28 April 2015

Pre-trip Haul Out: 10 days ‘On the Hard’

Katmai being lifted out
One of the big chores prior to departing on the Fremantle to Bali Rally requires spending some time ‘on the hard’.  Being on the hard refers to the time the boat spends out of the water in stands in a boat yard. This makes it possible to work on the parts of the boat below waterline.  

Chores include cleaning the bottom of marine growth, sanding, repainting with ‘antifouling’, buffing and waxing the ‘topsides’ and servicing the propeller and shaft.  These are big chores, generally done by cruisers themselves and but when we were working we had the luxury of hiring someone to do the heavy work. Now that we are retired, we do it all.  However, we did hire out one bit this time, the application of 'propspeed' to the propeller and shaft after we cleaned them.  Propspeed really seems to prevent growth of marine life on the metal surfaces, so worth a rather expensive application by a specialist.

The view from 'on the hard' was awesome
Now we find it a pleasure to do work on Katmai ourselves.  It is after all, a lifestyle. One lesson we learned is to work on the boat in the yard during the spring or autumn in Fremantle.  We have been out of the water before during the height of summer when temperatures exceeded 100F every day, and with the sun and hot asphalt, well we simply roasted….add the pleasure (not) of a steep climb down 15 steps from the boat to the pavement and hike to a remote restroom at night and back up those steps, and well, I was not a happy camper.

This time, weather was perfect, days much cooler, in the 70’s (F).
As I write this, we are just back ‘in the water’ always a big relief after the stress of ‘haul out’ and 'put in'.
Eric painting the rudder
We are also trying a new bottom paint, Juton, which is highly recommended by many sailors here in the harbor, and roughly half the cost of the Micron 66 we used the last few times. Yeah! Bottom paint we use is self ablating, meaning it slowly wears away as you move through the water, to discourage the marine life such as barnacles, corals etc that desperately try to make your hull their new home.  

The new Juton paint application went really well. In the photo, you can see Eric here doing some touch up on the rudder….also gives you an appreciation for the scale of things…he is on a ladder to reach the top of the rudder.  Katmai has a 3 meter draft, so lots of ups and downs on ladders and scaffolding, and then there is the work of having an electric buffer above your head polishing all 50 feet of each side of the boat.  It looks amazing!  We will never complain about waxing our car again, ever.

Katmai in her stand and our car 
loaded with spare parts for sale
We also had a bit of a 'yard sale' in the work yard.  We had a storage shed here with spare parts and surplus from our refit of Katmai. We are determined to lighten that load, clean out the storage unit and close it down before we leave. Two weeks ago, our club sponsored a 'treasures of the bilge' event, basically a group garage sale for sailors.  Between that event, some well placed adds on www.gumtree.com.au and our 'yard sale in the yard', we have made our goal of being shed-less (I know, a frightening state of being for some!).

More later, Laurie

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