Chapter 21. The Final Countdown.

2 weeks before Sam leaves to go refitting the boat, he is talking with his best friend Vincent:

-You’re sure you want to spend part of your parental leave to come at the boat yard and work with me? I mean, it will be stinky, it will be crazy hot, I don’t have a fridge because it only works when the boat is in the water, the shower on the boat yard smells rotten eggs. Worst, I can only offer you American beer at the end of the day.

Sam hopes Vincent will refuse for his own good as much as he hopes he will say yes.


-Hahah! Of course I’m coming. I’ll be the with you 4 days. It’s not much, but with some intense planning, we can probably fix all the leaking windows as you wish for. You’ll need to have the windows removed before though if we want to make it…

-All right! Let’s go make that plan! Sam replies filling in Vincent’s glass of wine.


They go downstairs in Vincent’s shop to prepare their criminal master plan. They are laughing like kids at a pyjama party. And even if Mel and I cannot hear what they say exactly, we know that their plans are ALWAYS crazy and stupid. ALWAYS! But as goofy as they seem when giggling about how to do things, these two are working so well together that they end up succeeding everything. Always.



Vincent arrives at the boat. The plan is to remove 8 windows, changing the sealant and re-bed them. Because it wasn’t agressive enough in 4 days, Sam decided to fix the veneer that doesn’t look good enough to his woodworker taste. Note: they don’t have a car to drive to a hardware store. And bad timing with Florence the hurricane that was coming, Sam couldn’t really remove the windows in case of heavy rain. So on top of the work, they now need to remove the windows.

First evening, before Vince understand he arrived in hell.

Countdown has started.


T minus 4 days.

-Gosh Sam! I cannot remove the windows as fast as we thought. It tears apart some fiber glass.

-Let’s go slowly then. No choice.


T minus 3 days.

-Got it Vincent! the last windows is removed.

-It was time Sam, sun is setting already and we won’t see a thing in 15 minutes. Want a beer?

-American beer? You can call it water Vince.


T minus 2 days.

-I think even it’s not critical we should still have time to change the veneer over the plywood. You ok with that Vince?

-Yeah! Sure! (Vincent is a happy camper)

-Crap. The plywood under the veneer is rotten. No way we can just apply a new veneer on top.

-All right Sam, we’ll remove the plywood before putting back the veneer, before putting back the windows.

-Vince, the water intruded here on the deck. I need to fix it.

-Let’s do it!

T minus 1.5 days, morning

-F***K!!! the plywood we bought is too tick!

-I cannot go Sam I am still preparing the windows with the acetone to make sure the glue up works perfectly.

-We’ll ask Mike! MIKE!!!

(Mike is an awesome guy also working on the yard. He DID went to get a plywood for Sam.)


T minus 1 day, mid-afternoon

-How come Mike is not back yet Vince!

-Even my knees are sweating Sam. You think Mike can bring beer at the same time?

-It’s 38 celsius outside. It’s 46 inside the boat. I’ll call Mike after I text Cass:


“Doesn’t look good for the windows. I miss you 🙁 “


T minus 1 day, end of day

It’s too dark to keep going outside. There are still no windows back in place. Patches of the plywood is barely started.


-We won’t make it Sam.

-I know Vince, not gonna happen.


They sadly drink a sad beer, exhausted.


Las day, 12 hours left of daylight

-Hey Vince! At least it goes somewhat ok for the patches of plywood! Very happy with the result that is perfectly even with the previous plywood. I won’t cut corner on repair even if we don’t finish.

-Still preparing for the glue up. I want to make sure it will go fast when we’re there Sam.

Last day, 5 hours left of daylight

Preparation is almost done everywhere.

-It’s too hot Sam. I manage to get a sunburn on my feet. I need to take a beer…I mean a break!

-I need both Vince. I am gonna crash in that sun. It’s burning.

-I’ll look what Mike brought us for the sealant in the meantime…  (gasp!) NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-What Sam!?

-He brought us a mini super small tube!!!! 🙁 I need a lot of very big tube.

-I think I’ve seen some in the boat, is that what you would need?

– OMG yes!!!!!!!!! Bring that here, hurry!


Last day, 4 hours left of daylight

“Still no windows in place Cass. So sorry.”


-I finished to prepare the windows. It gives us 30 minutes by windows to glue them up Sam!

-I’m ready too. And it needs to happen fast anyway. It’s so hot outside that the sealant will dry faster than that I think!


Last day, 39 minutes left of daylight




When all hopes fades… an angel passes.


-Sam! SAM!!! The small tube Mike brought earlier. I’ll go get it!



Last day, 6 minutes left of daylight


-We’ve done it Sam!  … WE’VE DONE IT!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!!

-Hell yeah!!!! HIGH FIVE!!!!! HUG ME!!!


SQUIIIISHHHHH is the sound their chest makes when they hug and cheers in complete joy and exhaustion.

PCHHHHHITTTTT is the sound the “Champagne of the beer” they drank to celebrate that miracle (still a sad beer though).


They did it. But that time, I was sure I had to prepare some kind words to say for Sam to cope with failure.

I was wrong. Together, they just succeed. ALWAYS.

PS: yes, the repairs worked. Rain occurred and no more leaking windows. Deck has been repaired and veneer is now looking professionally repaired. Structurally the plywood is now solid too.

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One comment

  • Eric Asselin December 7, 2018   Reply →

    Impressive work, guys.
    It’s a very exciting read!
    Hope all goes well with the repairs.

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