Monday, October 28, 2013

Breaking Down Barriers

Shortly after we hauled out, we knew that we would have do a complete bottom job.  Our barrier coat, which was put on by one of the previous owners in Mexico (10+ years ago), was getting a bit long in the tooth.  Parts of it were peeling and flaking up and it didn't make sense to put bottom paint on top of the failing substrate.  We have been dreading this one for a while now and luckily for me, Frank decided to just step up and take of it on his own.  I was spared and didn't have to do one bit of sanding (Yay me!).  Frank spent a couple of hours a day over the course of a week taking it down to bare fiberglass.  His method proved to be incredibly efficient, and all in all I would say he spent about 30 hours getting it all off.  He worked in a grid-like pattern, using a Makita 5 in. sander, first taking the bottom paint down to the barrier coat with 26 grit sanding discs, and then proceeded to remove the barrier coat with less aggressive 50-grit discs.  It made a HUGE mess and I would say that by the end of the day, there would be about 1/2" of dust on the ground.  A lot of people at the yard have come by and asked us if we had it sandblasted or used a peeler because it looked so professional, and each time I proudly proclaim, "Nope, Frank did it the hard way, it looks pretty good, huh?" We did go through a lot of 5" discs, but what we have spent on doing it on our own was nothing compared to the price of getting it done by a yard.  Had we had it peeled professionally, we would've been looking at $10K or more for the job.  Yikes!

Failed Barrier Coat :(
First off with the Bottom Paint
Then down to the Barrier Coat
Finally down to Bare Fiberglass
It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Closest to Heaven a Sailor Will Ever be....

I climbed up the mast a few days ago so that I could install the Windex as well as connect our Furuno anemometer.  The old ones were destroyed when the mast was unstepped and we elected to wait until the mast was re-stepped before installing the new ones.  This was the 4th time I have climbed our mast, and for some reason, I was a little nervous about going aloft this time.  Perhaps it was because it was my first time aloft on our boat while on the hard, or maybe it was because we were the only ones responsible for replacing every element of our rigging, but it felt much higher than usual.  Once I got all the way to the top, Darth helped quell some of my nervousness and I was able to enjoy the beautiful view of St Augustine.

Frank looks so tiny.. 
It works!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Shine On

We are often in the midst of several big projects at once, and even so constantly find ourselves stuck waiting for weather or parts.  We fill this "downtime" with little projects here and there.  Frank has an obsession with shiny brass, which we have a lot of on Moitessier.  When we first moved aboard, a lot of it had been let go and was dull and tarnished. He has been slowly tackling it piece by piece, and often when I am in our bedroom on the computer, I can hear him shining away.  He's been using MAAS Metal Polish to shine it up, which we swear is hands down the best polish we've used. A little goes a long way, and it's even French lavender scented...hmmm how decadent.  To keep the shine and prevent him from having to re-polish, he's been using a protective coating called Protecta Clear from Everbrite Inc.  This is a clear finish that goes on thin and prevents oxidation on brass. It lasts a long time, we've heard up to 10 years, but we will see.  Some of the first things he tackled with it are still gleaming after a year and I must admit that I sure love shiny things.

Feast your eyes on these lovely pieces......

Left: Unpolished     Right: Polished
Oooh La La...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wood Still Lookin' Good the Way it Should...

We were finally able to get our bi-annual maintenance coat of Cetol on the exterior teak the other day.  A mere 4 months late! The weather in Florida this time of year is often temperamental, and afternoon storms are the norm. This makes the summer weather a little more bearable but awful if you need a full day of sunshine.  We're really pleased with the way Cetol has held up as we haven't been the most diligent in its upkeep.  Cetol recommends that a maintenance coat be applied once every 6 months in the tropic southern sun, and this has not been the first time that we've been tardy.  The only thing we've done aside from the maintenance coats has been small touch-ups, where the finish has been nicked, and this is a simple matter of feathering the edges and applying touch up Natural Teak Cetol to it.  It's been almost 2 years since we've first applied it, and I still think it looks darn good.  What do you think?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Chillin' Out

I figure I should write about our air conditioning system before summer is completely over.  Frank built this last summer for us, and I realized that I never wrote about the ingenuity of his simple design.  When we are in the water and plugged into shore power, we use our built-in water cooled Cruisair AC/Heating unit..  But since we've been on the hard, we've been forced to use a regular window unit as going without AC in the humid Florida summer is pure insanity (especially with no sea breeze and the heat radiating off the rocks on the hard.)  We initially looked into the carry-on hatch units but after realizing the cost to BTU ratio, it didn't make sense.  We did a bit of brainstorming, and eventually Frank decided to install a regular 8000 BTU LG window unit in place of our hatch doors (it even came with a remote).  He cut out a thick piece of plywood in the shape of our companionway doors as the frame to hold up the AC.  He then used the existing hinges on one side of the doorway to allow the whole AC door to swing open like a normal door.   This has been a huge lifesaver as it does a great job cooling down the entire boat.  In fact, we are still currently using it as the days here are a warm 85 degrees.