Posted by John
It was bound to happen. After doing this for a while, sooner or later it has to be inevitable (right?) that there would be a post with no title.
Because—between rain storms—we painted the bottom of the boat blue, I thought about calling it “Boatyard Blues.” I also thought about calling it “Boat of Many Colors” because before the final two coats of blue ablative anti-foul paint, we put on two coats of gray (silver-ish) primer/sealer, followed by a bright red, hard, anti-foul “indicator” coat.
The purpose of the indicator coat is, if you start to see red on the boat bottom, it’s time to repaint the blue. We had the bottom wiped and scraped and scrubbed so many times on the way down here that we were afraid there wasn’t much anti-fouling paint left. So we power sanded the bottom and, at $200 to $300 per gallon, and one to two gallons per coat, and three different types of bottom paint, we spent our cash stash and painted, painted, painted.
We also worked on a permanent fix to the water that finds its way inside the rudder, gave up, and kicked that can down the road again (mainly because it’s going to take some time to dry out all the water that’s already in there). Since our boot stripe (just above the water line) pretty much peeled off somewhere between Mexico and Tonga, we also completely sanded the rest of that thing off, put primer on, and repainted it. And we had a machine shop make more of the special bolts, including spares this time, that hold the bracket on the rudder for the self-steering system. We know these bolts are only temporary. They are highly susceptible to crevice corrosion. We planned to have the bolts made out of silicon bronze instead of stainless steel, but we were talked out of that by someone who knows more about the steering system than we do. Someday, back home, we’ll find a permanent solution.
We didn’t even get to half our boatyard wish list, but living for more than three weeks on a boat propped up by sticks on dry land in an industrial work zone, and climbing up and down a ladder all day, gets old in a hurry. We didn’t plan to be here three weeks, but we also didn’t plan on all these rain storms, including the former cyclone Fehi. Now they are warning about the potential for a bigger and stronger cyclone Gita.
The fun part of all this was, each time we put a different color on the bottom we’d get lots of compliments on how nice it looked: “Wow, I like the silver.” Then we’d paint it a different color.