Posts tagged boat yard

Waterborne Again

After two months, Idefix is back in her favorite element, and sailing! And I’m released from my forced labor and have a life again! Just in time for summer (read: 65 degrees and partly cloudy)! How wonderful!

All polished and ready to go.

The bottom didn’t turn out quite as nice as I was hoping for. Despite sanding and burnishing, there were still quite a few spots left with a bit of rough texture, and the rudder still needs work, but overall it’s not all that bad.

Shiny bottom paint, doing its thing.

So I threw my bicycle on the boat, dropped the boat in the water, and sailed out of Everett, headed for Kingston. A nice breeze filled the sails, the sun filled the sky, and visions of delicious crêpes being served to me by delicious young ladies filled my head. Soon the wind died, clouds appeared, temperatures plummeted, I couldn’t find my audio cable, and the docks at Kingston were completely full of horrid little motorboats. To make matters worse, I was coming down with a cold. So I had to anchor in Appletree Cove and gaze upon the crêperie and its delectable servings, just out of my reach. Instead I dined on some bread and the cup or two of water left in my water bottle, and went to sleep, rocked by ferry wake.

Nothing is quite so pathetic as a baby seal trying to stay dry in the wake of a passing sailboat.

The night wasn’t altogether unpleasant, and in the morning I managed to scrounge some nutella to put on my bread. I tried not to think of the delicious Belgian chocolate, caramel and pecan crêpe topped in whipped cream, or the black forest ham, mushroom and gruyère crêpe that could’ve been my breakfast had those infernal little stinkpots not taken every single available berth in the harbor, while I picked up the anchor and motored across the placid Sound to Shilshole. There I picked up a motley crew of WYC members and we made our way to Blake for a weekend of quiet solitude and contemplative meditation, like modern monks. Most of us survived with nothing more than a hangover and a sunburn, but Hawkeye had to be medevac’ed with a broken collarbone.

Hassan enjoying the tough sail back to Seattle.

On Tuesday I finally got to hoist some ragged old sails and try out the boat against some of Seattle’s finest at Duck Dodge’s Tropical Night. We got a good start and hung out with William Buchan’s Sachem for a little while the rest of the fleet chased after us. Eventually we sailed into some holes and got passed, by a couple faster/smarter boats. I still can’t keep up with the J/29s, the ones around here are all ridiculously fast.

Another Update from the Yard

Bumpy barrier coat, smooth bottom paint.

Work is progressing on the bottom, at the usual snail’s pace. Five layers of barrier coat left a horrible craters-of-the-moon landscape that had to be sanded down and faired, but with antifouling paint, things are looking pretty slick. I’m busy painting the spots left by the boat stands, then I’ll burnish the whole thing to a nice shine.

The only fly in the ointment is the rudder. With the fair bit of effort spent fairing it, I’m pretty disappointed in the final shape. I was hesitating to bottom paint it, and the minute I laid on the paint, The bumps stood out like sore thumbs. So I’m planning to pull it off after the boat gets back in the water and work on fairing it some more (I forgot to pull it out when the boat was lifted out of the water, and there isn’t enough ground clearance with the boat on stands).

Four passes at fairing the rudder and it still has funky bumps.


Update from the Yard

Well, things are moving a lot slower than expected. Last post I was targeting early July for having the boat back in the water, but it’s now looking like early August. This probably isn’t entirely a bad thing since the fiberglass needs to dry out before I barrier coat it. In the meantime I’ve been working on the boat almost every day, removing everything under the waterline, down to bare fiberglass. I’m now working on fairing the hull, which is extremely tiring work. What’s amazing is the hull felt almost perfect to the touch, but slather on some fairing compound and a do a bit of longboard sanding, and a bunch of filled-in spots appear!

Faired part of the hull.

I’ve also filled in all the keel blisters and ground out some of the cracks in the flexy areas and glassed them over.

Note how all the other boats come and go but Idefix stays put.

Hopefully next week I can start barrier coating.

I’m also working on a French translation for this site, for my handful of francophone fans (stalkers?). Given how much time it takes me to get things posted in English, don’t hold your breath, this may take a while!

Like a Fish Out of Water

What a bicycle packed onto an Olson 30 might look like.

I rode down to the WAC last Friday night, packed my bike into the boat (!) and left the dock on what I think was my first solo sail on Idefix since getting back from Hawaii. Hit the Sound about 2215 and motored North until the wind picked up to 4 or 5 knots about a half hour later. I then had a quiet night of sailing in a light breeze, fighting the flood to Kingston, anchored in Appletree Cove and went to bed at 0200. It was relaxing to be alone on the boat, doing my thing on a quiet night. A couple thousand miles of singlehanding has definitely taken the edge off, although autopilot troubles made me sweat for a little bit as I left the dock. The wind was dead the next day so I motored against the morning flood towards Everett. There were all sorts of weird patterns on the surface of the water from the current, and I did my best to try to use them to get to my destination quicker, although I think I was only mildly successful. The currents around here are both fascinating and frustrating.

My colleague Brian, his wife Jamie and their twin 3-year-olds Jordan and Tatum met me at the dock in Everett and the wind picked up to 6 or 7 knots as we went for a little sail on Possession Sound. Jordan drove the boat for a little while and I’m considering hiring her as a helmswoman.

After 4 hours of sanding... white stuff is gelcoat.

In the afternoon it was time to drop everybody at the dock and haul the boat out. The bottom paint is in good shape, but the hull is covered in little blisters, which for a race boat is not a good thing… Olsons are known to blister if left in the water, so I’m going to sand the bottom paint and gel coat off, cover the bare glass with an epoxy barrier coat, and repaint. Hopefully the barrier coat will keep the blisters from coming back. This will probably be a couple weeks of extremely arduous work…

Blisters on the hull. I've peeled a couple off with a knife, revealing gelcoat.

There are also a couple bigger blisters in the keel. I poked one with a knife and water came spurting out, in the end I removed a quarter-size pocket of fairing compound. With that and the couple little dings in the keel, there will probably be a little work to do there as well.

Keel blisters.

I’m hoping to have the boat back in the water sometime around the first week of July, but everything always takes longer than I expect, and for now it’s strictly DIY – just me and the boat… The yard fee is $30/day, so the quicker I can get it done, the better!

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