It was an early start yesterday with the Rodney Bay Boatyard expecting us at 0700 for the first lift of the day. ‘Beyzano’ has been in the water since last May in a range of temperatures and sea conditions. We have seen and manually removed plenty of barnacles but there hasn’t been any weed growth at all. We needed to check the hull and complete a couple of tasks and one day was enough. It cost us 325 pounds for the lift, jet wash, storage on 12 props and re-launch late afternoon.
Our neighbour, Graeme, offered to lend an extra pair of hands in case the boatyard crew were hung over following the public holiday on May 1st for ‘Labour Day’ but everyone was ready and waiting when we gently motored into the centre of the lift dock.
We were impressed with the care they took, placing carpet between the hull and lifting straps and the boat was soon airborne and looking like a ‘fish out of water’, I think she was very unhappy! Just after she was ashore and still in the slings there was a huge downpour, so we all took refuge in the office and hoped it wouldn’t last too long.
It didn’t, so out we all went into the steam and work began. The slime and a few barnacles were removed with the powerful jet wash and Rob and I then used a heavy duty metal scraper to take off all the remaining barnacles. Our plastic scrapers weren’t up to the job and the boatyard kindly lent us theirs so we need to buy a couple of big metal ones for August’s lift out.
She was then left on props for the rest of the day and we painted antifouling up the transom again as the 473s sit so low in the water that they can get weed and marine life growing on the rubber strip which protects the stern. We fitted the newly antifouled bowthruster prop and patched up a couple of tiny flakes on the hull. For the length of time she has been in warm waters the condition of the hull was amazing and scraping off the barnacles didn’t damage it either. We used International Micron Extra last year but have had Seahawk recommended here, which contains tin but all anti-fouling is hugely expensive in the Caribbean being about 3 times the UK price.
We were glad her hull is so wide as it enabled us to work underneath in the shade. The paint dried so quickly we needed to add thiners but it meant the second coat could go on really fast and we had time for a leisurely lunch in Cafe Ole at the marina.
At least we can see the rope cutter now that the propeller shaft is cleaned up. A very knowledgeable mechanic, called Alwin, with an office onsite, removed our featherstream propeller and re-fitted our old fixed 3 bladed prop. We had been told labour rates were extortionate here but he took well over an hour and provided some parts required for the fitting and only charged us 35 pounds. We decided to put the original prop back on as the new featherstream feathering prop cavitates in any sort of sea and doesn’t give us the cruising speeds we got with the old one. Now we are debating whether to have it re-pitched or sell it, as it would suit a smaller boat, say a 42 footer with a 50hp engine. The original idea was to stop the gearbox spinning as we did the 3K miles across the Atlantic, as this would put a lot of strain on the gearbox.
Rob noticed that the 2 anodes on the freezer keel cooler plate were almost completely eroded away, which is their job but we didn’t have any replacements so had to fit larger ones as a temporary measure. All the other anodes were fine though.
Once back in the water we checked the bowthruster was working and went back into our same berth to meet up with the crew of ‘Arabella’, another ARC boat for a meal ashore. It is the St Lucia Jazz Festival over the next 10 days and Diana Ross and Toni Braxton are at Pigeon Island just along the bay on the 13th. Our neighbours, Graeme and Christine are heading north but should be back here around the same time, as we all head south to Trinidad. We had a lovely meal on their boat on Monday and look forward to seeing them again.