By Captain Jay
In my opinion I hate the boatyard. Not the actual yard itself, just the idea of putting the boat on a dry dock and doing the work involved i.e. sanding, grinding, fixing, ext., and it usually always involves some kind of “unexpected” and “unforeseen” issue in which we must address immediately. For the boat however i see it much differently. I think for the boat its a lot like going to the Spa. You go in get pampered and primped all up, massaged, dolled up and then your out and back to showing yourself off again. Im sure every person who goes to a Spa treatment leaves feeling better than when they came in. Same with the boat. When the boat goes back in the water, it feels rejuvenated. Ready to go back to work only now all dolled up. At least that is my opinion of how it is supposed to be. Some boats go into the boatyard with lots of issues and only come back with one less if you catch my drift, but we will stay off that subject. When it comes to the Mr.Z we feel she should always come out looking the best we can get it, and this time was no exception.
We started off as always going to 3D Boatyard in Stock Island, just outside of Key West. We do all the work ourselves so this is a great yard for DIY crews. As always we begin by pressure washing the bottom and remove any growth. Once washed, the vessel is blocked up and is set down on stands. Now the fun begins. This trip we need to address a few minor issues, buff out and wax the hull, paint the bottom, and go back to the marina. One week was all we would need, tops. Sounds simple enough. Well, not so much. First we removed the hydrico-pump from the starboard engine and took it down the street to the shop to have it rebuilt. This pump supplies oil pressure to the gear case, this one in particular leaked so it needed new seals. Then as we were going over our punch out list, the left hook came in.
As with all things in life there are always unexpected issues that set you back from your original plan. This issue showed it nasty little head very early though which did however give us a bit of a jump start on it. While Steve and I were going over the plan of sanding and painting the stern cabin wall, I noticed a small soft area under the window. With very little pressure I push my thumb to the spot and ironically it went through the paint and into the wall. Ok now what? Replace the area that is rotten, or replace the whole wall. A few cuts here and there and our destiny was foretold. The whole wall needed to be replaced. Ok, this was going to take a few more days. So much for a weeks worth.
We began by removing the window and all the upper trim. None of these tasks were going to be easy. Whoever built the wall the last time definitely wanted it to never come out easily. Once the window and trim were removed the wall was carefully cut out. With the wall out, now we were able to get a good idea of the major culprit. Dry wood termites. Little buggers had been having the time of their lives in there just chewing away. A good termite treatment and that should take care of them. Now for the task of building a wall into a space that was not square or plumb or level or anything at that. Doubling up two pieces of 1/2 inch marine grade plywood, then priming it for paint. Once the wall was installed perfectly (the first time), I cut the window out and installed all the trim. I used to be a carpenter before devoting my life to fishing. Remember this, “measure twice, cut once”. Once complete, the wall was fared with a polyester faring compound and then painted with Awl-Grip paint. Then to the deck. This trip the deck was to be painted again with a coat of gel-coat and a small amount of textured sand for a good non-slip surface. While Steve worked on the deck I went at the task of buffing out the hull and waxing the boat.
As we did this, Jesse worked at getting the running gear cleaned up and the bottom ready for paint. Two more days later and we were buffed, waxed, painted, and ready to get back to the dock at A&B Marina. The freshly rebuilt Hydrico-pump was installed and we were there, and still all this we did within our expected time allotment. Even with unforeseen issues we managed to step it up and get the job done in time.
Once finished the boat I am sure feels like it just got out of the Spa. Pretty and shiny with new paint and a new outlook on life again. Ready once again to take on the Ocean and all it has in store.