Does it really mean to empty the place or destroy it in order to redecorate it?

Context: He gutted the place two weeks after he moved in, replacing the old crank windows with double-paned ones, having the absestos shingles removed from the roof and sideboards.

My second question is: she cupped her hand over her eyes (is it the position of the hand that you use while protecting your eyes from the sun?)

One more question, please: sleek boat- does it mean smooth, fancy or sophisticated?

A cupped hand: , but over the eyes, like when you're tired, or don't want to see something, or crushed because your lover's just left you...

Here is a sleek boat, long and thin, powerful, like a racehound.

"To gut" a place is to rip off everything so only the "bones" (the structure) are left. You don't destroy it, just leave the structure.

Does it help?

It helps a lot, thank you Pieanne. [F]