Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sailboat Prep Continues

For the past week Ken and I have been busy working on our real jobs instead of working on our sailboat.  After all, we need to pay the bills!  However, Ken did have a chance to work on our sailboat Friday afternoon and we both worked on our sailboat yesterday.  No Jazz Festival for us this year, but the big picture is worth missing it.  Ken's plan was to start sanding and prepping the hull of our sailboat on Friday while continuing to let the blisters drain.  While Ken was at the boatyard Friday he learned that he can not start sanding and prepping the hull of our sailboat as planned, but first needed to complete another step - again!  The guy working on his sailboat next to us in the boatyard was kind enough to inform Ken that before sanding the hull of our sailboat he really needed to remove the wax first.  We were told by the previous owners that our sailboat was a racing boat before we purchased it.  After seeing our sailboat out of the water many people have told us that a lot of "fairing" had been done to the sailboat bottom in order to make it faster in the water.  The hull of our sailboat has also been waxed a good bit for the same reason. 

Evidently if Ken were to start sanding the hull of our sailboat before wiping it down with a cleaner/wax remover, the wax would get ground into the hull and we'd have a hard time when it came to painting our sailboat hull.  So, Ken had to change his plans and jump in his truck to buy some cleaner/wax remover.  When he bought a gallon of the cleaner (which was $27.00!) he was told that what he really needed to do was clean the boat with Dawn dish detergent (no substitutes and only the original formula) and water first.  Then, he needed to wipe a section of our sailboat down with the cleaner on  a clean cloth to break up the wax, then wipe the same section of our sailboat down again with the cleaner to remove the wax.  After that, our sailboat would need to be cleaned again with Dawn dish detergent and water then allowed to dry before sanding and prepping. 

So, Ken went back to the boatyard and scrubbed our sailboat with Dawn dish detergent and water.  He used a brush with a long handle that we recently purchased for general cleaning of our sailboat.  Ken also scrubbed the sailboat blisters to remove any scabs that would prevent the blisters from draining. 

Yesterday, Ken and I both went to the boatyard to apply the cleaner/wax remover to our sailboat.  We brought a bunch of old, clean t-shirts to use for the application and removal of the cleaner.  Luckily, Ken has a scaffold that we used to stand on and reach the sailboat hull.  We each worked on a section of the sailboat, then moved on down with the scaffold.  This was easy compared to sanding the bottom of the sailboat!  It seemed to us that the cleaner/wax remover was probably nothing more than acetone, but we're not sure.  Afterwards, Ken scrubbed our sailboat again with Dawn dish detergent while I scrubbed the sailboat blisters.  While our sailboat dried, we went to lunch and took a break.

After lunch, Ken LIGHTLY started working on sections of our sailboat hull since he needed the scaffold, and hit the hull with a grinder on the areas that had been previously (and poorly) repaired.  He then lightly sanded the hull and then I applied the cleaner one more time.  Ken then mixed some marine filler and applied it where necessary.  After working all week, we were tired by the time we finished one side and the back of our sailboat.  So, we called it a day and will hope to be back in the boatyard on Tuesday, since it's supposed to rain today and we both have to work at our real jobs tomorrow. 

So, once again we're not as far on this project as we'd hoped to be since we needed to clean the boat with Dawn and wax remover.  But, while our sailboat is out of the water and we're already putting so much work into it, we want to do it right.  After we finish prepping the other side of our sailboat we'll finally be ready to apply the sailboat primer. 

Also, sometime during this week I need to cut out a bunch of fiberglass circles that we'll be applying to our EIGHTY-ONE blisters!  If I cut them while watching tv, it won't be so time consuming and we'll have them when we need them.  We'll be addressing the blisters and our sailboat bottom after the hull is painted.

We're trying to be patient, and we know it will be worth it, but we're ready to get our sailboat back in the water!  Every time we think we can move to the next step, we learn of something else that needs to be done first.  However, we are really grateful to our fellow sailboat owners at the boatyard who offered their advice, as we would have not known we had sailboat blisters or known to remove the wax on the hull. 

Hopefully our next post will be about priming our sailboat!  Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


laura said...

You'll just appreciate the whole sailing experience even more after all that work! And look at the bright side; think of all the calories your burning along with toning your arms!

Sandee said...

I too am glad you have folks helping you. I know nothing about the upkeep on a sailboat. Glad you are learning as you go. Just hang in there as your experience seems no different that what the rest of us boaters go through. Just saying.

Have a terrific day. :)

Ken n Cheryl said...

Yeah, we know that our experiences are typical of being a sailboat owner. Although we can't wait to get Nirvana back in the water, we're not discouraged. It would be nice to lose a couple of pounds during the process, but haven't seen it yet.

Windtraveler said...

Oh boy do we know about this! Everytime you learn one thing, you learn 10 more things you haven't considered! You'll get there, slowly but surely! Keep it up!

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