Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Nomad getting loving care
Last week, we took Nomad over to Kawau Island again and tied her up to some posts next to shore during high tide. When the tide went out we (mostly Brian and John) got busy on her bottom. Two years of scrubbing algae and barnacles and other creatures off the bottom had left her anti-fouling paint looking pretty sparse. Some water blasting and a couple of layers of very expensive paint and she's ready to sit out the next year or so. Not only that we covered up the "white" waterline stripe that has plagued us by looking sort of greenish and speckled with the hull paint showing through. Nomad looks much tidier.
While the boys were doing that work, Annette and I polished stainless steel fittings all over the boat and removed rust stains with some near-miraculous enviro-friendly goo she brought. When the painting started, unfortunately, so did some rain. Annette was on the top of the boat plugging scuppers with rags and bailing out the collection areas so the water wouldn't run down onto the bottom where the boys were rolling the stuff on. I was down below, futilely trying to dry up the drips that escaped the scuppers. In between that, I was stirring paint and keeping roller pans filled. All in all it was an enjoyable team effort with a great result. We celebrated with burgers in the Kawau Yacht Club that evening while waiting for the next high tide to come in so we could get off the poles and back into the water.
Two days later we motored down to Gulf Harbour Marina a couple hours away. We needed some electricity for Nomad's next beauty treatment. Two years of pounding through waves and flexing from heat and cold had worked open some leaks. Not a good idea to leave a leaky boat unattended because it would make more work for when we return. So, we pulled out the leaf-blower. Yup. the secret to finding the leaks in the caprails and around fittings is a leaf blower. Imagine trying to find leaks in an inner tube. You blow it up so there's some air pressure inside and then you squirt the outside in a methodical fashion with soapy water. Where there's a leak, you see bubbles. That's exactly what we did to Nomad. We taped up the known airways and vents, hooked up the leaf blower on full blast and started around the whole boat with squirt bottles, rags, tape and pencils (for marking the leaks). This was an all day process but quite successful. I have never heard of any other boat owner attempting this so maybe Brian will patent his idea some day :) We have also cleaned out the water tanks and washed foul weather gear so they aren't grody when we get back. Brian has painted our anchor, caulked, moved outside gear for storage inside the boat among numerous other details.
Now we're back in Warkworth and Brian is getting in a few days of work with John while I wrap up paperwork and repair jobs on small boat parts. Saturday, we head off to Raglan for a camping/surfing trip.