Painting painting… just keep painting

by Glen

Fri 4 Jun, HHN day 52: Painting bow anchor chain locker, reinstalling hot water cylinder, and saying my goodbyes.

Up early today. It is only 3 days left and I finally found the method of getting out of bed on time: lose your phone the night before and tell yourself you will find it when the alarm goes off. And when it does (06:45) it’s like a game: you jump out of bed to rediscover your phone, and hey-bingo, you are up! Only took me 7 weeks to discover this trick. No phone, no can hit snooze!

Now that I’m up, and in consideration of the promises I declared in the previous blog, I have to get painting that bow locker! By 7:15 I’m already mixing the Interprotect-2000. This 2-pack paint is actually designed to be a barrier coat under antifoul paint, but I have found it to be very resilient for use in high-impact bilge areas, like where the anchor chain goes. By the time we come back in September, it will have dried as hard as rock.

First, I go under the boat (because rain is forecast) and paint the boards that go into the anchor chain locker. Then the tricky task of the locker itself. I really had to strategise the sequence of painting this locker, especially after my rather clumsy painting of the gas locker, where I came out more white than the locker itself!

I climb in, and first do the ceiling and the upper walls while I stand in the tiny triangle below. But after 5 minutes I start to feel the effect of the fumes. I get very dizzy and have to get out quick. In fact I get so dizzy I struggle to get out!
After some gulps of fresh air I bring a fan and aim it into the locker to cycle the air. Even then I have to stop every now and then and poke my head up for some deep breaths. Is this what sniffing glue is like, I wonder? If so, surely that cannot be done for pleasure!
I manage to climb out once the upper half is done, mostly with a brush because of all the bolts and fittings everywhere.

For the lower half, I have a roller on a long handle that can just about reach to the bottom of the locker when I get my head and upper part of my body inside. At one point I slip on the matt which I’m lying on and very nearly fall-in head first! That would have been interesting, because there would have been little hope of turning around once jammed upside down in the bottom, not to mention my head planted in the paint. But with the fumes, I would have passed away happy I guess. Next time, there will be a safety rope around my ankles!
By 11am I am finished and happy with the result. It should not need more than this one coat… thank goodness.

Next, is to wet sand the gas locker ready for its second coat (the first coat of white didn’t cover over everything). With the fan inside the locker to dry it off, I head inside the cabin and put the aircon on and cool down myself, because it is already 41degC in the greenhouse. Unbearable. My coveralls are soaked in sweat. So it is already time for the first cooling shower of the day for me.

Then the next job is the dreaded hot water tank. It’s been lying on the Volvo for 3 days now. Long enough for the Loctite 275 to be fully set and dry now. So it goes back on the wall for the 3rd time. This time I only hook up 2 pipes: the cold in and the hot out. All the others I leave off until I am sure it is not leaking.

Just before I turn on the water system again, to fill the tank then pressure it up, I take a look at the Jabsco water pump specs. They are supposed to turn off at 40Psi or 2.8bar. But mine are going up to 3.5bar before switching off. Maybe my gauge it wrong, but even so, that’s a lot of pressure for a water system.
I try to see if there is a way to tune down the pressure a bit, but after taking one pump apart it seems the pressure-shut-off is hardwired, fixed at factory. Well, it was worth a try. I turn the water on anyway. When the tank is full the pressure increases to 3bar, the pump stops, and my eyes are glued under the tank looking for the expected drip or hissing. But none! So I tip-toe away and brew a cup of tea. Maybe I’m lucky this time, but I’m not counting my chickens just yet.

Late afternoon I head over to Stephen at East Coast Marine Rigging to say goodbye, thanking him for all his help and informing him of our planned return in late September, to raise the mast. I also leave with him our 2 dyneema running back stays.
Officially, these are running rigging. But in reality they are used as standing rigging when we have the cutter out in high winds, or just want to stop the mast pumping. So Oana and I have decided to get them renewed. Stephen thinks they still have at least 90% of their strength, but it does not feel right not to replace them along with the other standing rigging.

While on the subject of buying stuff, earlier this week I ordered a new action camera. To date, we have always used GoPro cameras. But recently their software quirks, the customer service is not good, and the fact that our last 3 GoPro have had to be replaced has steered us to look for an alternative.
Last year, Pete Goss’s DJI Osmo action camera impressed us, so we ordered one. It was due to arrive today, just in time for me to take it home and play with it over the summer. I’d been watching the FedEx tracking and saw it was confirmed delivered at 3pm. But when I headed down to the office, there was no package for us, and my heart sank.

Back on the internet, I found the name of the person who signed for it, but in the marina office no one knew that name. So annoying. I was tempted to just let it run its course, but I was also determined to have it for the summer. So went door to door to all the businesses in the yard to look for it. But it was now after 5pm and most had closed.
Finally, I got to West Marine… and there it was! Incorrect delivery. So goes the saying: “seek, and ye shall find”! Although I’m pretty sure the writer of those biblical words was not thinking about a lost action camera!

At 6pm I am showered and heading to the Dockside restaurant for a last boys-out dinner before I leave. Ray, Paul, Jeff and I. Ray had been working all day to remove Jeff’s rudder on his new HR46, so the conversation was initially rudder-talk. We joked, wondering just how many HR rudders were being dropped right now, after my blogs. We could count at least 3 that we know of! Of course all the rest of the evening was also boat talk, and all very enjoyable. It’s a nice bunch of people that have got to know here.

Back at the boat, I rather hesitantly take another peak under the water tank… Pssss, it’s till dry… and I tip-toe again out of the engine room. I’ve decided I won’t call it a success until the morning. That will be one very big box to colour green on my excel to-do list! I actually feel it should be several boxes for this particular task. Fix water tank plumbing; refix water tank; refix water tank a third time. I think I’m going to have hot water tank nightmares for several weeks to come!

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Andrew Logan June 6, 2021 - 3:36 am

I was surprised to read that an ex Oil industry man would be a bit lax with the Health and Safety when working alone in a confined space with toxic fumes. Don’t you have a 3M respirator with carbon filters. Good story thou.

Glen June 9, 2021 - 8:40 am

Andrew, to be honest I am totally relieved to be out of the industry that during my 30 yr career went from very low safety awareness to way way over the top. In my latter years were not even allowed to walk near any equipement without full PPE. There was no personal thought process about safety – it was all “dont think, just do it”. Yes, I may have gone a bit too much over to the other side now, but I like the freedom of being able to think safety for myself. I kind of knew there was a risk painting in that locker and got out before I was really harmed. As soon as I had the fan it was fine. As for 3M mask I do have one, but I was already sweating my balls off in coverals, without a mask.


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