12th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage

The sun is out and the covers are off!

It’s day two of the annual maintenance.

I’ve allowed a whole month this year to do all the painting and varnishing and have the boat launched. Maybe I can squeeze in a wee test sail too. Last year was pretty stressful trying to get everything complete in just three weeks.

While the boat is outside I am at the mercy of the weather but its surprising what can be achieved even with rain forecast. It was a lovely day today but it is raining quite heavily right now as I sit in the campervan for the evening. With the cover hanging loose, or even tied off to the mast lying alongside as a shelter, I can do all the antifouling even in light rain. So long as there is no bare timber I can also clean and prepare all the varnished areas in the rain by using abrasive pads. In any case, prior to sanding, it’s always a good idea to clean everywhere thoroughly with soapy water and a hose. All that yard grit doesn’t do you any favours. My aim during this first week, prior to being moved into the shed, is to complete all the painting below the waterline plus a thorough clean and some sanding of the varnished areas. I’ll also try to sand and prepare the mast and boom. When the boat is in the shed, the working hours are restricted to 9-5 with no work over the weekend. Hence, I’d like to leave the mast outside so I can at least get all the brand new rigging sorted out while the boat is locked up.

So during Day Two I achieved:

  1. Prepared the waterline, masked up and applied first coat
  2. Scraped any damage to the green antifouling and applied the first coat of Seajet Underwater primer to the patches
  3. Offered up the prop ready to fit in the morning
  4. Second coat of eggshell white to areas inside the cabin

This year I remembered to bring some carpet scraps to lie on whilst I prep the antifouling. Wow, it makes all the difference, lying on wet lumpy grit is no fun but the new carpet is super comfy. It helps the quality of the work too.

Day Three

This started badly. I reassembled my cafetiere without the crucial filter so my morning coffee tasted like grit. I then spent 15 minutes looking for my bright blue Marigold gloves, forgetting that they turn into a camouflage beige colour when they are inside out. Then it started to rain!

Still, after the poor start things began to pick up. I managed to:

  1. Put on the antifouled prop with its smart new anode nut.
  2. Paint the second coat of Trilux on the waterline
  3. Patch primed the second coat on the antifouling areas
  4. Sand the mast ready for varnishing
The newly painted prop fitted with its anode nut

To perk things up I went to the bright lights of Oban in the evening!

Day Four – Thursday

Sumara without the ridge pole and protective tubes

Today there was a frustrating very light drizzle which lasted all day. Not enough rain to bother with a raincoat but certainly enough to hold up painting and varnishing. Nevertheless, I kept myself busy and achieved the following:

  1. Applied third and forth coats of Seajet Underwater primer over the patches
  2. Applied first coat of primer to patches in the bilge
  3. Applied Epifanes white undercoat to patches in the cabin
  4. Masked up the waterline ready for the green antifouling
  5. Dismantled the ridge pole and removed the cover and all the protective tubing

Day Five – Good Friday

First coat of Seajet Shogun antifouling applied with the yellow masking tape still in place

The forecast for today was for dry weather, at least until the evening. However, it was overcast and at times looked rather threatening but I went ahead and slapped on the first coat of antifouling. It happened to be some old Seajet Shogun 033 that I had left over from years ago. They don’t make green anymore or indeed white. The bean counters must have had their say but it hasn’t done Seajet any favours as I now normally use Hempel Tiger Extra. I mix 2.5 L of green with 2.5 L of white white is enough for two coats with a smidgen over. I use a big Purdy wall brush and it takes about two hours.

So by the end of the day, just as the rain started I achieved:

  1. First coat of green antifouling
  2. Sanded the boom
  3. Isopropyl Alcohol to the mast and boom
  4. Masked up the mast and boom ready to varnish
  5. Washed down the decks and coachroof with soapy water
  6. Wet abraded the handholds and some of the awkward bits on deck with a very fine abrasive pad.

And afterwards, Beef Madras and a Doom Bar in the campervan while the rain patters on the roof. Very cosy.

Two more days outside, then I move into the shed for the varnishing. She’s going to be the smartest boat in Milneland!

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