I hate to admit it, but since our Miami getaway we haven't done much with Nirvana. The plan was to have her back in the water before going to Miami, but with the unexpected strut issue that didn't happen. We then expected to finish up the strut repair and say goodbye to the boatyard shortly after our return from Miami, but we needed to prime and paint the strut area before doing so. Priming & painting meant several trips to the boatyard in between work when the weather wasn't too cold ... which meant that another 2 weeks went by before all the coats were complete. They say that a good part of cruising is learning to write your plans in sand ... I guess we're getting lots of practice!
On February 10th we made our second attempt to splash Nirvana, only to find a very low water level .. I'm talking about the lowest the boatyard had seen in years! Was this some sort of sick joke from Mother Nature?! The wind was quickly knocked out of our sails as we realized that once again we wouldn't be getting Nirvana to a new location.
To add salt to the wound, we were fighting the clock with our Pettit Trinidad 75 bottom paint. The company recommends that the boat be back in the water within 60 days of painting the bottom. When we painted the bottom back in December, we figured we had plenty of time to get Nirvana back in the water. Who would have thought that we'd sail right through those 60 days with the strut repair, escaping to Miami (how dare us!), and juggling work with the weather and tides.
On February 10th, we were just over 70 days. Ken and I had a dilemma .. we could either dish out another $200 for a gallon of Trinidad 75 paint, wait for it to come in the mail, then paint another coat on the bottom and spend at least another $100 bucks to the boatyard or ... take our chances and just put Nirvana back in the water? We sure don't want the paint to fail and Nirvana's bottom to start looking like the photo above! After doing some research on the internet, I found an article on "Anti-Fouling Paints and Haul-Outs" by Practical Sailor. The article mentioned Trinidad 75 and said that just scrubbing the bottom of the boat with a Scotch Brite pad would remove the oxidation and be sufficient for boats left on the hard for up to a year after being painted. This is what I wanted to see! I showed the article to Ken and made a call to Pettit Paint to get their opinion. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast I was able to speak to a representative on the phone, but after the conversation I was even more confused. The rep said that Pettit recommended scrubbing the bottom with a red Scotch Brite pad from 60-70 days. When I mentioned the article and asked his opinion of 80-90 days, he said that some folks have had "great success" with the pads after being on the hard for several months, but Pettit recommends painting another coat on the bottom after 70 days. The good thing was that he said the bottom wouldn't have to be sanded before applying another coat.
With conflicting information, Ken and I went back and forth on what to do. We finally decided that we didn't want to waste the time or money on ordering paint and we'd just take our chances and scrub the bottom with the pad. After all, Pettit was probably being overly cautious. However ... Ken found himself swamped with work and hasn't had a day off since the 10th. (Yes, he needs to slow down, but that's another post for another day). It's now the 23rd and Ken has to work all of this week so ... we decided that since we have to wait anyway, we may as well order the paint and play it safe.
We're hoping that the paint will be in by this weekend and we can coordinate Ken's schedule with the boatyard's and make this happen real soon. I've said it before but ... fingers crossed that the weather and tides cooperate with our schedule, and that there's no more unexpected repairs.
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!