More Work Between Squalls 8/12-13
13 August 2020 | Raiatea Carenage
William Ennis | Hot and rainy
It's Wednesday night and we're both just whipped. So much so, in fact, that I'll post this Thursday night.
Conni completed applying painter's tape to the remaining cap rail, then completed the varnish job while the wood was freshly sanded and looked great. What a feat! As we departed Marina Taina on Tahiti last year, we bought the two remaining cans of Sikkens Cetol Marine Teak, our favorite and the best varnish that we've ever used. She decants varnish into the removed ends of water bottles that we've scavenge and cut, so the can remains closed. I brought several more brushes, but she took my advice and froze the brush between uses and it's still working well. The cap rail looks great, too! It certainly dresses the boat when the cap rail is freshly varnished. It's hot, uncomfortable work, so my hat is off.
I bit the bullet and took on painting the bottom. We had contacted the Carenage earlier and they ordered some New Zealand-made antifouling paint. We ordered red, since Conni likes that color, but on application it should have been named, "Worchestershire" since it's that same brown-ish red as the British condiment. From a distance, the boat's hull looks brown! We ordered 8 liters, and we've used 2 in one coat, so we've got enough for both coats in one 4-L can. I'm sure that the Carenage will buy back the other can. We've never seen Wings with a brown paint job, so that's a bit odd, but she's been painted and that's what matters. I sincerely hope that this paint is "ablative" and wears away as the boat travels through the water or I'll have to sand it off at some point, and that the paint can handle being out of water. Some can, some can't. We'll have to see. So much of the work is overhead since I sit on a paint can to work on the underside of the hull that is above me. It's shoulder-killing work since the roller is pushed into the hull to spread the paint. My arms and shoulders are so tired and sore! It's tiring work so it's no wonder that hiring it done is so common.
Both Conni and I will apply another coat on Friday, allowing both paint and varnish a full day to dry and cure. Our complaint with much of the work that the various Carenage staff has done is the insufficient drying/curing time they've allowed between coats, resulting in poor endurance at premium cost. Of course, they're in a hurry to complete the job, but it produces a poor result. We hired them to sand the cap rail to remove the poorly adhered and expensive German varnish that they applied only two years ago.
Dominique, owner and manager of the Carenage, returned yesterday from another boat rescue in the Tuamotus. He told me stories of the three most recent boat salvages that he's performed and I thought them interesting enough to pass along.
During a recent storm, two sailboats had anchor chains break: I've NEVER heard of that, but it certainly got my attention. One was a French-made, 51-foot Outremer catamaran, one of the best in the world. The other was a 52-foot, Beneteau Oceanis, a fine monohull boat. Both were badly damaged, of course, going up on a local reef. The first was worth 1.2 million Euros, he said, so the insurance company gave him "white card" to repair the boat. It took me awhile to realize that he was translating "carte blanche"! At any rate, his reputation is so good that they sent no surveyor to look over his shoulder and accepted his offer of 60,000 Euros to repair the boat. Since Outremers have symmetrical amas or hulls, he cleverly took the mold of the non-damaged hull and used that to replace the damaged hull. Wow! They had to rebuild some bulkheads and there was a lot of work to tab in the new molded piece, but it worked. They got the engine running, strung some lights and, accompanied by his new tug, he brought her to the yard where he'll repair her and return her to the owner. The insurance company will be pleased.
The Beneteau was surveyed as a total loss, so when he pulled the boat from the reef and returned her to the owner, the owner suddenly didn't know what to do with her. Nevertheless, the owner was so impressed with Dominic's skills the he offered the boat to Dominic: US$4000! OK! Dominic patched the boat enough to get her home and now she sits in the yard awaiting repairs. He said that he'd sell her but use her in the meantime.
The third boat is another catamaran owned by a Papeete charter company. She is nowhere near the quality of the Outremer, and her hull is very thin, so is very badly damaged. I'm certain that a photo of her damage is on our site within the last two postings. She also went on a reef but the small local company couldn't afford to total her. They had a sister ship sent to the yard for a paint job and while she was out of the water, they waxed the hull that was damaged on the other boat, made the mold, and will use that to replace the damaged hull. Conni and I are unsure how the mold will fit inside the smaller hull since the new piece is a mold, but I've yet to ask Dominic about the process.
Thursday: We started the day by trying to re-install our main halyard, the rope that raises and lowers the main sail. I hauled Conni to the mast head and we tried for several hours but could not get a good lead down the mast and out the exit. It was very frustrating and we were both in terrible moods. We'll try again tomorrow, then get to work on our bottom paint and cap rail varnish.
I worked on cleaning the terrible mess of wires and such in the "man cave" after I removed most of the old network wiring and installed the new. I could hardly get into the place without pulling something loose. After some frustrating time, I began to make some headway and after a few hours had things in some kind of order. It looks much cleaner since NMEA2000 uses only a "backbone" cable off of which are "drop" cables": Run the backbone and attach drops where needed.
I also re-assembled the dis-assembled return fuel manifold. I bought new parts and some sealant, and I carefully followed a photo of the original manifold, so I hope that all is well.
Conni spent her afternoon injecting "Git Rot", an low-viscosity epoxy made to penetrate damaged wood and restore its integrity. I'm sorry to say that we need a good bit of it around our mast base where years of leaking have caused significant damage.
With any luck at all, we will spend the weekend completing the last chores, and be launched on Monday.
Wish us luck.