Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lots of work

We have been very busy with regular boat jobs plus a few more before leaving New Zealand hopefully sometime in May.

Jordan has always missed having a lazarette on deck for storage. We've been using 2 large plastic bins tied to the deck but they've completely deteriorated from the hot sun, plus they don't look very boatie! The solution? Build one!

Using fiberglass and wood, he created a new lazarette that looks like it was always on Sea Turtle. A perfect fit. The short fiberglass course that Jordan signed up for, through our Fleet group of Bluewater Cruising Association back in Victoria BC before we left for sailing, and some valued tutoring from Ed on SV AKA, paid off. Jordan has fixed and/or created several projects with the use of fiberglass.

Way to go Jordan!

Since we've had the boat, we've had a few minor annoying leaks from the hatch over our stateroom bed which seemed to be getting a little worse with time. We purchased a new hatch here in New Zealand but it was a bit smaller than our original. Once again, Jordan - with the help of fiberglass - made the opening a bit smaller and also raised it up so it no longer laid flush on the deck. This will also help to prevent any sitting water that could one day lead to leaks again. Another beauty of a project! It recently passed a test by a torrential rain.

The other main job was to put Sea Turtle on the hard for painting. We decided to pull out at Doug's Boat Yard where he uses a marine-ways with a unique system to accommodate more than one boat. As the hauled boat moves up into the boat yard, the carriage moves over a turntable not unlike the roundhouse systems of railway yards. The carriage with the boat on it then turns to one of 4 spurs where it is then moved out of the way for another boat and carriage to move.

Sea Turtle being pulled up slipway

Turntable visible at front

Our usual haul-out is for applying anti-fouling paint to the bottom, a fairly easy quick job. But this time, the hull (i.e. the sides of the boat) above the waterline was in desperate need of painting. This is a major job as Sea Turtle's fiberglass sides are grooved for the esthetic look of planked wood. So all these grooves needed to be sanded, wiped with tack rag, and painted 2 times with a small brush before using a roller! We also raised our waterline another 23 cm (9 inches) for the anti-fouling paint, as indicated by the green tape in the photo below.

Waterline creeping up higher...and higher...

We were only able to finish the starboard side with 2 coats of paint before 2 days of heavy rain hit us. And then we were almost finished the port side and the bottom when once again the rain was upon us. But we were able to quickly finish the next day. The job turned out splendid so it was all worth it.

Lookin' mighty fine now

Jordan also put on a new anchor light as our other was quite dim at night. We could always pick out our boat as it had the dimmest light - now it has the brightest! As well, he installed new spreader lights that flood the deck that are now LED and use much less power.

We left Victoria in September 2009 with the boat's original mainsail, circa 1980, and sailed over 24,000 nautical miles (about 44,500 km / 27,500 mi) to New Zealand with the old sail displaying many tatters and patches. So our brand new mainsail was long overdue. It's up and ready to be tested. We also had our furling headsail checked and tidied up and our staysail re-cut.