It’s time for a progress report on Rosslyn’s boathouse post fabrication. Peter Vaiciulis and Sia Supi Havosi have been beavering away lakeside as autumn blurs into winter. Unfortunately, their decking progress has been stalled because the moisture content of the lumber is still too high. In contrast to the previous contractor whose work required extensive remediation, Peter is prudently allowing the decking sufficient acclimatizing and drying time to rnsure stabilization (and to ensure that we don’t once again wind up with inconsistent gaps ranging from 1/8” to 7/8”). In the mean time, Peter and Supi headed inside to shop-fabricate components for the post and railing system.
Successful repair of the boathouse posts and railings started with dissecting and documenting the existing conditions, deciphering the *how* and *why* of the existing conditions, and executing a meticulous rebuild with discreetly integrated improvements to function, structure, and endurance ensuring safety and longevity despite the challenging location and harsh environment.
Supi is sanding a post wrap that will get installed over the structural posts that have already been integrated (correctly this time!) into the substructure.
Chamfering edges along the midsection of the post wraps, Peter has clamped stops on either end to standardize the offsets. He’s replicating the design that we developed about fifteen years ago during our original rehabilitation of the boathouse, gangway, and waterfront access stairway. This subtle but comely detail that we included in similar situations elsewhere in Rosslyn’s four historic buildings, offers a practical benefit in this waterfront location where waterskis, surfboards, windsurfers, etc. are quick to nick sharp corners. The eased edge is also friendlier to shins and knees usually protected with little more than bathing suits in this area.
Up close and personal with the post wraps. Note the chamfered midsections and wood filler curing for Peter and Supi to sand.
After wood filler cures and sanding is complete Supi begins priming the post wraps. Because of the intense weather changes — from rainstorms and dramatic temperature fluctuations in the summertime to snow, ice, and deep freezing in the winter — that the boathouse gangway posts and railing will endure, two coats of primer (including concealed end grain, etc.) and two coats of exterior paint will be installed in the shop. Although some touchups will be necessary during and after installation, this will streamline the late season installation and improve long term weatherproofing.
Although historic rehabilitation took place a decade and a half ago, the lakeside location accounts for the accelerated deterioration of Rosslyn’s boathouse gangway, posts, and railings. This go-round we’ve been able to tweak a few mechanics based on previous performance, hopefully improving performance and extending the useful life of these repairs to 20+ years. Even though Opud’s disastrous attempt last year cost us dearly in time, expense, safety, and usability over the summer, Peter and Supi’s rebuild is superior through and through, ultimately affording us solace after a year of headaches.
Let’s wrap up with a mashup of the dissected, well documented prototype guiding Peter and Supi’s repairs.
Thank you, R.P. Murphy, got ace documentation!