Projects / Maintenance – boat maintenance related news & photos by Cloudy Bay, Hallberg-Rassy 54 sailing yacht, cruising around the world. sailcloudybay.com
Thursday 13 December, Jolly Harbour Yard, day 3: Epoxy filler on keel bulb, fittings re-sealed, Parasailor arrives and half the hull sanded.
Even earlier start today, to take advantage of the cooler temperatures in the morning. And same as yesterday we feel a bit drained, not enthused with the jobs we need to do while here in the yard, and a bit fed up. Maybe we rushed to haul out, too soon after having three weeks of boat maintenance in Herrington only a month ago.
Over breakfast we discuss the varnish job again. We are torn whether or not to varnish the gunwales. The more we read on cruising forums, the bigger the temptation not to varnish. General conclusion of cruisers with varnish on their boats is “do not varnish in tropical climate, unless you absolutely have to”. Thoughtful and disconcerted would describe our moods.
We also debate on whether or not we should push for the fridge keel coolers to be fitted tomorrow or leave it for Monday. If a job for tomorrow, the surface of the hull where they will be installed needs to have the 3 coats of InterProtect, which means Glen starting on this job right away once the surface is sanded. And would also mean we won’t have working fridges till we get back in the water. So we agree to let things take their normal course without pushing for an expedite fitting.
Despite the not so cheerful start of our day, by 7.30am we are on the aft deck, on the tedious job of peeling off the leftover small bits of Coelan which were firmly stuck on the gunwale. Mostly underneath, on joints and on the corners. It’s a down on the knees and mostly by feel job, as we can’t really see underneath in some places.
Meanwhile, the hired help carries on the scraping of the hull. They are almost finished with this stage. And mid morning a third person joins them, starting the sanding.
They are doing a good job, but Glen is very concerned with how they perform along the waterline. Keeps nagging them “be careful, take your time on the waterline, don’t mess the Ceramic, sand perfectly the antifoul as I don’t want to see thickness there”. This concern on the back of his mind (added to the varnish) doesn’t help his mood. He is not grumpy per se, but very thoughtful and not bouncy today at all.
To take his mind off the varnish, Glen goes under the boat and applies paint stripper on the keel bulb. Seems like a good idea to do something practical towards finishing the hull. But what a messy job. And while he was in the process of scraping it and getting himself completely covered in that horrible paint stripper, the hired helpers started sanding the hull above him. So he gives up on his temporary assignment and will just let them finish the stripping off.
We receive a notification from the customs clearance agent that the Parasailor is now cleared and ready to be delivered. Great news, at least that should cheer us up… I hope!
We were expecting it to be big, but when he shows up at mid-day and unloads the Parasailor from the truck, we hold our breath and think “it’s bloody big!”. And heavy, so we lift it on the deck with a halyard. So many sail ties and ropes around the bag, untying it all feels like opening presents on Christmas.
The sheets are very good, but the connectors are corroded. A nice WD40 bath is in order for them.
And the sail itself still has the crisp texture, clearly not used much. Pity about the coloration on the corners and the mildew stains. It must have been stored wet in a locker, because it stinks of musty mildew. So we take it out of the bag and flake it over the bimini bars to get some air to it. It needs a good flying! When do we go for a dead downwind sailing?
It’s very hot by now, so jobs move indoors. Frustration time in the engine room. All the fittings that Glen re-sealed with the “magic” glue which was recommended to us in USA, they all failed and leaked. This substance didn’t even dry, it’s all wet. Two different products, used them exactly as they said, and both useless. One called Permatex the other Rectorseal.
So Glen’s mood slides even further on the not happy slope 🙁 And he throws himself into unscrewing everything and cursing accordingly. What a pain.
Cleaning the fitting takes a while (and a fair amount of acetone) as the gueey stuff gets everywhere. Then to put them back on, the old try-and-tested method: Teflon tape on the joints. And mid afternoon Glen frees himself from the engine room and back out into day light with them all refitted again.
By this stage hired help has left for the day. They finished sanding the starboard side and the rudder. Now that their dust is no longer flying everywhere, Glen returns to his morning project, the keel bulb.
He doesn’t like how it was sanded, so he wet & dry sands till he is happy with the smoothness.
Then epoxy filler is needed to fill the scratches from when we touched bottom in Bermuda. Jesse gave him some epoxy. Glen mixes it and at first paints the 3 fridge holes to seal the glass fiber. But when he starts to add the fuller balls the resin has a strong thermos reaction and is in seconds both hard set and red hot! When he goes to pump out some more resin, after 2 pump strokes it’s finished. So he mixers what he has and hopes it’s enough.
Anyway, by being very economic with the spread, he manages to cover all the damage. Let’s just hope that this stuff will actually go off now.
Since he is at the wet & dirty jobs again, he moves to the bow thruster to sand more inside the tunnel. Everything needs to be sanded off before we add InterProtect and antifouling, otherwise the propellers will not have enough space to spin. As it is, the space is very tight already.
Meanwhile, I kept busy on the decks, peeling off small leftovers of Colen. Now we only have the transom left to peel. And after sunset I seal myself inside the boat, with mosquito nets on the hatches and mosquito spray next to me. That’s my gun.
Pitch black outside and Glen is still working with his head torch on and covered in mosquito spray! But by now he is so filthy I hardly think any decent mosquito would land on him anyway! After the tunnel, he sands along the waterline to see how it comes off. “Some peer pressure for tomorrow, this should set the standard”, he says.
The rain starts again, heavily this time, and it chases Glen away from the hull and into the shower. Good, because his face, hands, feet and coveralls are blue. Both he and the coveralls get a shower!
As relaxing activity for the evening, we finalize Bermuda video, which also takes our mind from our boat chores. Meanwhile there are several rain showers outside and we run around opening then closing hatches.
Early night. Hmmm. Nope again. Nearly midnight. That’s not going to help our mood in the morning!