Ah yes, spring, a time when a young man's (and old for that matter) heart turns to . . . painting the bottom of their boat. I decided that it was time to switch boat yards this year, so I turned to Deaton's Yacht Service in Oriental, NC. They are slightly more restrictive when it comes to owner work than the previous boat yard I have used in Oriental, but it worked out ok. For an owner painting his own bottom (boat bottom that is), they will haul you after 3 PM on Friday (maybe earlier if scheduling allows), block you up and then drop you back into the water on Monday morning. Being off for spring break from March 25th - April 4th, this worked fine for me. As it turns out, they requested a pre 3 PM haul out, but due to my arrival it turned out to be a 2 PM haul out.
In the past haul outs, I have always been able to drive into the Travel Lift bow first. This requires the removal of the roller furler from the bow, but Deaton's asked me to back into the slip. Oh brother - I hate backing this boat. Backing out of a slip into wide open water is one thing, but backing into a slip is something I avoid like the plague! Lady luck was shinning on me, and I was able to manage on the first try. The only item I had to remove was the topping lift on the mizzen boom - much easier than removing the roller furler and having to re-tension the stays afterwards. The Out Island 41 has sling marks on the hull, taking the guess work of where to place the slings away from the lift operator. In no time at all was out of the water and getting a pressure wash. The bottom of the boat was in great condition - the only indication that a year had gone by since the last bottom job was the barnacles on the rudder shoe. Also the prop was showing some brass, zincs were worn and there was no bottom paint on the bottom of the keel where I had run aground - once - last year. She was parked in a prime spot - next to water, the bath room and outside work bench.
It took me the rest of Friday afternoon to clean the prop and shoe of barnacles, old bottom paint and an epoxy undercoat. I was also able to give the hull a quick wash.
Saturday morning broke as a cool cloudy day. Temperature was in the mid 50's, which was well within the tolerance for putting on bottom paint. I use Trinidad SR, and have had great success with it. They recommend two coats with a minimum of 2 hours between coats. I was able to get a coat on before lunch and a second coat shortly after lunch. I pulled the prop and finished cleaning it before applying a couple of coats of West Systems 2001 epoxy to it and the rudder shoe. Following this, I applied a coat of wax to the hull. After placing wax on, I use my DeWalt Rotary Grinder with a polishing pad to remove the wax. Works great, except I had forgotten that you have to put the wax on thin, or it gums up the pad. So the first coat took a lot of work to get off. Dark had fallen by the time I was finished getting the wax off.
Sunday was Easter, and Mary droved down for the day. She helped me get a second coat of wax on the hull and two coats of wax on the green strip above the rub rail. I repositioned the jack stands and put bottom paint on those areas where the jack stands had been. We finished up about 2 PM and had our Easter dinner at M&M's - complete with desert. Mary headed on back home later in the afternoon.
While cleaning the prop on Friday, I noticed that my cutlass bearing (final bearing supporting the prop shaft) had migrated up the tube. Without removing the prop shaft, there seemed to be no easy way to bring it back down. In a Monday consultation with John Deaton, it was decided to just put a new cutlass bearing in place and not worry about the old bearing. But it turned out that the bearing was a little loose in the tube. The most economical method to fix this was to drill and tap two addition set screw holes to secure the bearing, and to use 5200 to keep the bearing from being loose. The prop shaft had to be loosened and slid partially out so the part of the shaft where the bearing would rest could be cleaned. This took some time. We decided that the 5200 should be allowed to set up before placing back in the water - another night's stay on the hard was called for.
Tuesday morning came like the fresh spring morning it was.
The sky was blue with fluffy clouds over head. The 5200 had had time to
set up, so I dimpled the cutlass bearing and put the set screws in place.
was lifted off the jack stands and I touched up the areas under the keel that
had not been bottom painted, as well as the area around the prop and
cutlass bearing. After giving the paint time to cure,
was heading back to the water. As she had been picked up, the Travel
Lift had to perform a 180° turn in a limited area -
fun to watch
After being placed back into the water. I motored back to her slip where she is ready for another year of sailing adventure!
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