Thursday, 20 November 2014

LIFE ABOVE GROUND. 19th November 2014

Since returning in the Cadillac, from the outward bound tour of the Eastern States, its been a mixed bag of boat jobs on the hard at Tiger Point Marina, Fernandina Beach, Florida! 

Taipan was waiting patiently for us in the work area when we returned, having been retrieved from the long term storage yard across the road. Still snug in her cradle she squats right outside the main office and close to the great amenities here. The amenities I refer to are the WC and shower. The only amenities relevant at this temperature. A pool would only serve as a reminder of the need for another jumper. The first job was to reinstall the in-hatch air conditioner. Oh dear... that was an anti climax. It has been used once for several hours only, and today I removed it so I could more securely shut up the boat.
Within a few days the temperature started to rocket downward and the heavy duty cold weather clothes and the heater were unearthed from the deep darker recesses after consultation with "The Book." (The Book is a small note book with an alphabetical index into which we write all the items aboard the boat..... in a column next to the item we put its current hiding place, in pencil as it changes all to frequently.) The heater has not been turned off now for a week. This is Florida... this morning it was 26°F outside ... thats about -4°C.

Jobs commenced with the replacement of several thru hull fittings... I hear you say we have done them before. Its true we have looked at some and checked them and moved on. This time we bit the bullet and actually removed some. They were  fine. The new ones don't look as good. We put some new ones in and put some of the old ones back. All good and we even managed to glass in a couple so the number of holes in the hull is gradually decreasing. I think we started with 22. Now we are down to about 16. We also installed a new speed impeller with temperature sensor.

While the thru hull stuff was happening I put the clears and covers back on and did a few sewing repairs. The canvas lady from St Augustine had to come back to pick up the Boom Bag  because she had sown up the batten pockets when she did some repairs so its still not back aboard.

Just hauled out.
Next job of course is anti-foul. The boat was a mess when we pulled it out. We had the bottom cleaned by divers before we left Jacksonville about a week before we hauled out here, but it was not a pretty sight out of the water. The worst looking bottom we have ever had. We had noticed that the anti-foul appeared to be wearing off after only 6 months. Way down in the Caribbean David had to start diving on it and cleaning it frequently. The whole bottom was covered in small barnacles and the remains of long hairy growth which the bottom cleaners had missed. When the high pressure cleaner had finished it was evident that not much paint had gone onto the boat in South Africa. That was the first and last time we get someone else to put on our anti-foul. What it means is that the whole hull had to be heavily sanded with machines to get rid of the barnacles. About doubling the work required before anti-foul can commence. We had to have that done by contractors because the environmentalists insist on the use of fancy tools with air extraction. Finally we were ready to start painting.

Taped and painted with 5 gallons of  Marine AG 45% copper Ablative Black things started to look better. The scheduled dunking was postponed due to tornados and tides. We are off north again into the seriously cold weather for Thanksgiving so Taipan will remain on the hard until we return in the first week of December for relaunching.