Boatyard Week 1

Getting dirty. Getting it done.

We’ve been at Bock Marine in Beaufort for a week now and are feeling pretty settled. Life in the yard at the top of a 12 ft ladder is not as enjoyable as life at sea — but its still fun and very satisfying to see progress on many different projects.

The yard provides a nice clean lounge with showers and laundry facilities.

Lounge area with TV and lots of books.
Laundry machine works well even though the water is powerfully stinky.

Outside the lounge everything is dirty. The ground in the yard is not gravel or crushed stone. It is a mixture of sand and mud and the detritus of years of sanding fiberglass and wood and paint. Also, coastal North Carolina is pretty low and flat. Drainage is not really a thing here. The ground stays soft and squishy for days after a big rain.

My front door is not nearly as appealing after a heavy rain. Mud and grit get stuck in your shoes and tracked pretty much everywhere.
I got a good floor mat to catch some of the grit that would otherwise be tracked into the cabin. And I found a couple of cheap solar lights to make nighttime ladder climbing a little safer.

In the last few days I’ve cleaned and repitched the prop, end-for-ended and repainted the anchor chain, repaired some hull dings gifted by the previous owner, sealed the deck and stripped varnish from the toe rail, handrails and eyebrow.

The grease packed inside the prop is very sticky and resistant to being washed out. Which is good – but makes it really fun to remove.
The anchor chain is probably on its last year as the galvanizing is wearing pretty thin. I cut off some particularly rusty sections on both ends, swapped the working end, and measured and repainted marks at 25 ft intervals. Our 250 ft of 3/8″ BBB chain weighs 400 lbs.

The biggest job so far has been removing as much of the old crusty bottom paint as time and budget allows. Two young men from the yard spent yesterday sanding and chipping.

40 grit sandpaper removes material (including fiberglass) very quickly. The Bock guys did a good job removing the worst of the paint buildup without damaging the hull.
Not her best look.

I applied the first of 2-3 coats of Petitt Hydrocoat antifouling bottom paint earlier today. The stuff is water based so cleanup is easy and it doesn’t smell (or melt your brain) like most solvent-based paints. And it sticks to everything so there is no need to remove all of the underlying paint.

First coat of new paint. The bottom is definitely smoother than before and I’m less concerned about big chunks of paint flaking off. Maybe one day she’ll have a perfectly fair racing finish. Not today.

The weather looks great this week so expecting to do more painting tomorrow and Thursday. Then on to seacock maintenance, more varnish stripping and sanding and some preliminary work under the cockpit to prepare for running new steering and engine control cables. Good fun.

One thought on “Boatyard Week 1”

  1. You are making great progress for sure. Loved the pics. I wondered what was going on in the background of the third picture, the one with the ladder. Looks like a spy with a camera standing in the ditch with a hood over his head.


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