Saturday, March 1, 2014

Do The Lot - Or Not?

This is gonna be messy.  And expensive
There's a boat in there somewhere
Big doings yesterday.  One, our house-sit came to an end, and two, areas of failing paint beneath the waterline of Galactic would finally be sandblasted.

Camping out at the boatyard office
The blasting/painting yard is conveniently right next to the boat yard where we hauled out - it's only a $140 travel-lift ride away for Galactic.  Our plan was to have the blasting and priming done, start living on board that night, move Galactic back to the old spot in the boat yard the next day after the primer had dried, then continue to live aboard while we finished painting the bottom.

But then the blasting began, and plans changed.

Big flakes of paint came shooting off under the blasting nozzle, exposing the bare steel beneath.  There was much shaking of heads from the blasting crew, and the opinion that there was not enough good epoxy paint left on the hull to warrant a spot blast became universal.

I made the butterflies-in-the-stomach decision to have the entire hull beneath the waterline blasted and repainted.

Now, we were not planning on this expense this season.  The thought kept occurring to me that we could have Elias read about this job on the blog in eleven years, when we would be breaking the news to him that he couldn't attend an American university.

A full blast also meant that Galactic would be in the painting yard, tarped and uninhabitable, for days.

Which meant that we suddenly had nowhere for the family to stay.

We found a place, of course - after some quick work online and on phone, Alisa found a two-bedroom unit, with kitchen, in a motel reasonably close to the necessities of life in downtown Whangarei.  At $150 NZ a night, it's a further blow to the budget, but not having a backup plan organized in case we couldn't move on the boat meant spending the money.  And the woman we had been house-sitting for very graciously offered to drive Alisa and the kids and all our gear over to the motel, so the problem of transport was solved as well.

But, it was still a bit of a low point for Alisa and me - camped out in the dusty boatyard, with dinnertime a few hours away, and bedtime soon to follow, and having no idea where the family would be staying - well, that's not the sort of situation that we seek out.

The kids, though, made it as smooth as could be.  "Are we going to another house-sit?" Elias asked as he was getting into the car to leave the boatyard.  When told that we would be staying in a motel, he answered, "Hooray!  A motel!  I've always wanted to stay in one!"  The motel rooms turn out to be a very clean version of the painted-cinderblock variety.  Elias calls them "the best rooms in the whole world!"

Say what you will about that kid, negativity is not his strong suit…

This morning the full blast commenced - and then halted.  It turned out that the view of paint quality had been too pessimistic the day before, and there were actually acres of firmly-adhered epoxy that were hard work to remove with the blaster.

So we're back to a glorified spot-blast.  All the antifouling paint will be blasted off, leaving the epoxy beneath in place.  Any failing epoxy will be blasted away to bare steel, and the coating built up from there.

We'll still have to spend a few nights in the motel.  But we should be saving thousands of dollars on the cost of the job.  So though Elias may not get to go to an American University, I expect we'll be able to afford to fill the tanks with diesel before we set off from New Zealand...

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