July 4, 2013

The Hard Life-Australia

Hauling out is difficult, time consuming and expensive (and occasionally dramatic). So we tend to put it off. In fact, the last time we hauled the boat up onto dry land to paint the bottom was May 2010 (we had such a terrible paint job done at Abaroa’s we ended up careening the boat in September 2010 and adding another coat of paint). This time we were hoping to eek every last bit of use out of our paint, which we did, plus a year or so. About a month ago when scraped a barnacle farm off the boat we knew it was past time.
we just fit
Anyone with a cat can tell you finding a place to haul takes a bit of research. Because of our width we tend to need travel lifts designed for really big boats—which leads to a really big price. Our strategy is to hunt out smaller-extra wide lifts in industrial boat-yards, which means we end up in interesting places. But the price tends to be slightly more manageable.
barnacles, weed and river goo
This time we ended up in Brisbane Marine Industry Park on the little lift—which Ev had carefully measured and saw we *just* fit on. Though it was a narrow slot, and the current was on our beam, getting into the lift was drama free (yay!). Once the boat was out (Maia: “Oh, I love the smell of a boatyard!”) and we looked over the hull (Evan to yard worker: “It’s not so bad, is it?” Yard worker with bemused look: “It’s filthy.”) we were moved to our spot and the work started. And so did the rain.

looking at the bend in the rudder--this one is slated for replacement shortly

Winter in Brisbane is dry season. You can ask locals and many will tell you about years that went by without measurable rain in June or July. This year though: record breaking. It’s been raining so much it seems to have thrown the weather forecasters off their game. The weekend, which was supposed to include an occasional shower, turned into one big rain fest. We ended up draping the boat with everything tarp-like we own (including the tent) in an effort to keep the hulls dry enough to paint.

Then we ran into another problem. North American power tools don’t run on the Aussie 240 outlets and when it rains non-stop there isn’t much sun available to charge solar panels. A quick trip (with a borrowed car) to the hardware store for a battery charger (and more tarps) solved the problem though.

Once we were set up it was time to start sanding. Problem #3 was the discovery that 18 months in brackish water had lead to the development of some osmotic blistering. We had the same thing happen on little Ceilydh after her time in the Rio Dulce—not sure of the science behind it but the blisters were pencil eraser to dime sized and none went into the glass. We treated them by popping them open, rinsing them well, and then any that need filler after sanding were filled.
a few of the little blisters we found after they were opened and dried...
Next came a couple of coats of paint, a few minor repairs and after four days it was back into the water on a bright sunny winter day and out on the bay for a short sailing holiday.

The paint is supposed to be 30 month paint—which I’m sure we can stretch….

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. You should write more often. ☼