Saturday, June 18, 2016

Mid-June: Service Wrap-Up and Sea Trial

Stripped Bottom After Soda Blasting...Down
to the Gelcoat
We finally got all the players and parts aligned for the bottom painting over the past weekend / week….the soda blasting wrapped up after two days, then the layers of new paint started going on the hull – we went with two coats of barrier epoxy (Pettit Protect 4700), and then 2 coats of Pettit ablative (Hydro Eco), observing the dry / apply windows per the experts.  In other words, that all took 5+ days.  And we opportunistically decided to renew all the sacrificial (zinc) anodes while we were on the hard.

First Coat of Barrier Paint (Grey)...Second
Coat Was White
But while that was going on we kept working on the other punch list items (in spite of the heat…air conditioning doesn’t work when the boat is out of the water.  Geez, it was hot.)  That included upgrading some of our faucets, as well as replacing the Racor water sensor gauge which suddenly was glowing red, theoretically indicating there was water in the fuel at the bottom of the supply tank.  (Our fuel system design makes it easy to verify that – and there was no H2O in there.)
Getting Ready to Splash
One of the good things about being laid up in the boat yard is that we ran into our friend and mentor Captain Bernie Francis, who was there helping the new owner of a Nordhavn 78 learn his new boat (Ammonite) and also getting some repairs done there.  It was good to see Bernie again, and also meet another new Nordy owner, Kaj Liljebladh, who hails from Sweden.

We finally splashed the boat on Thursday (16-Jun) around noon (video here) and ran some sea trials enroute from the Cracker Boy yard to Old Port Cove Marina to verify all service work done to date.  Along the way we ran aground – twice – in the middle of the channel; it was low tide and stiff west winds were blowing water out, so that made for some skinny water in that northern part of Lake Worth.  The bottom was very soft sand, so we managed to wiggle loose each time with a hefty dose of backing down and some thruster pivots.  Not a good way to treat your new bottom paint.  To top it off along the way we also lost functionality in the starboard stabilizer fin.  Let’s say we’ve had better days.  But at least Ghost Rider also got a much needed bath after we docked up at Old Port Cove….being on jacks in a boat yard for 2 weeks results in an extremely dirty vessel.
Rebuilt Stuffing Box on the Wing Engine...
Who Would Have Guessed Such a Small
Thing Could Cause Such Grief?

It took an extra day to fine-tune the stuffing box adjustments on the wing engine – but we got good water flow and have conquered the shaft overheating issue (at last.)   And then we required yet another day to fix the stabilizer issue (new solenoid & potentiometer.)

Today is Father’s Day, and forecast to be another stormy day here in south Florida, so we’ve declared it a day of rest and pre-departure preps.  And watching the U.S. Open.  We’ve got a decent weather window starting tomorrow – well, at least in terms of reduced thunderstorm activity….the winds will be cranking offshore with seas at 7 to 9 feet, so we’re going to slog up the inside route via the ICW for a few days. 

Regardless, it will be good to get moving again.