10/5/06 Before heading out this season we decided to give Dream Chaser a fresh, new look with a new paint job. We were hauled out at the Aqua Vi Marina in Puerto La Cruz, Venezeula on October 1, 2006. This is just a dinghy ride away down the canal from Bahia Redonda Marina where we are renting an apartment while the boat is in the yard.
After just one week, she was ready to get her first coat of primer on the deck. The paper you see everywhere is covering any teak, stainless or other parts that do not get painted. The early 1980's "baby blue" non-skid on the deck will soon be redone in light grey. The rest of the boat will remain the same color.
All the work here is all by hand. They do not use any sanding machines or other equipment and the entire project is done right in the boat yard rather than inside somewhere. Granted, there is a bit of dust that flies and it sometimes tends to rain in the afternoon, but so far so good on the conditions.
10/8/2006 This morning at 8:30 all the workers had a beer before starting work in the shade of the boat. That's a common practice around here! They worked very fast today and got the blue waterline stripe, red stripe and gold cove stripe sanded off before 3:00. The sides were primed later in the afternoon. The work is going much faster than we predicted.
The deck now has 2 coats of bright white primer on the smooth surfaces. This allows them to be able to see any imperfections such as cracks and nicks in the fiberglass. The imperfections will be filled then sanded and then the entire surface will be sanded smooth before the paint is sprayed on. The non-skid will be worked on later.
10/17/06 Check out that shine! The first 2 coats of paint have been applied to the hull. Next they will lightly sand the entire hull to remove any imperfections out of the paint and fill anymore nicks that they missed after priming. We are really pleased with the way it looks and Jacko, the paint manager, told us today it will be done in 2 weeks!
10/25/2007 This picture was taken late yesterday afternoon when we had a big storm with a torrential downpour that lasted into the evening. The good thing about it was that it has settled the dust and dirt in the yard so when they go to paint tomorrow, there hopefully won't be so much dust flying around.
10/26/2007 This morning we arrived at the boat at 8:30 and they were already preparing the hull for the final two coats of paint. They filled and sanded a few more nicks that were missed, washed and dried the entire hull, and tore off and replaced some of the old paper that was retaining water. The entire deck was taped and papered for over spray. Next, while they wiped the sides of the hull with a tack cloth, they also used the air sprayer from the paint gun to blow off any particles of dust. Then came "Papa." His real name is Ellio and he is the master painter who sprays on the final coats. The second to last coat is all white, but the very last coat is a splash of white mixed with mostly transparent paint for the ultimate shine and to give it depth.
Ellio checks out the consistancy of the paint that Carlo mixed before adding more to the sprayer.
10/31/2007 On the 30th the topsides were lightly sanded and painted with light grey textured paint. The Awlgrip texture is like very fine sand that is added to the paint so the deck surface won't be slippery. On the hull, we asked Ellio to raise the waterline. This means raising the stipes from where they were before on the bow about 4 inches and then gradually taper the stripes to the back of the boat where they were before. Ellio used masking tape to mark the areas for painting the stripes. He did this over and over and over again across all 45 feet of boat (on both sides) to be sure his lines were straight. It was nerve racking watching him. Then the entire boat was re-papered again. Today the upper gold cove stripe, the small red stripe and the large blue water line strip were painted. Ellio custom mixed the blue for us since it was not on the color chart. We also picked out the colors for the name which will be put on tomorrow.
11/11/2007 After a few touch ups, 3 coats of fresh antifouling bottom paint to keep the barnicals from attaching themselves, and the name put on, Dream Chaser is ready to be "splashed". We still have a bit of work to do such as varnishing the teak on the deck, re-bedding the stantions and a few other fittings on the deck that we haven't gotten to, cleaning the interior of all the sanding dust and putting the sails back on etc... All of those projects will be done when we are back at Bahia Redonda Marina.
We hope to set sail soon after Thanksgiving or when our projects are completed. Early Thanksgiving wishes to all of you back home.