|Our cradle sitting in the water, waiting to pull us out.|
|Our trusty helper David. Note the "high tech"|
pole he used (an old Shakespeare antenna).
|Bella Vita being pulled out of the water.|
|The crane is set and ready to lift the mast out.|
|Check out how cool this crane looks!|
At about 8:15 the next morning the most immaculate crane I have ever seen pulls in and starts setting up. I'm talking bright red paint and not a dent or scratch to be seen. Do we have to pay extra to have a crane this nice???? It was practically a piece of artwork! But it performed as promised and soon enough the mast was out and set up next to the boat, ready for all the work we wanted to do.
|That's Jerry way up there attaching the hoist.|
To do this you have to basically rivet the plastic pipe to the side of the mast - easier said than done! Here's the steps:
Step 2: Drill a hole where you want the rivet.
Step 3: Try to hold the pipe in place through a tiny hole while you drill the plastic pipe to match the hole you just put in.
Step 4: Feed the rivet in without dislodging the pipe.
Step 5: Swear a lot as you try to realign the dislodged pipe and the two tiny holes again.
Step 6: Repeat steps 4/5 until you actually feed in and expand the rivet.
Step 7: Say a prayer and test that the rivet placed is holding.
Step 8: Repeat steps 2 thru 7 about 25 times along the length of the mast.
|I think Brett and Jerry are relieved to have the mast safely out!|
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?????? Suffice it to say that was a very dark moment for the crew of Bella Vita after so many hours already spent. It also didn't help that we didn't discover it until we had completely reassembled the rig in preparation for Monday (putting the spreaders back on, each screw carefully lubed and tightened, all rig back in place, lines run, etc.) and we were actually feeling a little smug about being ahead of schedule. NEVER GET SMUG. Talk about a smack-down. We had to work all weekend to redo the pipe....IN THE RAIN! Lets just sum it up by saying it was not a happy weekend. But thankfully we did finish it in time and ran the wire immediately after to prove that this time the rivets were properly sized. Phew!
|Doing this job was a real back-breaker! But music helped.|
- Re-bed the forward hatch (readers may remember stories of major leaking when sailing to weather). This involved taking off the hatch, removing all of the old caulk, digging out the base around the frame, filling that base with resin, fairing the resin after it cured, re-drilling the holes, re-caulking and then saying a prayer as we won't know until we're sailing to weather again if it's actually fixed. But I don't know what else we can do to fix it if it didn't work.
- Clean the stains at the waterline. After 3 months in the Whangarei Marina in Town Basin - which has some of the most disgusting water we have ever been in - the entire waterline had about two inches of brown stain above the bottom paint. After spending 2 hours working on the stain and getting nowhere (and about to start crying), a fellow boater took mercy on me and came over with a magic potion (also known as Marykate On & Off) which takes the stain out in about 3 seconds. Seriously! It's basically acid so it also takes off any wax - so only use it if you plan to re-wax! But I almost kissed this person with the magic potion as I had been just about at my wits end on how I was going to remove the stain.
- Prep the hull and apply bottom paint. That means vacuum-sanding the old paint (which we had the yard do as it's a nasty, nasty job), fix and fair the joint between the keel and the boat, fix and fair any little gouges that happened in the last 10,000 miles, sand a little more and then wash off the dust and apply 2 coats of bottom paint everywhere below waterline, plus an extra coat at water line. More on the paint we used in a future post.
|The furler drum, per-maintenance.|
|Brett replacing the Torlon ball bearings.|
- Completely service our genoa furler - which means taking apart the entire thing, cleaning all parts, installing new bearings and re-lubing everything before putting it back together. A total pain but boy did she purr afterwards!
- Rebuild the sheave for our main halyard as we discovered the bushing was badly damaged. I think it's important to note that we knew we had a problem but couldn't see it from just going up the mast, even when looking directly at it. This is yet another excellent reason to pull the mast every so often and inspect EVERYTHING thoroughly. It wasn't until we pulled it out that we found the bushing was almost 50% worn and barely functional. Not cool!
- Clean and wax the entire hull above waterline using a buffer. Sounds easy, but actually encompassed two full days of hard labor. Exhausting work but boy does she look pretty when you're done!
- Clean prop and shaft and put on new zincs. Take a look at the before and after pictures - nice!
|BEFORE: the prop fresh out of the water after |
three months in mucky water - yuck!
|AFTER: this is what it's supposed to look like!|
- On a rainy day midweek Brett also did a bunch of prep to re-insulate our refrigerator and freezer with expanding foam. This meant taking everything apart (a good time since we were not using the fridge) and drilling LOTS of holes for the foam to go into and relief holes for the excess foam to come out. More on this project in a future post...
- Re-bedding all the tangs where the rig attaches - much easier to do when the mast is out and the rig is off!
|Getting ready to go back in. They bring over the hydraulic|
lift, but have to take off the big wheels so it can fit
under the cradle frame, seen at the top left.
|Here's David installing the small wheels...|
|With the small wheels the lift goes underneath, picks|
Bella Vita up, and we're soon back in the water. Phew!