Five Boat Yard Work Days
This is Work Day 5 for the boat yard. Nothing is happening on DESERT VENTURE. Anyone who lives on the hard in a boat yard knows that this is a frustrating predicament. No work, no launch back to the water. It’s raining and blustery and the forecast suggests it’s going to get worse before it gets better – even saying things like “rain into the weekend”. That is not what we wanted to hear.
We’ve been boarding the stairs below. I have to tell you, this is way better than a ladder! The first step at the top, on to the stairs is a long one for me. In fact there are muscles that have been stretched and exercised more lately. It is still better than the shaky ladder we endured previously. The stairs were closer to the hull on the starboard side, but the yard guy moved it to port yesterday. Not the same comfort feeling – that first step, but still better than a ladder.
We were moving along pretty well, until this weather arrived. Nothing happened on Day 1 but the haul out. A whole half day of nothing – which drives me crazy but gives Bruce time to prep the boat for the yard workers. Every thing he does saves time for the workers and money for us.
Day 2 started out great. There were guys in the engine room and guys on the hull working. We had lots of traffic and work going for all that day and Friday – Day 3. By the end of Friday the hull was ready for bottom paint. The shafts, rudders, and props were off to the shops for maintenance.
Propeller on arrival – wait till you see it later!
There is no report yet, but we hope to hear that the shafts are in great shape. There were no visible signs of problems. The propellers are off to the prop shop, where they will be cleaned, balanced, and tuned. Tuned, you say? Yes, they do tune the props. I requested this; I read that props can make sounds that scare away sea life – like whales. Guys laugh at me. Fine. However, we’ve never gotten in a proximity to a whale where I could take a photo that was meaningful – at least to me. I do not want to run alongside them, within feet – we do respect their space, but it would be cool to be within a 100 yards of them. So, we will see what, if any, difference this makes.
Rudder on arrival – good shape – and will look great at launch.
First Bottom Coat
The hull was ready for bottom paint on Monday – Day 3. They said there were no bare aluminum spots, but I saw some tiny ones, so they took another look, and did some minor touch ups on bare areas – while continuing to put on the first coat of bottom paint.
Isn’t she looking good? Also, take note of the blocking. This is about three times more than before. They do this for one reason – earthquakes. Smart yard!
They got the cutlass bearings out along with the running gear.
The port bearing was worn. The starboard bearing was worn out – dangerously so. It suggests something got caught on the shaft and into the bearing like fishing line. We don’t recall any such event for the starboard side. In the ten years of running the boat we caught one lobster trap just outside of Mission Bay, CA, and one crab trap off the Washington coast. Both were cut free, and we had a diver down and looking after each event. So the starboard cutlass bearing is a mystery. We also discovered that we have two cutlass bearings on each shaft. That was news to us, and apparently the boat yard, too! It took them longer to get the second set off. They were on the engine side of the shaft tube and showed normal wear. They are gone now, too.
This is the shaft tube after removal of the running gear. The second cutlass bearing was attached here.
Shaft tube after Bruce cleaned it.
See light at the end of the shaft tube?
Swim Platform perimeter – not pretty.
While the boat yard was working on the hull and the running gear, Bruce planned to repair the broken corner on our swim platform fender system. The fender is the backwards “D” shape black thing in the upper left hand corner. It is super strong rubber and protects DV from docks. Wind got control, and the corner was broken on our brand new fender job from the last boat yard. We decided it was a good thing. When Bruce got in there it was obvious the job was not done properly. We had the edge cleaned and welded smooth two years ago, and replaced the fender. Now there is mild to serious corrosion where the fender was installed improperly – allowing salt water to get between the fender and the boat. Not good. Bruce ended up pulling the entire fender off, sanding the perimeter, putting the etch coat, barrier coats, and a top coat on. It is ready for the fender – whenever it stops raining.
We can’t leave the yard without the fender in place. See all the holes?
We believe the running gear can be re-installed any time – once all the parts are back from their respective shops. Theoretically, we could see that all completed – regardless of weather. But, the day needs to be dry – or much dryer than we see forecast to get the last coat of bottom paint done, and the fender back in its place.
Boat Yard Dog – Whitney
We had an unexpected visitor aboard the other night. Bruce says she smelled my pizza. She got puppy treats instead of pizza. She now visits regularly – go figure. She is a trooper on those stairs – I never expected a dog to show up on our aft deck in the boat yard. As usual, food on DV brings visitors aboard.
Normally I sign off saying we are “high and dry” in the boat yard – darn rain! But this time we are high and wet – rain-wet in the boat yard – waiting for a dry spell.