Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Week two on-the-hard, Check!

Another long dusty week gone by and so much has been done. Our decision to go big on the bottom relegated us to a very dusty environment. Since we were going to be wearing our ventilator masks anyway we figured it was a good time for a little sole sanding. Two days of Sergio throwing up old toxic bottom paint dust, Chris stripping what was left of the sole varnish with his drill and Shawn following with a random orbital sander (thanks to Caleb of La Cadencia since our sander pad gave up after several revivals). We survived and relished blowing all of it out of the cabin and off the deck with compressed air for a slightly cleaner environment.

We have continued to trudge forward with the projects. Chris finished plumbing the anchor locker and cockpit allowing us to reassemble the windlass, get Rocky ready for launching, load up the V-berth with our sails, and now after a couple days of drying we'll soon be able to reload the rest of the gear on our cabin top into the lazarettes. While waiting, we've been reattaching gear to the stern pulpit. This included a basic monitor wind vane repair (replacing a bushing) which turned a little bigger when one of the stainless bolts sheered, and became even bigger upon reinstallation of the gear linkage, some of the bearings came out... Another black box revealed. We're very grateful to have had Moni ashore for the improvements and that Moni is back in action; better than ever attached to the transom and and ready to steer.

"Slight" detours happen during every project, and we're trying to take advantage of our power-rich environment, so while loading more gear onto the stern pulpit, Shawn has been using the drill to buff clean our rusting cowl vents and Chris has been cutting stainless tubing to the correct lengths for new cockpit lifeline bars as well as the stern arch that he is creating (all will be revealed as that comes together). As always, more epoxy is flowing, this time into new holes in the cabin top created for our two new-to-us Lewmar 25 2-speed winches that are replacing the original four Barient 10 one-speeds.

It felt good to begin installing the running rigging as Tao has started to look like a sailboat again. The anchor was connected to the bow, the lifelines went up, the boom was installed, all of the plastic deck hardware that was removed for dry storage has been reinstalled, and halyards were hung by the mast with care in hopes that sailing soon will be near (anyone get the Christmas reference there?). We cleared the cockpit to check the fit of our new (ala Noah of Scheherazade) teak cockpit grate/outdoor bed and only minor adjustments had to be made for it to fit- though we realized we should get on staining it and decided also to start layering varnish on the 7-ft wooden oars we brought down for Eeyore.

Through all of this, Sergio has been diligently continuing the 9-day bottom job which included stripping the bottom down to the gel coat, followed by epoxy touch-ups when down to the fiberglass, then sanding with a finer grain and detailing (5-days) plus a half day on Saturday to tape everything and work on the propeller to finish the sanding. Monday was a big day with 3 coats of epoxy barrier, 1 coat of primer, and 1 coat of bottom paint. Tuesday the Lowboy showed up to move us so he could get underneath the keel and stands and repeat the same treatment there as well as apply a second full coat of bottom paint. Today is the final day with the third coat everywhere, all the detail work, blue tape pulled and voila, a beautiful new bottom!

For us today, we started with a hearty steak, egg and potato breakfast and we're now in high gear focused on getting Yannie up to speed and organizing everything that has been on the cabin top for the past weeks, maybe even bending sails; basic minimum preparation for life afloat. Spirits were lagging for a brief period in there, but we were reinvigorated by the full lunar eclipse on the winter solstice. And although a heavy marine layer has been hanging around for the last two days, we are fired up to splash tomorrow! Back to work...

1 comment:

  1. Amazing work you guys-I hope you are enjoying some well deserved rest and quiet in the water.
    We are currently on a plane heading down to sf for Christmas.
    Merry Christmas Tao Crew!!
    Much love,