Posted by: catamarantwooceans | March 26, 2009

A Working Week

23.3.09 – Monday – The big item of the day was the meeting with the marina guys to arrange the lifting out and painting the bottom. Cheekey, a short, energetic man, is in charge of lifting boats. It turns out that the travel lift is too narrow for my 6.27m beam and the way they want to pull me out is by putting a trailer between the hulls. This way the full weight of the boat will be on the bridgedeck, something that I am not sure the boat was designed for. Carlos, the yacht club manager tried to allay my fears:”Cheekey has been doing this for 28 years” he says “He just took out a 58 foot catamaran the same way”. I really had no choice! The boat must be painted. I inspected the trailer and saw the boat will sit on two fore and aft beams. Since my bridgedeck has longitudinal stiffeners, sort of ribs, I asked them to add lateral planks and was satisfied that this will distribute the weight on a large area and will be safe. The next guy to speak to was Miguel, the man whose crew will clean, prepare and paint the bottom. “How much will it cost?” I asked. Miguel gave it a lot of thought and came up with 750$ with me supplying the paint. Petit Trinidad costs here about 300$ to the gallon and I need three. I started negociating, in Spanish(!) and finally we agreed on 500$, the fibregalss repair of the scratch on the bow included. The actual lifting will be done on Wednesday with launching on Friday. We shook hands and I went on with a whole lot of jobs that I listed as must do before the big trip. Regular stuff like changing oil and oil filters and special things like making a drouge for slowing the boat when running before a storm. For this I had to cut four holes in a used car tire, to pass a chain through and it is unbelievable how tough those tires are with all the strengthning steel wires in them. The guys, Yossi and Roberto, from “Undersea Hunter” are very helpfull with local information and also invited me to dinner at their place ( they live in the company site during the week and go home to San Jose on weekends).

24.3.09 – Tuesday – Work, work, work. I went shopping for a few things that I hoped to get here. Ropes for yachts? NO. Filters for Yanmar engine? NO. Belts for the water pump? NO! I’ll have to bring everything from Israel.

25.3.09 – Wednesday – The big day. High tide is around 1430. But before that I dismantle a section of the mast track in order to insert another car for the mainsail headboard. Since all the existing cars are sitting on the lower section, I had to take out the one above it and this meant working up to 2.5 meters above deck, supporting myself on the folding rungs and the stays and using the harness for safety. Typically for me I lost one of the allen screws that hold the section in place. It may still be found inside the sail bag next time when I raise the sail. A 1300 I was anxiously waiting for Cheekey and crew to come over. A  huge catamaran, a 64 footer was manuevering to go out of the fueling dock, misjudged the current, much as I did in a similiar situation and had his rudder entangled in the mooring ropes of a floating dock.  It was suck right in front of “Two Oceans” and I feared that with all their effort to extricate themselves they will hit us! 

Big cat in trouble

Big cat in trouble

Luckily it did not happen and when they finally were on their way the marina staff came over and helped me get into position over the trailer. This was a low-tech operation but effective as the boat was slowly dragged up the ramp with Miguel already working with a spatula to clean the hull. No power wash here…      I could disembark at some point and take a few pictures.

Pulling up

Pulling up

On the ramp

On the ramp

Oh! I forgot to mention thst I took a room in the yacht club. For some reason my insurance company forbids living on board while out of the water. Also the boat was in a nose up attitude and very close to the main road. You cannot use the toilet or shower  and a room cost only 30$ a night, has a good shower, aircondition and even a TV!

26.3.09 – Thursday –  There are two tasks that can only be done when the boat is out of the water: changing saildrive oil and zinc anode, that sits behind the prop, protecting the drive from galvanic action.  The first one is simple: you unscrew a bolt at the bottom of the drive, drain the oil, screw it back and put in new oil. The second task is more of a challenge. For reasons that I cannot imagine, in order to replace the zinc you have to take the propeller off the shaft.  The props I have are folding ones and were created by a sophisticated Australian genius. They perform impeccably but dismantling them can become a nightmare.  Too many parts! The props blades are held in place by stainless pins which in turn are fixed in position by two allen screws, one holding the pin and the other securing the first.  I found out that the last time the procedure was done (not by me) only one screw was put in and they all got stuck in place by corrosion, calcification and what not.  When I tried turning the allen key to open them I could only take out two of the eight in the two props. The rest just melted, losing  the hex shape that makes it possible to unscrew them. Rushed into town to buy a screw “extractador” but this worked for only one more screw. The only option left was to drill out the stainless steel screws, hoping that the thread will not be damaged. It took me 9 hours, including a 30 minutes lunch break to take the propellers off , the last few hours, being high water time, working with water up to my knees. It took another 5 minutes to replace the zinc anodes. This is completely LOCO! I was lucky to have Miguel working on the boat ( he painted some epoxy primer where needed, repaired the fibreglass damage and painted the first coat of anti fouling) he gave me a hand in some of the things that were definitely two man operation. Good man! When I invited him to have a beer with me he said he was not a drinking man and departed with my thanks. One of the hardest days I had in a long time.


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