Apologies if you are eating whilst reading this but working on the boat in the Tropics is very hot and sweaty. Streams of sweat run down our arms from the rubber gloves needed when painting the hull and we are constantly drinking water but have virtually no appetite. At least we are losing a few pounds!
We have polished up the navy blue topsides, finishing with a UV protecting coat, applied 2 coats of Seahawk Island 44 antifouling to the hull and a third on the leading and trailing edges, such as the keel and rudder. The entire waterline has had a third coat as well. The paint dries quickly but we could only work on the side of the boat which was in the shade, as it was far too hot otherwise. Special thinners were added to the paint as the humidity and heat just made it thick and difficult to apply. The yard will move the props supporting the boat so we can paint those patches before launch.
The bowthruster props were sprayed with a primer and then a hard antifouling and the outboard painted too. We also finished treating the teak, sealing in the golden colour with 2 coats of Semco sealer. As soon as you finished a brush stroke, it dried, so it needed both of us, 1 applying the liquid sealer and the other blending it in with a cloth, just to avoid lines. This year we even remembered the teak on the boarding ladder!
During one very calm day we put the mainsail back on, fixing the reefing lines and stackpack at the same time. We bought a new reefing line, genoa sheet and courtesy flag halyard as they were slightly worn but otherwise nothing else was replaced.
The cost of painting has been around 1000 GBP and we are glad we did the work ourselves rather than pay out even more. We have always painted her ourselves but in a rather cooler climate. All the sweat and toil have been worth it though. Beyzano looks lovely and many passers-by have commented on her ☺
The boatyard supplied us with a frame for our anchor when we arrived and the planks and frames for working alongside the hull. We still rent an air-conditioning unit to keep the cabins cool and retreat there during the middle of the day. Our sun awnings are also making a big difference. Our new bimini has a see-through section so I can see the mainsail from the helm. Now we always sail with the bimini up I had to stand on the stern seats to see the sail when we raised it and that isn’t a good idea. We also have new side panels for it to keep horizontal rain off when we sleep outside. These were made on time and very well by Soca Sails in Crew’s Inn.
Our stainless steel frame also looks really good and not out of place as we had imagined it might. Mark de Gannes has done an excellent job and I am looking forward to getting a hammock to tie up to the frame for lazy evenings watching the sun go down.
This week the solar panels will be fitted, all our equipment put back around the cockpit and we will test everything to make sure it still works before we are launched. We will start tracking the weather again on zyGrib and hope to leave Trinidad the same day we are launched, if things go to plan.
The saga with the Duogen, our wind/water electricity generator, continues. When it was completely stripped down in order to fit the new bearings we brought back from the UK, they found the stata (copper windings encased in plastic) which spins between 2 magnetic discs, was warped and had worn away the plastic, stopping the shaft from spinning in the wind. So, next step: – Caribbean Electrics have an old one in their workshop which they will strip down and if the stata is any good they will use it to fix ours and then we can sell it. If not, it goes in the bin!