After home visit and visiting New Zealand it is about time that we do something for our boat again.
On Monday, the 23rd of March Kevin and David of the Norsand boatyard put our She San onto their trailer and carefully take her out of the water.
It is really about time we realize, since the propellers were already quite grown over, the propulsion wasn’t great any more and the poor underwater ship is completely covered with a thick layer of town basin barnacles.
More than 4 months sitting continuously in the rather brown water of the town basin give the result. We scrape the worst off and Murray carries away several carts of barnacles.
We purchase a sanding machine and start to work. While Reto is sanding or taking the loose stuff off with the chisel I use the same to take the 1000nds of barnacle rests off that haven’t gone off after pressure washing.
It both takes an awefull lot of time but after a few days we see progress and think we can soon start to paint. It is then when our friend Hannes from the Blue Lilly tells us “ just take the rest of it off as well and you can start and have a new basis on a layer of Epoxy. It will only be 2-3 more days..”
We also like the idea to get finally the 15 years old paint off and consider his advice. For another week Reto is taking off centimeter by centimeter of the antifouling, either with the chisel, by sanding or the very thick layers at the waterline even with the paint stripper (chemicals). In this process he has to paint a small part of the antifouling with the stripper, cover it with plastic foil so it doesn’t dry out before it reacts with the antifouling and then scrape off the loosened paste of antifouling/stripper mixture with a spatula. All in all a really nasty procedure.
In the meantime I clean the algae and rust off the gelcoat, a job that rewards me with lot more visual result per working time…
Often we don’t take time to have a proper lunch, but our dear neighbor Carole from the Grey Goose is always there to cheer us up and give us some goodies, chocolate and fudge for Reto and fruits for myself 😉
On Easter Sunday we do take time and enjoy our Edding coloured Easter eggs with self made mayonnaise (my first time, and it took me 3 egg yolks until I understood the trick…
The boatyard is full with other yachties of which many we already had met before. Jadean, our neighbors for example we already have met in Huahine, French Polynesia for the first time.
Everybody helps each other out, either with know how tips and tricks, or with borrowing equipment or giving us a lift to the supermarkets or hardware store. Thanks to Robusta we don’t have to buy a vacuum cleaner and thanks to Jadean, Anna Caroline, Grey Goose and Blue Lilly we get many rides across town to get the stuff that is too difficult with the bicycles.
In the evenings everybody meets around the BBQ, a great place to end a working day chatting to the other sailors. Apart from the fact that we love BBQ, the cool thing is that we don’t have to clean up the boat every evening, so every single space is filled with tools and material…
In addition to the daily BBQ evenings we also celebrate a few parties: David is playing with his band, Luci celebrates her 25th birthday and on two other nights our friends from Maya and Carapitanga visit.
We sand and clean and degrease and finally on Saturday we are ready to apply the first layer of Epoxy.
On Sunday morning we wait for the humidity to be ok, then we paint the second layer of Epoxy and directly afterwards the first layer of antifouling.
We learn from Hannes that is is very important to find the right moment because otherwise the Antifouling wouldn’t stay on the Epoxy layer.
After painting 6 hours in a row we are happy, the critical layers are on without rain and we finally have time to work on other things…
The next priority is the rudder shafts, they have quite a few holes due to pitting corrosion and water is dripping out when we put them upside down. Reto drills out the corrosion holes like a born dentist and makes a few holes into the rudders, to judge the situation. Luckily the stainless steel is only damaged by a little depth and the general structure of the rudders seams to be still alright.
We are quite unsure to make that date, as another parcel from the US was stuck in Auckland customs for 3 weeks…
One week later on Friday morning David comes with a white envelope and tells me “I think you are waiting for this one” – we cannot believe it, our bearing housings have made it in 7 days from ordering in France to the boatyard in Whangarei! Chapeau to Muriel, Fountaine Pajot and FEDEX!!!
A few hours later both old bearings are cut out (thanks the Bosch Multitool) and firmly put back in (thanks to Reto’s skills and the 3 M 5200).
Myself on the other hand, I am struggling with a stubburn polishing product and even though I vigorously try to rub it into the gelcoat (the machine doesn’t manage…) it doesn’t look great.
I change over to another product, the 3 M restorer and wax and I find myself doing the whole gelcoat again, but this time with pleasure and a lot more success…
On Saturday afternoon we all take a break and inflate our 15 year old life raft.
It does inflate quite nicely (see link to the video from the Anna Caroline on Facebook), we test to sit with 8 people inside and find it is not anything to be recommended.
24 hours later it is almost flat, so our chances of survival after that would have decreased rapidly. We are happy to have a new life raft on board but nevertheless pray that we never need to use it!
Next priority, the guest toilet.
Already taking the tank out we find that we must be the first ones to do so. The outlet is heavily glued in with silicone and is only possible to be demounted by cutting the outlet off.
Following are a few days of cleaning and removing lime stonish brownish stuff…
Our boat neighbor from the Andiamo walks past me when I am cleaning the toilet parts on Sunday morning and just says “ Welcome in Paradise…”
2 days later we have done what was on our priority list for the boatyard and it is time to get back into the water.
Without any stress, no problem and no leakage our She San is floating again and we engine back up to the town basin to get some shopping and the next bits on the priority list done…