Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Splashing tomorrow!!

9th May 2006
Splashing tomorrow!!

As of 5:30 this evening, the yard manager claims that we will be launched tomorrow. I think he feels so bad about the delays that he offered to let us spend tomorrow night at the work dock if we want to.

Bill is handling this nonsense much better than Judy. We had made 4 phone calls to previous owner, previous boat yard, previous marina manager, and to the Amel agent who assisted in the sale of this boat back in October 2003 in Ft. Lauderdale. All this to determine which type of bottom paint was last used. The Amel agent looked up his records for this boat and determined that the paint was Micron. So the yard here in St. Thomas planned to use Micron.

For those of you reading this who don't know about boats, they pressure wash off the worst of the marine growth and then sand down the existing paint. Then they apply another coat of the same type paint. It is important that you use the same paint so there isn't some compatibility issue.

So, last Thursday the painter started applying the Micron paint. After about 10 feet down the first side of the boat, the paint started to bubble up; so the yard manager immediately told him to stop. Then the painter started applying a primer coat; and that first 10 feet had to be re-sanded and then primed. That took until closing time on Friday; the yard does not work on weekends. BUT, the painter showed up on Saturday and started to apply the Micron again. Same bubbles started appearing again!! Even though it was over a primer. Made no sense. Judy was not happy. This paint is not inexpensive; costs about $250 per gallon. The labor rate is supposed to be $10 per foot for paint, plus additional $4 per foot for primer, plus all product used. So Judy was definitely not happy.

On Monday, Bill told the yard manager that he thought that these are just air bubbles -- possibly because the painter is rolling too fast or using too thick a roller pad. They called in another painter and the consensus of opinion agreed with Bill. So now Judy thinks that we just wasted about $500 priming when it wasn't necessary, plus the additional hotel day.

By noon Monday they had called in another painter to help the idiot painter that is assigned to our boat. With two of them working, they have managed to apply two coats of bottom paint and have waxed and buffed the hull. Looks great -- finally. This afternoon they moved the chocks, primed the original chock spots, and applied the first coat of bottom paint to those spots. The autoprop was reinstalled late today. Looks fantastic. Had no idea it would clean up that polished.

So all that should need to be done tomorrow is to apply the second coat of bottom paint to the original chock spots, and to add the 8 liters of oil for the U-drive that we had to drain in order to clean and service the autoprop. Then we should be able to launch. Need to remember to contact the liferaft service company to have the liferaft delivered back to the travel lift area when we launch. That liferaft is way too heavy to deal with in a dinghy, so we want to get it back aboard when we launch.

Then we need to find a rigger to climb the mast and replace the anchor light. We have a bosun's chair and Bill could do this chore, but Judy would prefer that Bill not climb that mast right now. We are both stiff and sore from all the work we have been doing. Let someone younger and more limber climb 60 feet above the deck of the boat to replace a light bulb.

One good thing did happen because of all these delays. We had dropped the bow thruster and replaced the shaft seals over the weekend. The bow thruster seemed fine, so we did not pull the prop on it. However, today the bow thruster started dripping tiny amounts of water. This is a bad, bad thing because it means that sea water has penetrated the shaft and that the oil is now floating on top of that water. So we dropped the bow thruster again (Bill is getting pretty good at doing this chore), and this time we pulled the prop off and drained the oil. The oil was nasty black instead of a nice amber color, but even that was a good thing. If it had been milky, that would have been a bad thing. We had a spare prop and oil seal for the bow thruster, so that is now done. Good for us that it happened while the boat was still hauled. Made doing that maintenance much easier on land than it would be to do it in the water. Bill also replaced the impeller on the Yanmar engine. Didn't need it, but figured it was a good idea to do it now rather than take a chance on a 3-year old impeller failing while we are at sea. Those things can fail at any time; we were afraid that the original one might have hardened with age; no way to tell except to replace it.

Judy spent the afternoon doing more provisioning. Having the freezer in the hotel room has been wonderful. Able to use the vacuum sealer and freeze foods and will deliver everything to the boat tomorrow already frozen. Great convenience for initial provisioning. Never had this luxury before.

And we will be so glad to get out of this hotel room. The water keeps going out. Really pisses you off when you return to the room at the end of a hot working day and find that you have no water. Has happened four times during the past week. Nice to have HBO on tv and nice to have the freezer and sleep with cold A/C; but we are ready to get back on the boat.

Hopefully, tomorrow afternoon we are out of here! Just plan to time our exit with high tide. Do not want a repeat of our entry groundings.

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