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2016-04-20

Painting the hull red and other preparations

Ah, Pettit Premium: How much you cost.
A break in the weather coinciding with a break in the workload has allowed us to creep ahead of the "rush point" to launching Alchemy on April 30, weather, again, permitting. Mrs. Alchemy fits rather better under the hull than do I, and I'm sticking to that story, so while I finished up the mast tabernacle re-org and cleaned off the prop, she dealt with a few rust spots and needful places for cold galvanizing spray. We may, if time permits, even paint under the pads with the remaining dribbles, something we haven't always done as the boat tends to be put in variable places in its cradle from year to year and we can paint what was missed when it's revealed without lowering the pads. Now that we can move, I care more.

The topsides will be repainted in the customary two-part Endura once we are in the water, but the hull got, once again, its layers of Pettit Premium Performance anti-fouling paint, which, despite its claims to be "very economical", is clearly significantly pricier than it was last year, to which I attribute generalized greed and the daunted Canadian dollar.

I find its "performance" not great, but realistically, if you put ablative paint on a boat that doesn't move, you're not doing it right, so this season, where movement is very much scheduled, I expect to change my views. The issue is also that I want to do what Capt. Matt did and take the hull back to bare metal, have a nice thick barrier coat put in, and have hard, multi-season anti-fouling put on, not ablative, single-season. Given Capt. Matt's issues with outrageously low-balled estimates locally, I'm thinking we'll go down the St. Lawrence as is and get this done in Halifax or nearby on a commercial basis, as Alchemy is smaller than the average fishing trawler, and yet we want pretty much the same industrial-grade, ocean-ready bottom coatings.

Our dock's for the birds, clearly
After inspecting the quality of the shackles, thimbles and lines, and after verifying the shackle mousing could go another season, I put the dock lines in. If we know we aren't moving immediately, I tend to double the lines to and from the boat; Neptune knows I have enough fenders. The lines pictured, however, are 3/4-inch; after several seasons and careful deployment of anti-chafe, there's no real sign of wear on them. Still, we are conscious of the potential for 16 tonnes of mischief at large in the basin, and we try to reduce risk of our boat coming loose. I often see chafed 1/2 inch (or smaller) lines on other heftly boats, with no chafe gear and looking worse for wear. It's really the easiest thing in the world to deploy one's lines properly.
I haven't had complaints about this. In fact, I haven't heard a peep.
I'm on my club's Mooring Committee, which is fairly self-explanatory, although we also have a fair bit to do with the docks. This time last year, I was asked to redesign our guidelines and these illustrations are part of that. I don't see fore and aft springs on too many boats and yet it does distribute loads effectively, particularly in slips, like ours, where "beam-on" winds are the norm.


If the chain saws through the bollard, it's the club's fault, not the sailor's, which could be handy with one's insurer.
Regardless, those lines are heavy and I was glad to get them off the list and on the dock.

Gratifyingly, the dewinterization of Alchemy's engine went smoothly. I flushed out the system, checked oil, transmission and coolant levels, and slightly pressurized the fuel system. My reward was an instant start, even off the miniscule and aging Group 24 which I've been nursing as the putative house bank. On that front, the house bank batteries have been selected and priced and will be purchased and delivered in May. Then I have a lot of carpentry and rebar assembly to perform, as six L-16 batteries will need proper boxing and securing in a way the typical (for around here) pair of Group 27s also need, but do not always have. Anyway, we are ready to splash 10 days before we need to, and the forecast doesn't call for any freezing overnight temperatures and in face none lower than 4 C, so that's fine.

Lastly, my boat broker tells me Valiente's getting two showings this Friday. Perhaps it's because we lowered the price by a grand and perhaps the next post will have some good news on that neglected front. I hope so, as with a new main coming and a big battery purchase, we are burning cash again this spring.


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