This past weekend we hauled the boat out – that was… fun? I delivered the boat to Maple Bay on Thursday night – what should have been a 3 1/2 hour tour took nearly 5 1/2 hours – between wind on the nose, fighting current and what was obviously a dirty bottom, I felt like I was going backwards at some points. I finally hit the dock at 10:45 at night and had a disastrously bad docking – luckily I didn’t hit anything and someone came to help Owen get me somewhere approximately alongside the dock so that we could tie up.
Owen was down at the boatyard at noon the next day, waiting for the boat to come out. At first glance, it seemed – not too bad – a bit fuzzy and some barnacles on the bottom of the keel, but okay. Oh, and speaking of barnacles, the propeller was a barnacle farm! And the prop zinc was gone – Owen just replaced it last year but it was completely eaten away!!! I guess the barnacle farm might have explained by extremely slow speeds the night before!
Then he got a closer look and, yup, blisters – yes, on a steel boat. This has been an ongoing problem and we had hoped that all the time and attention spent to get the bare metal epoxied and covered the last time would have improved this – we could definitely see areas where the previous repairs had held, but once again, there was a LOT of bare metal.
This picture really doesn’t do justice to how much bare metal there was – a lot of the keel and much of the rudder were nearly bare and there were random patches all over the hull. This pic must have been taken after Owen had been scraping and before he started grinding – he is not nearly blue enough in this pic!
Owen went around and ground all the blisters and loose paint off so that we had a bunch of bare metal. I went around and gave that a solvent wash, and he then followed up with another grind. I then applied 5 layers of 2 part epoxy (with 3 hours dry time between coats that takes quite a bit of time up!) Eventually, the boat looked something like this:
At this point, I was just thankful that we really only had another coat of epoxy and then we could get going on the bottom paint. We had already agreed that we did not have enough time to do the topsides this time, as much as it might have been needed.
Owen apparently chose to ignore that we had already agreed to that, and soon enough, our boat was covered in rust killer and looked like a dalmation!
There really is no going back at this point. Of course, it soon became evident that we would not be going back in the water on Monday as planned. As we were driving home on Sunday night and discussing all that was still to be done, it quickly became apparent that it would take a miracle to get everything done even to go back in on Tuesday. I ended up taking Monday afternoon to head down and help again – when I got there, Owen had sanded one side of the topsides – the other side had not even been started and we contemplated leaving it as is, but having one shiny side and one rusty side didn’t appeal. He started to scrape the other side while I started to prime the first side. While that was drying, I started to paint the last coat of bottom paint, stopping occasionally to add a coat of rust killer to the starboard side as Owen progressed with the scraping. Owen eventually started to paint the port side topsides while I created a dalmation on the starboard side. Once I had that done, I took over painting on the port side and he started sanding the starboard side. At about 8pm, he was questioning whether he should just do the bottom chine near the bow, as it was getting late and was worried we wouldn’t finish – I told him to keep sanding and I just kept painting. I finally finished painting the topsides at 10:13 pm, by the light of a full moon – literally, it was dark outside and I had to lean in and turn my head to see if the moon was shining off the side – if not, I had missed a spot!!! While I was finishing that up, Owen was getting zincs on and getting everything cleaned up.
Owen stayed aboard that night so that he could get up at 6am to tape the topsides and clean up the waterline. He also drilled out an additional through-haul on the transom and finished putting on the zincs. After running to work for an appointment, he was back at the boatyard just in time for her to go back in the water.
It was a ton of work, and we were both exhausted by the end, but after 3 1/2 days in the yard, she was back in the water (sadly with a bit of a schmuck on each side from the bow strap, but we will get that fixed up asap).
Owen left the yard a bit after 4pm and was back at the dock in Ladysmith before 8 – what a difference a clean bottom and prop makes!
That was likely our last haul out until we get ready to leave – hopefully she holds up well in the next few years. I am certainly not gunning to do this again if we don’t have to!