Monday, April 11, 2011

A tale of woe... Oh and RAIN

Well It's raining outside, and I have antifouling to put on Snow Petrel... Forecast - rain on and off for the rest of the week. I should have put the paint on yesterday morning before the rain started, but I hadn't primed any of the bare metal patches (only some small pinholes 1-2mm diameter) so I did that instead.

So now if I can get the bottom dry enough for one coat of antifouling I will be right. If not well, I'd rather not think about that, be positive, you know.

On the plus side I have taken off the tiller and planed it back and reshaped it. It has always been a bit of a hefty lump of wood. Rather ugly but strong. I have never gotten around to doing anything about it because I want a telescopic fancy aluminium tiller so I have always seen this as a temporary tiller. Anyway I decided I needed to have at least one nice looking thing to cheer me up and I have planed it down to a nice shape and started varnishing it. As soon as I started planing it I realised they did a nice job of laminating the tiller with alternating light and dark strips... WOW it's going to look great. I have put alot more taper into it and it will fit the hand better then the original old lump of wood.
It's amazing what hides under the old grey wood...

I have spent alot of time investigating stray currents because they may be the cause of some of the failure of the base layers of paint. I think that it is mostly due to the old age of the bottom paint and million layers of old antifouling but I want to eliminate any stray currents before I strip all the paint of and start again. It would be heart breaking go to all the trouble of doing this and then find the new paint coming off as well... So if anyone has any tips on a good stray current meter or using a multimeter to find leaks let me know. Some interesting sites on stray currents; this one seems very good, Yacht survey - and I would like to find out more about these meters and if they are any good or just a dressed up multimeter (I have heard one fellow around here swear by them). What other options are out there for testing? I guess my anodes have started working for the first time in 7 years or so so that makes me slightly suspicious. But they still aren't working hard.

I also would like to hear from anyone with information about sandblasting vs. mechanically cleaning with a sander. Or other options such as ultra-high pressure water blasting, soda or dry ice blasting. More research for me before the next slip in six-eight months time...

Anyway the sun is peaking out... time to head down to the boat



BTW what does the rest of the world call coming out of the water, we call it slipping the boat.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A long time...

I just looked at the date of the last post and realised what a long time it's been since I last posted. Well I kind of knew it has been a long time, and I have written two big posts (and re-written them at least three times), But for certain reasons (which I may or may not reveal) I have not posted them yet... sorry.

So I am kind of firing this off to let you know I am still alive. (I am) But I did have abit of a fright the other night, seeing lots of water in the bilge I tasted it to see if it was fresh or salt, (kind of more fresh, not salty so had another taste to check) and looked for the leak. I couldn't find any leak anywhere so I pumped it out and went home...

Light-bulb moment at 10pm, cooling water from engine, antifreeze... toxic? Panic google search YES IT IS TOXIC!! !@#$%

Anyway to cut along story short Karen drove me down (I was suffering from extreme hypochondriac syndrome) I got some samples from the bilge and some salt water I stuck them both in the freezer and they both froze OK. Also the Cooling water was still full and very green (the bilge water wasn't green) so I think I am not going to die (from that anyway).  Many lessons learnt here, many that I should have learnt when I was two, like don't swallow anything unknown.

But seriously I was surprised that 30mls or so of antifreeze can be fatal, but relived that the cure was strong alcohol... so I decided I'd better have lots of the cure just in case.

As well as rewriting posts and trying to poison myself I have just put Snow Petrel up on the slip (the hard? for you Americans). I decided to try slipping her closer to town this time (Kettering where I keep her is 40 mins drive away). So I had to sail her up. With all the weed on the bottom it took much longer than I had planed, and had to motor sail to keep her moving... very sad... It got dark and I learnt that my masthead light wasn't working... Another job to do...

Anyway today she went up and after three hours on the end of a water blaster all the flora and fauna making their unwelcome home on the bottom of my boat were evicted and the bottom was clean (it was pretty bad, kind of glad I don't have a photo...). The reason for such bad fouling, paint detachment - the epoxy paint sealing the old antifouling away is starting to fail badly after 6 years, and much of the 18 year build-up of paint was blistered and loose, with weed growing through any cracks.

So really I think this means a sandblast job to remove the assorted antifouling paint build up on the bottom. Unless any of you have any better ideas... While I am at it I should make all those modifications to the boat underwater that I have planned. I will get around to describing some of these in later posts.