Knockabout Sloops Blog, The End

With my dwindling blog posts, it will come as no surprise that I am ending my KnockaboutSloops blog. All along this blog has been a personal resource that I have used to journal and organize my thoughts during the design and construction of Bolero, our custom engineless Knockabout Sloop.

I typically live a quiet private life that rarely draws attention to myself. On rare occasions one of my passions will draw me out a bit into the limelight. Such has been the case with long skinny sailboats and engineless sailing.

But in the end my real passion is sailing, not writing about sailing. And no amount of rants, or examples of engineless sailing will alter the conventional wisdom that sailboats need engines to be safe.

And no matter how many photos of gorgeous sailboats I post, and I have posted many, modern sailboats get beamier, the freeboard higher and the cabin taller and boxier. We are more and more a culture of convenience and luxury where beauty isn't valued.

So rather that try to convince others that sailboats sail just fine without engines, I will just go sailing.

And rather than post photos of long, sleek, gorgeous boats sailing, I will take ours out sailing.

For me it has always been about the sailing. Which is why we I envisioned this crazy project in the first place.

This blog has been a labor of love and I have enjoy the feedback and comments that I have received from the 90,000 or so visitors who have meandered in. I will leave this content up to provide whatever resource it may contain and I will also continue to moderate comments. Perhaps there are other "crazies" out there who will look at all this and see opportunity and not a bunch of sacrifices.

Cheers and Happy Sailing,
Bill

A Little Something for the Light Stuff

Since we sail Bolero engineless the most import feature of our modified Shields is her sail plan and our ability to alter the amount of sail that we have up as the conditions warrant. In fact one of the main reasons we selected the Shields as our conversion candidate was her fractional rig and her abundant sail area.

Even though the standard sail plan for the Shields class sailboats has a exceptional SA/D ratio of 21, I have been on the lookout for a way to add additional sail area for really light air. So when I stumbled on a new free flying drifter/Code 0 headsail on eBay last winter for less than $300 I took a chance and snapped it up.

Prior to purchasing it, I quickly drew it up to make sure it would fit and to check the location of the sheet leads.




For this sail it looked like the proper lead location would intersect our oar lock sockets and my hope was to find a way to use these hard points as an attach point for the turning blocks. In addition, with an area of 210 sq ft and an overlap of 180%, this looks to be a very nice increase in sail area for Bolero bring her SA/D ratio to 25.

Unfortunately, I decided to over think the installation. I figured that it would be sweet if the drifter was on a furler in front of the headstay. So I picked up all the necessary hardware only to figure out after stepping the mast that there just wasn't enough room between the spinnaker halyard the forestay for the drifter to furl. At least I didn't drill any holes






As it turns out this mis-step was a blessing. I ended up flying the drifter on the jib halyard with a small pennant so it would clear the jib. This allowed us to tack which we ended up doing quite often and made this sail much versatile.








This free flying drifter quickly became my favorite sail. It was quick and easy to launch and stow from its turtle bag without any need of a furler or spinnaker sock and it made sailing in really light air very delightful. And even though we are quite spoiled short tacking into our channel with our non-overlapping working jib, It was still pretty easy to short tack with this 180% drifter.

To my way of thinking sail area is safety and piece of mind for the engineless sailor. Often the engineless sailor is presented with all the things that they can't safely do without an engine. But I feel that each boats "safe" sailing envelope is dependent on how much speed and maneuverability they can generate from their sail plan in a given wind. Obviously if you don't have enough sail area with respect to your boat's displacement then you have transition to a motorboat. And in that event your motor is your only form of propulsion and is required for safety.

My goal has always been to outfit my boats so they sail in the widest possible wind range. And with the addition of this drifter the term "no wind" has a whole new meaning.

Some Long Overdue Eye Candy

Courtesy of Cliff. First a what is it request.

Do you know what this knockabout is? It was labelled as a Tumlaren, but I believe that is incorrect. I thought they all had canoe sterns...




Anyone know this sweet little boat? She looks familiar but I can't place her.

Cliff also sent along some extra pics. First a nice shot of a Concordia Yawl.




And some pics of the recently restored R Class "Aloha".




That Quiet Still in the Air

It has been a very quiet summer here at Knockabout Sloops and a number of folks, okay maybe three, have wondered where I got off to. I am still here, still sailing and still loving long, skinny boat with graceful overhangs.

First off, it is never really a bad thing when I go quiet. Just ask the friends and family. But the quiet here has been a result of a number of occurrences.

First it has been a pretty ordinary summer season of sailing for us here on Lopez Island. Summer was sort of a yawner. When the weather was good the wind wasn't, or other things were pressing, or it was a supper low tide, or it was a busy boats coming into the bay day. And there didn't seem like a lot of great days this year compared to last. And last year was so good that I have gotten a bit picky on when I choose to go out.

We hauled last week so Bolero is neat and tidy and stored snuggly in her Clearspan shelter. I have a few posts, with pictures, in me summarizing my experiences with our new electrical system, a pretty good failure, and our new light air drifter, which was a roaring success, although I did take the long way to get there.

In addition to a average summer sailing season this summer brought about a complete upheaval in my computer hardware. I transitioned from a Tablet PC, which I have used in one form or another since their inception, to an iPad and an old Apple Power Mac G5. I have used many, many computer systems in my life, including Apple and find them pretty much interchangeable. But I am working toward replacing my old tablet PC with the iPad and using it for most everything I do and only falling back on the "boat anchor" G5 for the really heavy lifting. Blogging on the iPad has not yet overwhelmed me and this is my first iPad blog post. But I expect it to get better and better and with the winter dark time approaching I will keep at it.

In the end, Knockabout Sloops was always my way of organizing my thoughts on Bolero's conversion and in that capacity this blog has served me well. I am sure that there will always be an occasional post of some gorgeous slinky boat that I will need to pass along, a rant or two about sailing without an engine and of course every photo of Bolero sailing that kind folks send my way.

1949 Sparkman & Stephens Yawl Bolero


BOLERO, 1949

Perhaps because we share a name and a common designer, I have always had an affinity for Bolero. But she is truly in a class of her own.


BOLERO, auxiliary yawl underway, 1954

I find that I like to compare boats to classics such as Bolero even though most fall horribly short by comparison. I have always been more comfortable looking towards greatness, and failing, than looking towards mediocrity and succeeding. Just my odd way I guess.  In any event the view is better. Much, much better.


Heading East, 1954

Bolero was built for ocean racing and I am still quite in awe of the time in history where racing boats were also works of art.
BOLERO – Large Modern Ocean Racer
Sparkman and Stephens Design No. 711
LOA 73’6’’, LWL 51’, beam 15’1’’, draught 9’6’’, sail area 2,480 sq.ft.
Designed in 1946 for John N Brown. Launched by Nevens in 1949.

This boat represented the new technology of the post war era and in many ways in size and scope was the prototype of the modern maxi yacht. It was considered by many to be the most beautiful S&S boat ever designed (a claim shared with her near sister, BARUNA).
Her interior is laid out for 8 guests and a crew of 4. It makes an interesting comparison with modern boats of similar size, allowing for spacious accommodations.
Her design plans are revealing for they show a quality of construction which would probably be impossible to match today. Of composite construction, double planked mahogany 1 ¾ inches thick on metal lightened web frames, she was extremely strongly built. The construction sections show the extensive use of metal reinforcement allied to wooden blocking, spruce beams, white oak partners round the openings, extensive use of metal tie rods and a Douglas Fir clamp 7 ¼ x 2 ½ inches thick. The metal work was entirely in Monel or Everdur Bronze, materials which would be prohibitive today, if at all available.
She was fitted with coal galley stoves, early forms of refrigeration and very extensive interior furnishings. The extreme elegance of her double-headed rig belies the amount of physical manpower needed to sheet a 170 % overlapping genoa measuring 1500 sq. ft. A coffee grinder winch is mounted amidships in the most stable area in order to sheet the jib sheets via turning blocks; the double runners would necessitate extensive manpower requirements during tacking; again the mainsheet is led downwards at mid-boom to control lift and back to the cockpit winch mounted on the cabin roof. The small looking mizzen stay sail is nevertheless 540 sq. ft., the size of many smaller boat’s genoa jibs. Both BOLERO and her earlier sister BARUNA were built to the maximum size allowed under the CCA (Cruising Club of America) racing rule for the Bermuda Race which worked out at approximately 72 feet overall.
In the 1951 Bermuda Race BARUNA and BOLERO found themselves racing against each other. Despite the almost 10 years that had elapsed between the two designs, the two boats both fought it out neck and neck arriving at the finishing line 466 miles later, only 24 seconds apart (the older boat winning on corrected time by 15 minutes).
COPYRIGHT 1999 PATRICK MATTHIESEN
Well apparently, thanks to Cliff for the heads up, Bolero got a make over at Rockport Marine. So she's good to go for another 60 years.



And she looks almost as gorgeous in color as she does in black and white.

1986 Mini 12 Metre J Boat

So perhaps the Rhodes Evergreen in the post below is bit more boat than you are looking for. But you still want you some long and skinny. How about this.


She is a 21 ft long mini 12 metre. You are going to have to act fast on this one as she is on the auction blocks of ebay. Her location is Pocasset, Massachusetts.

Check the full listing for more photos, but here are some teases.







Now I do think Bolero is looking a bit pudgy.

1947 Rhodes Evergreen Class Sloop

Bolero's spring launch, various projects and the weather has seriously dampened my postings on long skinny boats. But that hasn't kept Cliff, down in Oregon, for lighting up my inbox with leads and photos. So time for me to catch up.

First is a sweet 1947 modified Rhodes Evergreen Class Sloop.


She is for sale by the way and located in Seattle, WA

We have one up here that sails out of Friday Harbor and they are sweet, sweet boats.

Okay, more photos from the listing.





And I have to include a copy of the sail plan since I just love the plans found on older boats.


Occasionally folks ask me about ways to get into a "Knockabout" type sloop in a less expensive way than a full out conversion, or buying a new expensive Daysailor. Well I think this Evergreen might fit the bill.

She is a woody.



But boy howdy. Look at those lines. Someone go have a look at her and report back.

Or better yet buy her and sail her up to the San Juan's so I can have a look.

Faux Wood Transom on a Plastic Boat?

Recently I have been pondering the aesthetic challenges of including Bolero's registration info and name on her hull. I am just not a big fan of stickers no matter how nice. One morning over coffee my buddy Craig and I were discussing the merits of adding a faux wood stern with an engraved and painted name to the stern of a plastic boat. At the time it didn't seem right for Bolero.

A few days later Craig found this picture which I sure liked.


I still don't know if I see this on Bolero, or how one might get it to look right on a plastic boat, but it sure looks fine on this sexy daysailor.

Safe and Sound


I headed out first thing this morning to check out Bolero and everything looks fine. I will row out later today to retrieve the anchor and restore her to proper sailing trim.

Really Starting to Blow Now

The Smith Island station south of Lopez Island is recording SSE wind at 39 kts with gust to 45 kts.


But it is still relatively calm in Fishbay.


Although the worst is still likely ahead as this low pressure moves north, or worse, northeast.

6 Bells and All is Well

The trees behind my house were creaking and groaning as they do when they resist strong winds so I thought I would go have a look at Bolero.

I knew as soon as I reached the village that this trip was going to be benign since there was a significant easterly component in the southerly wind. Bolero was tugging gently on her mooring with her anchor rode slightly longer than the mooring pendant.


Even with Smith Island reading a steady winds of 33 kts with gusts as high as 37, FishBay was relatively calm.


This is pretty typical when the wind is from the SE or SSE as there is a nice hill that shields Fishbay, and our boats, from the strong SE winds. You can see it pretty clearly from the contour lines on the chart.


The bay general is aligned along a bearing of 205 magnetic. We really get hit when the wind clocks around and becomes S to SW. Which it is forecasted to do later on this evening.

No way this storm hits during the light of day.

Storm Prep

I have been keeping abreast of the upcoming serious storm by regularly checking in on Cliff Mass's blog. This morning it looked like the San Juan Islands might not get hit has hard as I had thought. Cliff mentioned:
Residents of the San Juans and northern Whidbey Island should be ready for a modest blow.
Looking like something in the 30 to 40 kt range.

But I decided that I would sleep better if I at least prepped Bolero the best I could. So this morning Laura and I headed out to the boat and I rowed out the main bow anchor, 20 ft of chain and 150 ft of rode due south of our mooring. I set our 22# Bruce anchor by tensioning it up against our mooring and ran the rode through a shackle attached to our mooring ring. We removed the jib from the foredeck to reduce windage, tightened up the cockpit cover and secured the aft hatch with its locking pin.

I rowed back out to the boat this afternoon to check everything over one more time and adjust anything if needed. The wind had clocked around to the South and when I arrived at the boat our anchor was taking all of the freshing breeze. So I let out a bit of rode so the anchor and mooring were taking equal loads.

I think that I have done all I can. Bolero is on her own.

Once back home I immediately surfed over to check Cliff's site for a storm update and, off course, things have gotten worse.
The latest satellite pictures shows a profound enhancement of the high clouds around this system (see above). The latest forecast models are even more threatening that last night...this is going to be a major coastal wind event, with damage and power outages. NW Washington will be hit harder than expected last night. And another issue...when the low is offshore, winds will accelerate to the west in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The National Weather Service has now put storm warnings for the entire coast and the western Strait of Juan de Fuca.


And here is the new wind forecast for 5 pm (from Cliff's site)


I will drive by and check on Bolero one last time before dark. But unless something really looks amiss I won't row out.

Oddly, at 17:30, the winds still seem quite calm. But they are picking up at the Hein Bank and Smith Island stations to the south of Lopez.

Hein Bank


Smith Island

A Successful Launch

The morning was rainy and overcast so no pictures of the actual launch, but Bolero is safe and sound on her mooring.


The whole fix the keel plan was a total dud, however. What with the wet keel and very short time limit. I have been promised another chance during the fall haul out.

I guess I will just have to sail in a manner that keep the nasty bottom of our keel hidden from view.

Even though launching in the rain and drizzle isn't much fun, I do love how the Northwest looks during the sun breaks that manage to break through.



I won't get much time to enjoy the serenity as this rain was the precursor of a nasty unseasonable 991 mb low that is headed our way (the full story is over at Cliff Mass's site).





The storm is forecast to roll in Wednesday late afternoon and hit us with sustained winds in the 40 to 50 kt range with higher gust.

5:00 pm Wednesday Forecast

8:00 pm Wednesday Forecast


Why do all these high wind storms have to roll in at night? I feel much better when I can either check the webcam to see that Bolero is safe or go check her out in person.

I will definitely go out tomorrow to double up the mooring pennant and tighten everything down.

This is suppose to be a fall thing.

Pre-Launch Update

Well we are pretty much ready for our launch on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately we heard at the last moment that the marina won't be allowing us to hang from the travel lift so any repairs and touch up painting that I want to do to the keel gets to happen at 7am right before our launch. I guess it will be what it will be.

In any event prepping, rigging and transporting Bolero to the marina progressed without a hitch. I used the same technique to load the mast as I did last fall to remove it.


And it sure beats Craig and I walking each end up a ladder while trying not to ding anything. I am planing to sort through my old blocks and lines to see if I can't make the process even easier.

Raising the mast was quick and simple and it was great fun to hook up the new anemometer, which thankfully worked.


On Saturday San Juan Canvas came by with our new cabin cushions and they looked great.





It is hard to convey what a change the new cushions make to the interior. And although still small it is now an inviting place you would actually what spend time in.

There were a few periods of light wind so I played with the drifter to see if I could located the padeye on the foredeck. This new drifter idea has been a challenge from the very start. And as soon as I hoisted it I knew the journey was not to get any easier. Even though I was temporarily mounting it to the bow chock, it was very, very close to the headstay. I didn't realize just how close until we went out early yesterday morning in very light wind to check the hoist again.


Obviously I still have much work to do on this system and I have set it aside for now. Eventually I will need some sort of spinnaker crane. Which will entail working up the mast if I want it this season. I think the first thing I will do is fly the drifter inside the headstay to see how I like it and go from there.

Engineless Sailing Safety Poll

Some time ago, during the epic engineless sailing thread over at the Wooden Boat Forum, I created a poll to see what folks thought about the safety of engineless sailing. Results trickled in little by little but today we reached 100 votes. So I thought I would pass along the results.


The results of this poll ended up being quite a surprise to me. Granted, my little blog is a very small and unique subset of the general sailing public, but having read all the safety concerns and fears about sailing without an engine, I thought the results would have been more much tilted towards engineless sailing being unsafe. In the end, only 9% of the visitors, and voters, from Knockabout Sloops thought engineless sailing was unsafe.

Cool.

Rub-a-Dub


Today I moved Bolero out into a gorgeous Pacific Northwest day for a washing and scrubbing. Thus marking the end of our Spring refit. Tomorrow I will winch the mast onto the deck and Thursday it's down to the marina for an afternoon mast raising. This leaves me ample time to rig and organize the boat before Saturday when I have arranged to have Bolero hung from the travel over their weekend (Sunday & Monday) so I can finish the keel repair.

On a side note, having Bolero out in the open gave me a chance to see the new navigation lights that I installed. I searched for quite a while trying to find a set that would look right on Bolero. Now that I see them from a distance my choice doesn't seem quite as good as I thought.

Almost Ready to Launch

We are looking good to go for our planned launch on the 18th. I have wrapped up, or will wrap up all my remaining tasks with the goal of pulling Bolero out of the boat shed for a good cleaning and prepping for the short ride to the marina on Wednesday the 12th.

Here is some of what I have been up to, in no particular order.

Bow Damage Repair

The most disappointing damage resulting from last summer's grounding was a nasty ding in the bow that resulted from a collision with the "rescue" vessel.


I have been procrastinating this repair a bit since I  was quite worried about making a mess of things but in the end I needed to get it done.

First I worked to clean up and sand fair the ding so I could more easily fill the missing material.


Then I tried my hand at filling the damaged area without increasing the size of the damage too much.


I let the repair cure while I waited for Tim's two part primer repair kit to arrive.


Armed with Tim's great little kit and his "Dummies Guide to Two Part Paint Touch Up" instructions I dove in like I knew what I was doing and laid down multiple coats of the gray primer.


After another day or two of drying time I carefully sanded the primer and applied the flag blue touch up paint (which Tim had sent me last summer).

And all in all it didn't turn out to bad.



That said, I definitely don't want to become proficient at this task.


Electrical Panel

I have also been working on adding a small electrical service to Bolero. Nothing to grand, just power for a depth transducer and backup power for our battery powered gps and handheld VHS radio.



I pretty much have it done, although I have decided to add navigation lights so I have the panel cracked open for some mods.

Varnish Maintenance

The varnish gods, which smiled down on my novice skills as I varnished the boat (toe rails, coaming and cabin sides) where apparently angered by my lack of offerings and my efforts to lay down a nice finish on the hatches failed. I even sanded off my failures and tried again with similar, although slightly better result.

Ultimately I decided that I would contimplate these flaws all summer while studying up to try and figure out my faults and give it another go next spring.

Funny, with a nice controlled and convient shop setting I thought the hatches would be the easy job.

The Siren's Song

On this blog this title could mean just about anything but in this case it means varnish.


I have always loved boats with lots of brightwork so it was a foregone conclusion that Bolero would essestially become a wooden boat in a fiberglass hull. All along Tim warned me that I had better like varnishing and I replied that it was one of my favorite boat tasks. But truth be told, I hadn't done much varnishing before Bolero. And even though Bolero doesn't have has much brightwork as Cotton Blossom II, shown above, there is a bunch.

And this is the first year that I have been responsible for Bolero's varnish upkeep. Well the bulk of the refreshing on the hull is almost complete. And all in all I very much enjoyed the process. Varnishing requires a fair amount of work, and I have a great deal more to learn, but I just love the look of fresh varnish on wood.





I have to confess that I was a bit anxious about all this varnish work. After all I received Bolero from Tim freshly varnish by hands much more skilled then my own. But the only way to get experience was by doing it and the "nice" thing about varnishing is that there is always next year.

I still want another coat on the toe rails and the hatches are waiting their turn in my shop but we are one giant step closer to launching. What with all this shiny wood looking for water.

Some Forward Progress

This has been an unusually frustrating spring refit. It seem like I have been taking two steps back for every step forward. But little by little it seems that I am starting to make some headway.

Light Air Drifter
I am working to set up a drifter on a free furler just in front of the headstay and behind the bow chock. The general idea was a furler that can snap shackle to a padey with furling line blocks on the bow cleat and shroud base. From the very start this this has been painful a project. First I couldn't find a way to mount a structural padeye. Then I couldn't find a way to mount the Harken free furler such that the lead would clear the anchor locker. In the end the Harken furler went back to MauriPro (great service by the way) and I am waiting on a replacement Schaefer 550 furler. I still don't know if I will get this to work but at least I have a few new "good" ideas.

Toe Rail Break
The shift in my spring refit frustration was definitely a result of fixing the break in the port toe rail splice that occurred last summer.


As I mentioned previously, I tried and failed repairing this split with West Systems 105 epoxy. I prepped the split as much as I dared and injected thickened epoxy into the joint. Clamped it up for two days and it stayed together for about a minute. Having quickly surpassed my limited, okay nonexistent, skills I consulted a professional and asked Stephen Brouwer of Hunter Bay Woodworking to come over and take a look. He suggested I take another shot with West Systems G/flex epoxy. He has had some success with this product on teak and he had some material that I could barrow. If this failed it was probably fill and fair time.

I did a much more aggressive prep job this time. I worked a piece of 220 grit sand paper into the crack cleaning and sanding both edges. Then I solvent washed the joint and let it dry. Then I injected the G/flex, clamped up the joint and waited through two rainy spring days.

When the clamp came off I got this.


Okay, not the prettiest joint in the world but it was holding. So I sanded it and prepped it for the varnishing that was in its near future.

And after one coat it ain't looking to shabby.


Time will tell if this repair will hold up but I am cautiously optimistic.

Wood Movement
Wood movement on the parts of Bolero constructed of wood, and there are a lot, has been a continuing problem. Currently the forward bulkhead, the sliding companionway hatch, the aft deck hatch and the cabin floor access board have warped or twisted enough to affect their function. Most are just a little annoying but the sliding companionway hatch had become almost unusable as it was binding on the aluminum rails.


While Stephen Brouwer was over advising me on the toe rail break repair we spoke at length about these issues but unfortunately their really isn't a cure or a fix. The long term plan is to remake the hatches allowing for better movement of the wood.

For the short term I need to find a way to get them functional for this season. And as I mentioned it is really only the sliding companionway hatch that is truly problematic. All of these parts are back in my small shop getting ready for varnish. Since I know that the problem was less when the wood dries out during the summer I decided to see if lowering the moisture content and raising the heat in my shop would help. Can't really hurt but it isn't a solution either.

Electrical System and Instrumentation
I decided last season that I wanted to add some additional instrumentation to Bolero. After some research I discovered that I could add a NMEA depth transducer that would send depth readings directly to my Garmin 276C gps. But that transducer needed a power supply. So I decided that it was time to add an electrical system to Bolero.

The first problem was were to put a panel. Space is always tight and finding an adequate space that is also usable adds to the dilemma. Somehow I came up with the idea to use the chainplate box that Tim had built to cover up the chainplate knees.


In a way this idea seemed a bit crazy with my first thought being that moisture could be a big issue. So I took the cover off the starboard chainplate box and found it to be dry and very well sealed. I will definitely keep my eye on this to make sure nothing changes.

Here is the current state of my electric panel construction. The solar panel charge controller and the switch panel have been mounted and I am waiting for one more part before I mount the voltage and amperage gauges and their control switches.



And here is a view of the backside showing the battery mounting location.


I plan to have mount points for two of my small batteries so I can add extra capacity as needed.

Obviously from the size of my battery I am not running very much load. Currently all I will be running is power to the gps and to the depth sender unit. Although future plans may include a set of LED navigation lights and interior lights.

In addition to depth I also wanted to add a wind strength indicator. And what I really, really wanted was a wireless Tacktick system. But its cost just wasn't it the cards for this season. So with a bit of research I discovered the Inspeed Vortex Anemometer. It is a simple winds speed only anemometer that uses a bike computer for its display.

So know our mast head looks like this.

 

Cabin Cushions
Having done such a great job on the exterior canvas, Laura thought she would build the cabin cushions as well. Problem was that her other passions weren't cooperating. So I decided to send the local canvas shop an email asking for a quote. A few emails later and a trip to Friday Harbor and next thing we knew Derek from San Juan Canvas was over measure Bolero for cushions.



We will now have new cabin cushions prior to launch day. And I (Laura was out of town ) choose to add a touch of color to Bolero's interior.


Varnishing
And last, but certainly not least, we come to varnishing. Having removed all the parts I could remove, to varnish separately in the shop, I needed to decided what got varnished this year. So I started taping. In the end I decided to varnish all of the exterior varnish except the cockpit seats as they are fully covered when not in use and they still look good. In addition I didn't refresh the interior varnish, which we really haven't used much.

Currently I am done with the first of two refresher coats.