Here's what we got up to...
Propeller & Saildrive Antifouling: Our propellers mount on a piece of equipment called a sail drive under the boat. This is essentially a right-angle gearing that drops down from below the engine and about once every ten (10) years it is recommended that the lower unit seal be replaced. We are only 7 years old but to avoid any unwanted surprises, we went ahead and had the seal replaced, then we replaced all the automatic transmission fluid that fills the unit and finally went about protecting the whole assembly from the nasty growth that can grow on underwater surfaces in warm tropical waters. Because the propellers and sail drive are made from aluminum they should not be coated with an anti fouling paint containing copper, this can cause pitting on the aluminum surface. Instead, we chose to use a product specifically designed for aluminum called Seajet. The idea is that growth is repelled and will not adhere to the painted surface and it will remain nice and slippery, providing little resistance to the moving water as we sail or motor.
The process involved applying a first coat, 15 minutes later a second coat, 15 minutes later a third coat, 2 hours later a fourth coat, 2 hours later a fifth coat and 2 hours later a final coat. Phew!! Timing that not to get sanding dust from our neighbours in the yard was tricky business but we managed to find a day when they were taking a break.
|Two propellers and two spares, along with two nose cones going through the process.|
|It many not look all that pretty, but our sail drive is clean and ready for painting. The blue tape is protecting the shaft where the anode and the propeller will go.|
Once we had the sail drives and propellers painted, we moved on to the bottom of the boat to give it a nice new clean bottom. Since our epoxy bottom is nice and smooth, the primer was in good shape, and we are using the same product as before and to be honest most of it was gone anyways, we were able to just apply the new bottom paint without a lot of arduous prep-work. Some will tell us that we should have stripped right off and put on new primer but since we have other plans we will divulge at a later date, suffice it to say, this is all that is necessary at the moment. So happy to be able to get the bottom paint all on in one day!
|Wearing your carnival j'ouvert shirt is kinda cheating Henry - it makes you look like you're really tossing that paint around.|
|It's so nice and easy to paint a catamaran - no scaffolding needed to reach the high spots and even the keels weren't too low to get under.|
|Calling it "The Boatyard Blues" but happy that job is all done.|
By Thursday afternoon, it was time for a little boatyard Tetris. Two of our neighbours needed to move out and eventually a boat about four rows back wanted out - this happens when you tell the yard you want to splash in December and then change your mind to October. The guys in the yard a real pros when it comes to moving boats and although the process seemed very slow - we were extremely happy they were so careful, it was still faster than moving other boats (like us) out of the way and then coming back for the offender.
|It was pretty scary watching a 50' catamaran pass within inches of our hull.|
Previously we had been lifted out of the water on a travel lift and then transferred to the trailer for parking. This time, we stayed on the trailer and as a first for us, we were launched down the ramp. There were two divers in the water making sure all was clear before we were pulled over to the dock and tied up. Being the last launch of the day, we stayed where we were to check through engines and other systems, with no worries about holding up another boat.
|Heading down the ramp to freedom.|
|But we didn't go too far the first night - it felt good to just be on the water.|
|Sunset view from Calvigny Island anchorage on our second night out.|
Now, we've moved around to Mount Hartman Bay which feels like our home away from home. We'll enjoy a couple of weeks here before moving back northbound to start our third season of cruising.
|Interesting cloud formations over Secret Harbour Marina.|
|Grenadian Thanksgiving and kickoff to the World Series - celebrated with grilled chilli-dogs in the great company of Alan, Marie and Cathy.|