We are finally back in the water, where we belong.
We were splashed on July 13 and have been reveling in having a fridge, freezer, and air conditioning. I had sorely missed feeling the boat rock with the wind and movement of the water, and now it feels like we’re home.
One of the marks of a good yard: they wrap the slings in garbage bags where the travel lift sling touches the hull. This prevents any dirt or grit from being transferred to the hull and protects the wax and paint.
Over the last two weeks the shaft, stuffing box, cutlass bearing, stern tube, prop, and skeg were all installed. Once we were back in the water, the mechanic made sure the engine was aligned properly and tuned it to where it runs smoothly. We also had him flush the heat exchanger and confirm that the degree spread between the raw water intake and outflow was proper. We were continually impressed by the mechanic’s meticulous and thorough job.
We painted the bottom of the boat with two coats of Petit antifouling paint. We chose black this time to replace the former blue. Using different colors of paint each time helps in determining how deep scratches have gone next time we haul.
If it wasn’t hot enough below decks before we painted the bottom, guess how much hotter it got once it was painted black? Damn you, science.
The Captain painted the bare metal of the skeg, shaft, stern tube, and prop with Petit Barnacle Barrier and then two coats of Hydrocoat Eco.
Our lovely new drive train (at least part of it), prop, and skeg. Long may they live.
Because the Hydrocoat is a bright green, he also decided to paint the through hulls with it; this will make them more visible on our black bottom when he is diving on the boat to clean and inspect.
We applied multiple thin coats of Brightside paint to some gel coat repairs we made to the deck. As evidence that the universe is occasionally kind, we were able to mix two colors together to arrive at an almost perfect color match.
We were dodging rain showers during all of this painting, of course, and that ended up complicating and slowing down the job. But it got done, and done properly.
Now that we’re back in the water, we have a few more projects to complete. We’ll be installing the new stove, installing a side-mounted clutch for our genoa furling line, and a few other construction/installation projects. I’m doing a “touch everything” inventory to assess what provisions we need to buy before we depart, and we’re tossing around ideas of where to go. Almost there.