How long can it take?
Answer: 3 hours
Tom went to the aft head to fix a light bulb that had burnt out. We had a spare bulb so I figured this was a two minute job. The task is: pull off the diffuser, remove the old bulb, twist in the new bulb and replace the diffuser. After ten or so minutes, I started hearing foul language and various unpleasant tones from the stern. A couple minutes later, Tom appears and walks straight for the v-berth for tools! I ask "what's wrong?" and he says "Since we have the spare lights now, I may as well change the old original light fixture over to a LED light". I ask Tom if this will take a while and he says "5 or so minutes". After about an hour, he reappears and is looking for his drill (for a light bulb? really?). Then he had to wait for his cordless drill to charge for about a half hour. Then he went back and came out when it was all over. The picture was taken while Tom was "assessing the situation." I snapped it to capture what it takes to change a bulb on Tanga.
I walked into the head to change the bulb and decided now was as good a time as any to change this last light fixture over to a newer/better light. We have a spare LED fixture leftover from our recent re-lighting project, so I figured I would just slap that right up there in about five or so minutes. Of course, the old fixture and new fixture are completely different shapes so, after some small rewiring, I was able to fit it prior to installing it. Of course, it won't fit and hide the wiring (we try really hard to keep all wiring hidden). So back to the v-berth I go, to look for spares from other fixtures. I found a nice brass halogen light that works and looks really nice. Since it's the aft head and the light is only on for short periods of time, the amp hour usage is insignificant. At this point, I need to drill new holes for the wiring and the new fixture mount. Jeez, a drill and tool belt just to change a bulb!
The job is done and done right, but we thought this was a good example of what we are dealing with on a daily basis. We had wanted to be in the water a couple weeks ago, and we may not be back in the water for yet another couple weeks. We have finally hit a stage where we have stopped adding 2 projects for every 1 completed. So progress is happening but at a slower pace than we had hoped. We have noticed that other than the "normal" annual maintenance, most of our projects are aesthetic. Such as sanding and oiling the interior wood, we had new cushions made for our salon area and for a small seat that is in the stateroom. Also, we are taking the old foam from the old cushions and having the old foam made into new outdoor cushions for the cockpit. And, we are in the process of getting new sail covers made for our mizzen and main sail.
Once all that is done, including the new anti-foul bottom paint, we will be dropped back into the water. Our ultimate plan is to head over to Port Denarau, which is on the other side of the bay, about an hour away. Once in Denarau, we have two things to get done there, a new bimini designed and installed, and our jib sail needs a sewing job.
Here is an example of how we spend our lazy days. About two days ago, we weren't in the mood to do any chores. So we sat around the boat until we just couldn't stand the heat anymore, usually around 1pm. We put our swimsuits on and took a very short walk over to the resort that is right next door. We swam around in their lovely pool and then walked over to their beachfront restaurant/bar area. We enjoyed our cool afternoon, sitting in the shade, watching the water and drinking some cold Fiji Gold.
A few days ago, Tom started sanding the bottom of our boat, to prep it for the 2 new coats of anti-foul bottom paint. We have this huge tarp that we cover one side of the boat with, to try to catch as much of the old anti-foul paint that comes off during the sanding process. Tom works an area, then he calls me, and we man handle the tarp into positions. He should get about half of the sanding done today before he's blistering hot. It maybe another pool day!
Update: Yesterday the goal was to continue sanding the bottom and get started with laying a couple new coats of anti-foul (a type of bottom paint that prevents marine growth accumulation). We did this last year in New Zealand and it worked wonderful for a year. But, as I started sanding, I noticed lots of cracks and flaking in the old paint layers, but no blistering. If the flaking isn't fixed now, it would just lead to future issues that are much more difficult to fix. So we discussed the issue and decided to strip all the old paint off the hull, below the waterline, down to the epoxy. We are guessing there are about 8-10 layers of bottom paint currently, 4 layers of which we have applied. Removing all the paint down to the epoxy is pretty much taking the hull down to the bare layer. This will allow us to inspect and address any potential issues below the waterline. Then, we are having 5 coats of 199 primer applied, followed by 2 coats of antifoul paint. Even though this puts us back yet another week before getting back in the water, Tanga's bottom is going to be brand new which is one less thing for us to worry about!