pretty as the old model.
The plexi box is notched to keep it as high as possible. The extension above covers the unfaded mark of the old unit.
Radio Holder
The kids who inherited this boat just cut the wires and took the old radio out. Again it was a case of putting a new radio back in the location of the old one as that is where the speaker and power wires led. I had purchased a car stereo-CD player and the bracket for mounting was made for a car. A holding shelf was fashioned out of black ABS, sized to hold the radio and with side wings that allowed it to be screwed to the underside of the wooden shelf above. The instruction book for the radio was bigger than that for the GPS and the VHF and the unruly mass of unused wires coming from the back of unit made for an ugly mess. Although you cannot see it in the picture, the mess of wires was covered by a piece 1/16 ABS, loosely screwed in at the corners.

New Entry Door


When I acquired Morning Star she had been sitting uncovered and unattended for 3 years. The wood entry door was cracked, split and delaminating. My plan was to replace the door with one of fiberglass and eliminate any future refinishing.
The original door.
First I needed to make 2 over sized fiberglass panels. These were laid up on a sheet of melamine. Fiberglass will not stick to melamine. A layer of white gel coat was painted on to the melamine and then the laminates applied to this. This will give me a good finish for the gelcoat on the outside of the doors and minimal sanding.
 The two panels are side by side on sheet of melamine.

The wooden core of the door was a frame around the outside edges with additional cross pieces to frame the window and at the point of the door hardware. The frame was glued together with epoxy and some wood gussets.

The wooden core was used to mark the fiberglass panels and cut them to size. The panels were then glued to the wooden core. Rather than use epoxy, I used Sikaflex caulking. I felt this would provide a good bridge between the smooth wood and the uneven fiberglass panels. If I was doing it again I would use thickened epoxy.
Since I was reusing the old window a matching hole was cut for this, as well as holes for the lock hardware.

My plan was to paint the door with a close matching 2 part paint, Endura. In preparation for this I sanded the fiberglass panels. This removed much of the white gel coat and removed the fine texture of the melamine panels. The door and paint were then taken to a body shop familiar with Endura and spray painted.

The window and hardware were then mounted and the entire unit mounted on the boat.

Overall I am very pleased with the result. A major improvement and now maintenance free. The paint colour, Oyster White, is a very close match without going through the hassle of a custom mix.

No Plastic Here.


Let me digress. This summer I went cruising for a month. Let me tell you a bit about it.

I have done a lot of single handed boating, mostly sail, but this was my first extended cruise alone, my wife having given up on boating.

From Vancouver I headed north toward Desolation Sound in touchy weather and threatening to get worse. With an engine situation that kept me down to sail boat speed I slowly made my way to Pender Harbor. 

The next 5 days were spent at anchor or at the dock, in the rain, waiting for the wind to die down. 

Power boats certainly cannot take the weather that a sail boat can. My current boat, the Tolly 26, with my limited experience on it is a wet boat, lots of spray and water over the bow. Traveling alone I did not feel it prudent to go out, although I took the dingy out for a peek a couple of times. My previous boat, a 36 ft. trawler style with a very round bottom would have been a miserable ride. I began thinking of going back to sail. With my sail boat (29 ft) I would have had no qualms about heading out in the weather that was keeping me hunkered down on the power boat.

Finally the weather broke and I made my way to Lund. Lund is the furthest point up the coast that you can drive. My wife, Patricia, had driven up to spend a few days on the boat in Desolation Sound. The winds had died but it had not yet become sunny. We spent a pleasant few days moving around to different anchorages, Grace Harbor, Squirrel Cove, etc. before returning to Lund where Patricia would pick up her car and drive back to Vancouver. 

But it was not to be that easy. As I fueled up Patricia took the dog for a walk and promptly sprained her ankle, so she was unable to drive. Thus the next three days were spent rafted up at the dock, with me doing the cooking and errands such as driving around Powell River trying to buy a cane. At the end of that time she was able to hobble to the car and return to Vancouver.

Now heading back south, I made my way to Secret Cove, and from there around the south end of Texada Island to Nanaimo. It was not a smooth crossing but not outrageously rough either. The anchorage adjacent to Newcastle Island is a favourite. Not secluded, there would be over a hundred boats there. The island is a park with showers, walks and the always interesting history and quarries. Now that I have a dingy with a motor it was easy to get to the floating pub-restaurant, and across to the harbor to the city marina and down town area.

From Nanaimo I turned north again, along Vancouver Island to Schooner Cove, where I met up with the family, Patricia, my sons and their wives and my grand daughter Elena. They had rented a cottage, and we all stayed together there for two nights. We had fun and it was a nice break from the semi solitary time on the boat.

Then south again, stopping at Nanaimo before heading further south to the Gulf Islands. Passing through Dodd Narrows against the flood tide is always a concern. It is like a funnel, and boats of all sizes all types and all levels of experience come together. I had allowed a reasonable space between myself and the boat in front and was not traveling fast. Then over the radio I heard “would the Tolly in Dodd Narrows please speed up, I am towing a boat and cannot go that slow.” I was concentrating so much steering in the currents that I could not even look behind, however I waved my arm, sped up and got a thank you over the radio. But that was not the end of it. I was still not through the narrows when there was another radio message “Tolly in Dodd Narrows, can you pass that sail boat and pull in front of him, I need still more speed.” I had been slowly passing the sail boat but thought it would be more prudent to slow down and pull in behind him, which I did. The big power boat towing his 25 ft. shore boat sped by, this time he could read the name of my boat and I got a “Thank you Morning Star.” And then I was through, big sigh.

Spent a few days at various spots in the Gulf Islands, always at anchor and never in very good weather. Had to anchor at the south end of Montague Harbor, lots of rode out but the wind did not get too bad.

Now it was time to start heading back. The Gulf can be unpredictable and I needed some cushion in case I had to wait out weather. I headed for Silva Bay via Gabriola Passage. When I arrived at the pass it was in ebb but within an hour of slack tide. I thought it would be quite tame so in I went. It certainly was not tame. At the east end the current was ferocious and you are using a lot of power to have control. You are skirting along the edge of whirl pools that are the size of houses. I’m through, another big sigh. If Patricia had been along it would have been divorce city for sure.

When I arrived at Silva Bay I fueled up. No one was on the gas dock when I pulled in. By this time I had been compiling a list of rules for traveling alone. This lead to another rule do not step off the boat unless you have a rope in your hand. The boat did not get away from me, but it was close. The weather was cooperating, so after a night at anchor it was off across the Gulf. Since I was running a couple of days ahead of schedule I headed to Halkett Bay on Gambier Island. This is another favorite spot, with a marine park, which had always been important when traveling with a dog. There were only 3 boats there. When I looked at my log book for the previous year, at about the same time of year, there were 30 boats at anchor. Perhaps the small number of boats emboldened the couple 20 yards in front of me to go skinny dipping!

The last night was spent at Plumper Cove on Keats Island. At anchor this is rock and roll city from the waves of boats going up the channel. I think I will stop going there unless I can tie up at the dock. Then it was off to my mooring buoy in Tunstall Bay on Bowen Island, and a few days at the cabin with Patricia before moving the boat back to the marina in Vancouver.



Book shelves are always needed on a boat, but where do you put them? My solution was to put them on a valance at the head of the V berth. The shelf is made of 1/4″ acrylic with a low lip in front and a larger up stand at the back which goes behind the valance. Holes were then drilled through the valance and through the acrylic, and small bolts used to fasten the two. The valance has a slight concave curve, I discovered, so the acrylic is not tight to the valance where the bolts go through and they are just finger tight. The ends of the shelf have uprights to keep the books from sliding off. Before cruising I will install a small bungee cord across the front to keep books and CD’s from jumping down.