We have been in the yard for just over four weeks, too bad my patience for being in the yard barely lasted three weeks!
I was all gung-ho at first and in true-to-our-style fashion we ripped into ALL the projects at once. We are not the “finish one project before you start another” kind of couple. The aft cabin (our bedroom) was yanked apart to pull off the rudder, the paint was sanded off the hull, the galley cabinets and countertop were ripped out for the update, the workroom rearranged for the new battery charger wiring….. Basically we made a mess of all our living areas all while ensuring that we wouldn’t be able to just skip out on some of the projects. The gung-ho-ness, however, quickly faded in the Florida heat. That, and something about the climbing down a ladder, playing labyrinth in the suck-your-shoe-off mud puddles, navigating two temperamental locked gates, and crossing the street all because you have to pee in the middle of the night “might” have played a part.
The final kicker, though, was the paint job. The paint project on the hull has been a doozy because of the super hot temps that kick the paint off before we even have a chance to put it on. The fact that it rained on our fresh paint two separate times didn’t help either. Then of course there was the tractor running around dragging a grater behind it trying to level out the fore mentioned puddle mess creating clouds of gritty dust and do I need even need to mention the neighbor, who hasn’t touched his boat since we’ve been here, who pulled out the belt sander for his bottom paint as we try to paint right next to him! Aghhhh! We gave up on trying to get an acceptable finish after a low, low moment when we were both thinking (and admitting out loud) that being at work sounded more fun than what we were doing. Instead of trying yet another coat of paint, I sanded out all the roller marks, dirt, and bugs (did I forget to mention the love bugs came out -they love wet paint). I then wet-sanded the entire boat three times with increasing grits. Yes, by hand. Up and down scaffolding a gabazillion times or at least it felt like it. After all that work and a very sore shoulder the end result resembles thin, faded gelcoat, the kind in need of a paint job. I burnt through too many areas of paint. At least it doesn’t look like a kindergarten class painted it anymore. We will revisit the paint job again on the next haul-out. For now we are done with it. Well, after it gets waxed.
Enough whining……we do have good stuff is going on as well.
For starters, Keith has fixed our rudder issue. BIG YAY!!! I had planned on doing a whole post on the rudder work, that was back in my gung-ho phase. In stead here is the quick and dirty version: the bottom part of the rudder had too much play and the top part of the rudder wasn’t secured beefily enough to prevent the play resulting in the offending clunking sound. So, the bottom part got reamed out and sheaved and the top part got a new fancy bearing put in. No more clunking! It sounds so simple but it really was a bit involved. The whole process was slowed by the fact that we gave the lower gudgeon piece to a well known local machinist who said he could do the job in a few days. Then he’d have it by next weekend. Then the following week. Then no answer by phone. Then he calls and says he is coming by to drop off our part, he doesn’t have time for it….and this is why we do things ourselves! Keith got the part back and had it finished up by lunchtime the following day. The part, not the project. It feels good to have the clunking issue resolved!
^^ removing the ill-fitting gudgeon.
^^ a plan comes together.
^^hole in gudgeon reamed out and a new bushing ready to be pressed in. This is the part that clunked. Not any more!
^^gudgeon removed. It wasn’t that easy to get off and definitely was not that easy to put back on.
^^ new big bearing and mounting bracket.
And on with more good stuff, I have a leak-proof galley countertop. Believe me, YAY! The plan had been to add a double sink and a Corian countertop and remove the top-loading storage cubby that kept getting filled up with water from drippy dishes. When it quickly became apparent that this mini renovation was going to cost the same as several months worth of cruising, I settled for the most important item on the list which was sealing the countertop up. I’m quite happy with the update. I even like the new paint color, which was lucky since only Keith has a mode of transportation (I DO NOT ride the scooter) and I had asked for all the creamy, off-white, beige, light yellow paint chips the store had so I could pick out a color. I got about eight contenders to choose from 🙂
Keith also got a slew of miscellaneous projects done in between the big ones. A new battery charger, some engine alarms, tightened the loose pedestal…. You know, boat projects. We’ve also had time to spend with friends, thank goodness! As much as I am completely over being in the yard, I have to admit it is nice to be already strapped securely to the earth during hurricane season, quiet or not, so we plan on finishing up the to do list and reprovision while here and plan on being back in the water and cruising again in two weeks.