Friday, 14 April 2017

Feeling blue – quite literally

Photo of me sanding the antifoul paint

All masked up while sanding the old antifoul paint

I have spent the past week feeling very blue, but not because I have been unhappy.
My face, hands, arms, neck and even my fringe really were blue from sanding the old antifoul paint on the part of the hull that is normally underwater.
I was working in a very confined space, which involved kneeling, crawling or shuffling along the gravel on my bottom (although that method of moving around proved rather too painful to do too often J)
And a lot of the time I was working above my head so the thick blue dust was falling all over me.
An old woolly hat protected all but any stray hair that managed to escape from under it and goggles and a mask saved my eyes and stopped me breathing the dust.
I spent the best part of two days underneath the boat and was really pleased to get to the end of that task, as the cramped conditions left me with aches and pains in places I had no idea you could even get them.
Photo of Phil sanding one of the rudders

Phil sanding one of the rudders

Meanwhile, Phil used an angle grinder to clean up the propellers and the rudders.
He also rubbed down the painted blue lines around the hull ready for repainting.
Photo of Phil rebuilding the winch mechanism on one of the davits

Phil rebuilds the winch mechanism on one of the davits

And he has been working on the davits, which are used for lifting and supporting the inflatable tender at the stern. They had obviously not been used for years and were all rusty and had seized up.
Photo of a prop shaft - before and after

Prop shaft - before and after

I scraped and sanded the two prop shafts, chipping off years of crusty deposits and barnacles before sanding them with various grades of sandpaper until they were gleaming.
And Phil undercoated the propellers.
He also finished off the work to repair the damaged exhaust manifold, which is now back in place on the starboard side of the hull.

Photo of Phil sanding his repair to one of the exhaust manifolds

Phil sanding his repair to one of the exhaust manifolds

We were working flat out all day every day while the weather was fine promising ourselves a day off on the first wet day – but it didn’t rain.
Eventually, we became so tired that we just had to take a day off so we decided to have a “day of rest” on Sunday (it seemed an appropriate day to choose J)
And, as if to justify our lazy day, the rain started later in the day.
We used our day off to take a trip to Whitehaven to pick up our generator, which had been in for a service. It needed attention because, although it was running OK, it wasn’t generating any power, which is a pretty serious problem for a generator – the clue is in the name J
The rest of the day was spent buying a few more things we needed for Ravensdale from Maiden Marine Chandlery at Whitehaven and having a relaxing meal out before heading home to chill out on the boat.
But we were back hard at it on Monday morning feeling a bit better for our break.
Phil has been attempting to get the trim tabs working properly. The starboard trim tab moved slightly, but the one on the port side was refusing to move at all.
He removed one of the hydraulic rams on the jammed trim tab and released it because it was all seized up inside. It can now be moved manually, but is still not working when the switch is operated. So more work is required here.
Photo of the primer patches on the hull

Silver patches of primer applied to prepare the hull for antifouling painting

I painted antifoul primer on the areas of the hull where there were gaps in the previous coat of antifoul, mainly where my sanding had gone right through to the gelcoat.
This left the underwater area covered with silver patches.
I also spent some time stripping black paint of the stainless steel windscreen wiper arms and polishing them up ready to be fitted with new blades and put back in place.
By Monday afternoon, it became clear that we had reached the stage where we could apply the antifoul paint the following day.
Photo of Alex painting the starboard side

Alex applying antifoul paint to Ravensdale's starboard side

A friend who was visiting us that day volunteered his services and turned up early on Tuesday morning ready to help. Alex has done this many times before so he was really useful to have around.
Using four inch rollers on long handles, Alex painted the port side and Phil did the starboard side, while I crawled around under the boat with a brush touching up any difficult to reach areas or bits that had been missed by the rollers. I also painted the rudders.
This was a big day for us – at long last we were putting paint back on rather than taking it off and preparing for repainting. It finally felt as though we were actually getting somewhere.
Photo of Phil painting the boot top line

Phil painting the boot top line

We have since painted the boot top line – a line of darker blue, harder antifoul along the water line.
Photo of removing tape after painting

Removing the tape

We collected the new boat logo and black vinyl tape, which we are hoping to apply very soon. The tape lines will be applied after the blue lines around the top of the hull and the top of the superstructure have been painted.
We considered paying the firm that made the Neptunus trident logo to apply it the bow, but it would cost more than the logo and they assured us that it is very simple to do. Guess we’ll soon find out whether they are right about this.
And, if it doesn’t go right the first time, we have a spare. When we went to collect it, they told us that they were able to cut two out of the same piece of vinyl so they gave us two for the price of one.
Photo of scrubbing the deck of the fly bridge

Scrubbing the deck of the fly bridge as part of its spring clean

Yesterday was spent cleaning up the fly bridge using Chine Shine, which did a fantastic job again.
It started out looking very sorry for itself and ended up quite literally shining.
I’m really looking forward to being able to go up there in the sunshine while at sea.
And the best bit is that the seats on either side of the driving seat convert into sun beds, not that I’m planning to do any sunbathing. I just think they’re pretty cool J

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