Sunday, November 25, 2012

Still In The Boatyard

So life in the boatyard goes on and on, and on. Neighbors have gone and new ones have arrived. It’s a nice little community but one I would like to leave soon. There is one person here who has lived on their boat in the yard now for eight years from what I hear. I guess for some people, things take time……We have been busy, well should I say Dirk has been mainly busy. I have been busy but I quit when I have had enough to take a much needed shower where as Dirk keeps plugging away till the job of the day is done. Lately it has been very windy with north winds blowing sand all across the boatyard. Not fun when you’re trying to varnish or when you walk around most of the day crunching on sand. This tends to peg my fun meter very quickly. Tom our bottom guy has come and gone on several occasions to check the moisture in the hull. Last week he came by and decided it was time to grind. He tented the bottom of the boat as to keep the fiberglass dust contained and disappeared under it for several hours.

Renegade tented and ready for grinding

Tom coming out for a breather completely covered in fiberglass dust.
After he was done he did say he noted there were still areas of moisture that would need to dry longer. Not a problem, we have plenty to keep us busy. Here are some of the things we have been working on.


After scraping and sanding but before recaulking

The center seat dissasembled and ready to be rebuilt

Center seat rebuilt and recaulked, just needing some finishing

The seating completed.
Our back seats still had years of old cetol built up on them as you can tell by the first photo. There is also a removable center section that can lift up so that you can get to the dinghy davits and off the back of the boat if needed. It had gotten so much water soaked into it that the seat was unsafe to sit on as it was collapsing. For safety we wedged a piece of wood in it and basically used it as a table. I spent a day taking the seat apart, separating all the teak pieces careful to label the back side so we would remember how to put it back together and cleaned all the old caulk and cetol from it. It took Dirk almost a whole day to reconstruct the seat, put it back together and re caulk it. I have to say though it looks great and to think we were just gonna trash it and replace it with a solid piece of wood. We really never see the wood as we have the very nice cushions that turns it into what I call the couch. Very comfy. 
Years of cetol to remove

You can see the wood grain once again
 The old pin boards and belaying pins, at least that's what I think they are called got removed stripped and now they shine like glass sitting next to the mast ready for ropes.

The wheel was removed and stripped. It wasn't in too bad of shape but when we were redoing everything else we want it all to match. Plus the finish is just so dark and yellowed that you cant see the beautiful teak wood grain. My fun meter was pegged on this project about an hour into it each time I worked on it. Getting into all those cracks and crevasses was not fun. I have yet to to any sanding on it but it is on my list to do.  
After scraping

After the gold was applied but before the varnish was applied on top

What a cold day this was and I had to stay perched on my step stool cause I was too short

Scroll work on port side complete. The blue tape doesnt stay...

Before and after
We also finished the scroll work on the bow of the boat. What a pain to scrape this. Dirk and I took turns with it. He did the final sanding, washing and I applied the gold paint. Took me several hours each side as I applied three coats to make sure it popped. Boy does it pop and we think it looks great.

We had a nice interruption in work one evening as we went and had dinner with an Italian couple we met 2 years ago in Beaufort N. Carolina in the boat yard. This was the first time they had been back to the states and their boat since they left. Now with a baby they have decided to cruise this season and made it to Titusville the other evening. We drove the 30 minutes north and met up with them. We only got to visit a couple hours as we were leaving town the next day and they were heading south for warmer weather. We are hoping next season to do some travelling with them. Great to see them once again. One thing about cruisers, we all travel in different directions but we always cross paths somewhere down the line. For Thanksgiving we headed to my sister’s house and Dirk took the stay sail with him to tackle the first of the new sail covers. He wanted to start with a small one, I say small but at 13 feet long it’s not too small. Thank goodness my sister has a large living room that can accommodate us and the mess we can make. 
Dirk busy sewing away

What a mess, thats all our junk

In a 24 hour period He managed to finish the sail and even had time to get all the components cut out for the spinnaker sock he is making. Me? I did some laundry, helped cook Thanksgiving dinner and relaxed.

Sometimes you just gotta….Today we made it back to the boat and the sail cover fits perfectly. Great job Dirk. I’m so glad he likes the sewing part because I hate it. One old nasty gray cover gone and only 2 more to go. To show how close we are to the port we see cruise ships come and go on a daily basis. Freedom of the Seas is one of the largest that dock here. This one is 1,112 feet long, I say that's a biggie. I can usually tell when its Sunday as that's the day she leaves. We can also tell when there is a north wind because we can smell the food they are cooking.

Since I have not posted many photos of Butters lately I have a couple to show what he has been up too.

Here we find him sleeping, well he looks pretty sacked out

Here he thinks he is being slick. The birds knew he was there the whole time but apparently didnt take him seriously
Its beginning to get colder with the evenings getting down to the mid 40's, day time is low 70's to mid 70's which makes it very nice to work in. Especially when the wind isn't blowing. I will post when we have more projects completed.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Boat Yard & Boat Projects

We knew when we came back to the states this last season that there would be a time when we would have to pull the boat and get a bottom job done. We knew that going into the purchase of the boat, but we put it off a year in order to get other more important tasks done and since we were in a yard that didn’t allow you  to work on your boat nor stay on it we wanted them to get done with their task as soon as possible so we could take possession and begin the work we wanted to do. The bottom job got put on hold till now. We have been tending to many things while back here in the states that cruisers must attend to whenever possible. Some things however have taken longer than expected but none the less they are important. Thank goodness I have a sister that resides here in Florida close to our location that has a home with an apartment Dirk and I use whenever the need arises. I can’t express enough thanks to her and her family for what they have done for us and how much easier they have made our lives. But alas right now we are living on the hard along with several other folks here. It’s a nice yard with great guys working here.
Renegade in the sling being hauled out

Renegade in her temporary home ready for repairs
We are at the Cape Marina right down the road from where we were in Merritt Island. Now we are at Cape Canaveral right by the port where all the cruise ships dock. We decided that it was best for me to take Capt. Butters the cat off the boat and over to the sister’s house while Dirk and a fellow boater took Renegade the hour trip thru the barge canal, the lock and bridge. Once the boat was pulled Dirk would look at the bottom and make the final decision on what he wanted to do. Sandblasting or peeling of the bottom. Since the boat most likely would have to stay in a sling with no power and with all the noise we felt the cat would be better off away. Dirk and Mike from s/v Rough Draft had an early departure so as to get to the yard at slack tide and before the early afternoon winds picked up. The channel to the haul out lift is narrow and the tide rips through there so Dirk was a bit nervous. Once they got out of the marina Dirk noticed that they weren’t getting much forward speed at all and they actually had to throw the anchor out in the barge canal for Dirk to dive on the prop to see if there was something wrapped around it or what was causing the drag. Once he got down there he noticed that there was an inch or so of barnacles built up and ended up having to scrap them off. The marina we were in did not allow you to clean the bottom of your boat in the water, plus there were several alligators that hung around that deterred you from cheating.

This was after Dirk scrapped most of the prop in the canal. Talk about a barnacal fest.
Once he scrapped the prop and tried again he made good speed no problem. From what I hear Dirk pulled into the channel for the lift, turned around and backed into the sling like a pro. Good for him, I knew he could do it, but Renegade doesn’t back up very easily and it was making him nervous. Once he was in the sandblast pit they did a test to see how long it would take to blast the entire boat. Years of paint build up proved to be time consuming and it would have cost a fortune so they only blasted the running gear and thru hulls. Ah, the thru hulls, one big lesson learned if you have your boat blasted, CLOSE YOUR THRU HULLS…… Dirk didn’t know and they didn’t tell him. When he finally got on board after they were done and walked into the heads he was flabbergasted. The walls, the ceiling, the floor, the counter tops and every item in them was covered with a wet nasty pasty sand. Its almost as if they put the hose in the thru hull and blew trying to clean the lines out too. When Dirk said something to them they were like ummmmm you didn’t know to close them? Well if you don’t tell me, No. Well we do now and now we are warning you.

Sandy dirty mess on the counter tops, mirror and well everywhere

The ceiling and walls of the bathroom. Like I said, everywhere....
So once it was determined that blasting would take too long we decided the next step would be peeling. The reason we had her peeled was because she had lots of small blisters, what some call pox like chicken pox. During the survey they did see them and after popping a couple and smelling, you can tell where they are located. Ours were right below the gel coat and non were big so that is a good thing.  Its not something structural but something that needs to be attended to one day. Well that one day is here. Basically the guy comes out and has what I call the potato peeler, starts at the front and just peels the bottom from front to back removing all the old layers of paint and gel coat just getting to the fiberglass underneath thus popping the blisters. Then the boat is pressure washed to try and rid it of the salt. The more you wash it down with fresh water the faster it dries out. The boat then has to stay uncoated until all the moisture is gone. For some people this can take many many months. After doing a moisture reading he feels like it may be perhaps 2 to three for ours. We are hoping that with the cooler weather and drier air coming up that it may go faster but we won’t rush it. He will be coming out this Friday to do another reading and see how were looking.

Tom beginning the peeling

One side just about complete
In the mean time we are doing more boat projects. One of the first ones that Dirk did was to replace our freezer. After buying the boat last year and staying hooked to shore power till we did our shake down cruise we didn’t realize how inefficient our freezer was. It took way too much power and needed to be run several times a day and really didn’t keep anything frozen unless it was pressed against the plate. Not good. If you’re a reader of our last blog from our previous boat you know that we had gotten a small chest type 40 qt. Engel freezer that we kept in the vee berth that we loved. Very energy efficient runs on A/C & 12 volt. After researching several freezers and cold plates and different systems we discovered that Engel now makes a drop in self contained freezer. After doing lots of measuring we found that if we removed the extra insulation some previous owner installed and the shelf in the freezer that the Engel box would fit right in. Here is a bit of info right off the website.
Compressor can be moved up 3 feet away for remote mounting
    • Temperature controller can be moved to a remote location
    • 42 Qt Capacity
    • DC12/24
    • Power Consumption: 0.7 - 2.8 Amps
    • Incline Operation up to 30ยบ
    • Low Amp Draws – Even at Start-Up
    • Solar Compatible
    • 100% CFC-Free Compressor
    • Vibration Resistant for Extreme Conditions
    • Efficient Cooling Independent from Ambient
    • Interior Wire Rack

Here is how the unit is shipped, ready to drop in

I love the fact that it has a light and it froze these icecubes in great time
So now we have the refrigeration box and right next to it we have the engel drop in. In the vee berth we had brought the other 40 quart freezer/refrigerator that we will use as a backup. Probably stock it full of stuff before leaving for the Bahamas and this way Dirk will have room to store his fish and lobster once again. Last season he couldn’t really fish much as we had no place to store it. We have been doing other things on the boat such as sanding the teak we didn’t get to last season. The cap rail and both rub rails on one side have been sanded, cleaned and just ready to re-varnish. Just waiting on the Bristol to come in. Everyone is out of it right now but we found two gallons on line and will have it in a couple days. Dirk also ordered more burgundy canvas as he wants to sew new sail covers to match everything else. He also ordered a kit to make a sock for our spinnaker, a new hot knife to cut the canvas with and assorted odds and ends. I will post pics very soon on all the small assorted projects we are doing. While in the boat yard we have seen two rockets launched from the space center. One was an early morning flight which we almost missed but in the nick of time went outside to see it take off. Dirk had his zoom lens on the camera so he got some nice shots. Mine is just my point and shoot but it got a decent picture and it shows just how far away it was.

Morning launch, you can see what a great shot we have
Nighttime launch in hazy conditions

We actually have a nice view to the space center as we are fairly high off the ground with no obstructions around.  The other rocket we saw was the one that took supplies to the space station and it took off at 8:30 in the evening. Almost missed that one too but were watching TV when the countdown flashed across the screen. I caught it but it’s not that great of a photo. Still neat though. So while we are here in the boat yard I will try and post regularly to show the progress of whats happening.