Thursday, June 23, 2011

Haul Out

In the slings on the way out
Nothing I believe, makes a boat owner more nervous than hauling out your boat.  Its just not natural to see your boat being lifted out of the water and being placed on blocks.  Boats are meant to be in the water.  However, that being said every 2-3 years a haul out is required if you're a responsible boat owner.  I know of too many boaters who don't regularly haul out, but complain of fuel costs and maintenance issues.

This haul out was a quick one.  Hauled out on Monday, June 20 at 1 PM and was back in the water on June 23 at 4:30 PM.  The primary reason for this haul out was to paint the bottom, buff and wax the hull, re-finish the teak rub rails, re-finish the teak swim step, put new zincs on, and put new shaft packing in.  All these items were successfully accomplished.  I refuse to paint the bottom anymore because of the toxic materials, sanding, and the effort.  If I don't paint the bottom, I can focus on the top sides.  I also figure that I am supporting a local business and putting money back into the boating community.

On & Off works great
When I closely examined the hull out of the water I was aghast.  There were no significant problems, but oh my did it look bad.  There was oxidation, hull stains, dirt, mold, and algae all on the hull giving it a brown-gray and mottled look.  Oh my how was this to come off so I could make it look clean?  I remember from years past about a product called "On And Off."  Of course this stuff is toxic - water, hydrocholric acid, and phosphoric acid.  Ooof this is potent stuff.  As I continued to read the directions it said, "Be sure to use rubber gloves and protective gear."  Duh!  As I poured the stuff into the bucket I could smell the acids and dipping the scouring pad into the liquid it was warm as there was a chemical reaction going on.  In one hand I had the "On And Off" and in the other I had a rag with fresh water rinse and wipe the hull and stop the chemical reaction.  All I can say is, "Wow, this stuff really works."  In a matter of seconds, the discoloration and stains were gone - the hull went from dirty gray to brilliant white.  Unfortunately applying the stuff made you gag because of the acid fumes.  Once the hull was cleaned we buffed it with a power tool and good quality cleaner wax.  We finished it with a coat of hand rubbed high quality wax.

On the ways, nearly done
Another tip I learned was forget the ladder, rent scaffolding on wheels.  Using a scaffold that's about 6' long you can cover a lot of ground very quickly without the tedium of going up and down a ladder.  If you're really bold, you can get a partner to roll you along to your next spot.

We finished late Wednesday and had Thursday just to wrap up any missed items.  I paid the bills - one to the boatyard for the bottom paint, and one to the Port of Olympia for the lift and yard fee.  The Port folks raised the Independence and the boatyard folks painted the missed spots because of the blocks, a few minutes to dry, and we were off to be re-launched.  They put me in the water and I checked to see if there were any leaks because of the new packing job - there were none - and I was away.  Time 4:30 PM exactly.

There was a very brisk wind of 15 knots blowing from the WSW with gusts to 20 or so knots.  We moved nimbly through the water and I was amazed at how responsive the Independence was to the wheel.  Amazing what a clean bottom will do.  Going from the boatyard to our slip was a short 20 minute journey across Budd Inlet.  Getting into our home slip was a bit of a challenge because of the brisk winds but with the help of a neighbor we got in just fine.  Another haul out completed.  However, I still have a lot more work to do before I go cruising.

No comments: