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Hooray for new volunteers, especially ones who come with their own respirators. Boat painting is nasty dirty work, and we are not doing it in the best of all possible conditions. I don’t have time to write much just now, so here are just a few photos to show how we spent our weekend.

Works in Progress

Works in Progress

Joe Purtell (Interlux)

Joe Purtell (Interlux)

Dinghie Crew

Dinghie Crew

bandana

They said I used too much guide coat . . .  ???

They said I used too much guide coat . . . ???

More Powerwash

More Powerwash

Future pink dinghy interior

Future pink dinghy interior

Blue hull reflection

Blue hull reflection

Yellow hull reflection

Yellow hull reflection

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Fighting Lady Yellow

What a great weekend for the Ship Shape Project at Shake-A-Leg Miami!

I’ll be writing more about it later on this week, but for now I just want to thank our fabulous volunteers and give special recognition to our trainers: Joe Purtell from Interlux and Steve Morton from Performance Marine Coatings.

We met our goal of painting the hulls of two Freedom sailboats and two Access dinghies. The dinghies are Matterhorn White, one sailboat is now Royal Blue, and the other is Fighting Lady Yellow.

Fighting Lady Yellow

Fighting Lady Yellow

If you don’t know what color “Fighting Lady Yellow” is, maybe this photo will help clarify it for you.

If you’d like to see more photos, click here.

On Wednesday morning, an elite corps of volunteer painters will meet with Joe Purtell at Shake-A-Leg Miami to put on the second coat. We could already see the reflection of the boats outside the hangar in the hull of our blue boat, so a second coat can only make that gloss even more spectacular.

Next weekend, our core group of Ship Shapers will make their first attempt to fly solo, and we’ll start training the volunteers who missed this incredibly productive, entertaining, and physically demanding session. Stay tuned for more information on what we did and how we did it.

For now, though, I need to get back to my real job, preparing for IBEX (International BoatBuilders Exhibition and Conference) coming up very soon!

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Back from Vacation

Last week at this time, I was enjoying a few weeks of travel through New England with my sister. We’d planned this trip around a Red Sox game and a “personal retreat” at the Isle of Shoals, off the coast of Portsmouth, NH.

While we were “shoaling,” a group of teenagers was very much in evidence as volunteers, painting and cleaning up the old buildings. I realized how much Shake-A-Leg Miami has become part of me when I started trying to convince this group’s teachers that they should ALL come to Coconut Grove to do some work for SALM this winter! (Note to self: Always carry some SALM brochures – even when on vacation!)

Who knows? Maybe this could be the beginning of some great exchange program, although it did occur to me that New Hampshire kids might be more excited about going to Florida in the winter than Florida kids might be about going to New Hampshire.

Isle of Shoals, off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshie

My first night home in Florida, though, was a restless one, full of long, involved dreams about trying to transport volunteers from SALM to “the island” — meaning to The Isle of Shoals (shown here) — to paint boats!

It was a relief to wake up and realize that no transport is required for this weekend’s painting workshop with Joe Purtell (Interlux) and Steve Morton (Performance Marine Coatings Inc.). Whew.

All we need is our core of volunteer painters, our trainers, our materials, our equipment, our support staff, our space, and good weather! Easy!

After that, we just have to do it three more times to make sure we have it right, and then we can fall into a more relaxed pace as boat cleaning, repair, maintenance become an organic part of life at Shake-A-Leg Miami.

If you want to join us in learning to paint boats, click on the volunteer tab above.

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