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Flying the Belgian FlagTom
August 28, 2014, Port d'Aiguadolç
A recent change in Spanish legislation has eliminated the requirement for residents to register their boats under Spanish flag. Therefore, as a Belgian citizen, I have taken the opportunity to register Iris under Belgian flag. As a matter of fact you see a lot of Belgian flags appearing in Spanish marinas since even Spanish skippers are changing flag because of the many advantages of flying the Belgian one. Among these advantages is that I'm allowed to sail all over the world (no more permitted navigation zones depending on safety equipment and certifications), no more ridiculous and expensive 5-yearly 'technical vehicle inspections', no more need to hire expensive authorized equipment installers if I buy a new GPS, etc. In short, less money and less rules.
Grey non-skid deck paintingTom
August 10, 2012, Port d'Aiguadolç
In between the shiny deck parts I've started to apply a great non-skid painting Kiwigrip. It's a gel which is applied with a special foam roller. Very easy and the result is fantastic. To test de product I did the first trial on two small areas near the bow and the anchor locker. Looks great now as you can hopefully appreciate on the photo. I think I will wait some time before applying it to the bigger areas because the product dries very fast with the present hot weather.
Goodbye Port Ginesta, hello Port d'AiguadolçTom
June 30, 2012, Port d'Aiguadolç (Sitges)
After almost 6 years in Port Ginesta I decided to move Iris to a new hailing port. The financial crisis here in Spain has obliged me to look for a cheaper berth. I found one in Port d'Aiguadolç in Sitges about 5 Nm south of Ginesta. Seven years ago, on my first trip with Iris and her previous owner Roy we stopped over here and moored about 20m from where now is her new home.
May 28, 2012, Port Ginesta
Today I started a new project: deck painting. I have begun sanding the smooth parts of the deck and giving them a first coat of International Perfection Mediterranean White 2-part polyurethane gloss finish. Still a lot of parts to be painted and repainted. And then the non-skid parts... This will take me several weekends. But the effect is great. Iris is beginning to look very shiny and sexy. In the photograph the now much whiter band at the height of the portholes is recently painted.
April 8, 2012, Port Ginesta
The last couple of days (a cloudy Easter week) I have dedicated to hauling Iris out of the water and giving her her annual bottom cleaning and antifouling paint. A lot of fouling had been accumulated on the prop over the last months and although I had cleaned it manually just over half a year ago using my diving gear and a knive, it had again turned into a foam generating brush, which caused me quite some effort steering Iris from her berth to the nearby boatyard. The movement in the travellift wasn't without incidents either. The aftmost sling slipped a bit and caught the prop axis. Apparently no harm was done to the axis but I'm a bit worried about what I might have done to the stern tube. Anyway, the port captain assured they would pay for any damage if this would be the case when lowering her back into the water. This return into the water will have to wait for another week or two because while I was painting Iris' bottom, the travellift broke down and it won't be repaired until at least one week. So Iris is now comfortably drying out on the hard. Comforting to see Iris' 37-year old hull yet another year without any significant signs of osmosis. As Wauquiez expert David Merlot explained me a while ago the Centurion really had a superior quality gelcoat which was regrettably changed in later Wauquiez models.
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