Thursday, March 19, 2009

Splashed and now to paint deck stripes

It has been a very quiet week for us.  BeBe was splashed last Thursday morning.  Very glad they got us in the water quickly that morning because a few hours later the winds were howling again.  It was so nice to be tucked into our slip during the dreary rain and whistling wind instead of perched up in the boatyard. 

Today, a full week later, the shop sent a worker over to our slip and he applied the white strip in the groove of the dark brown rub rail down the sides of the boat.  Glad to have that replaced.  The rigger is supposed to be here this afternoon or tomorrow morning to install our newly re-chromed turnbuckles.  Then all haul-out projects will be completed.  We would have liked to have the large foam bumper on the stern re-painted, but they do not sell that type of paint in New Zealand.  This bumper is made of closed-cell foam, just like swimming pool floats and some boat cockpit cushions.  In the States they sell the touch-up paint so you can re-paint little nicks and chips or scratches.  Our bumper looks pretty tacky but not bad enough that we are willing to pay the ridiculous price of having a new one shipped from France.  So guess we will live with it looking tacky until we can find the correct touch-up paint.  I'm thinking maybe an empty opaque shampoo bottle will make an excellent way to transport a small quantity of this paint when we next fly home to the States.

The only remaining New Zealand project that I can think of is to re-paint the brownish-black stripes on our deck.  As I have mentioned before in our blogs, our deck is made from fiberglass instead of teak.  Amel built a wooden deck to fit this model boat and then made a mold.  They use this mold to make a fiberglass deck, all in one piece so there are no leaks whatsoever.  The "slats" have a wood texture and are non-skid.  Amel paints brownish-black stripes between the slats so that the overall brown deck with the stripes appear very similar to a normal teak deck -- except ours does not leak and requires virtually no maintenance like a normal teak deck does.  However (you know there is always a "however"),  those painted stripes do eventually wear off and require re-painting.  Our boat has spent 6 years in tropical sunlight and the stripes are looking pretty tired. 

It is not possible to buy the correct color paint, so Bill bought red, green and white paints.  He mixed these 3 colors to produce a deep, dark chocolate brown.  When we last visited Houston we made a trip to Texas Art Supply on Montrose and purchase a tiny striping wheel with a tiny reservoir.  I will be using that to paint the stripes on the deck.  Bill wants to do this job but I told him that I have much more experience painting fingernails for decades, so this paint job in tiny spaces should be done by me.  Not looking forward to this job and will be very glad when it is finished.  Late yesterday afternoon we did our first experiment with the striping wheel on a forward deck locker.  The paint color is perfect.  My application skills are not.  

Hoping that like many other things this becomes easier with practice.

NOTE:  The stripes were the perfect chocolate-black color when first applied.  But after one year in the tropical sun those stripes slowly faded to be green.  Now must be re-painted again when we eventually find the right color paint.

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