Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Finished The Grinding/Sanding....

After 4 hours of sanding this morning, I am FINALLY finished getting the old ablative bottom paint off the boat.... Just before lunchtime I put some barrier coat epoxy on the biggest holes and scratches and went home for a few hours..






At 5 pm Shelley and I came back and I used the most expensive epoxy filler in the world to fill the damaged area on the keel... this is an Interlux product that is waterproof and fills big areas...








Oh well, The cost will be worth it if we can keep the metal in the keel from getting damaged....

Tomorrow I will sand and epoxy the small blisters and blemishes...

What I really need is a really small smart person who I can get into the main anchor locker in the bow of the boat to hold a wrench so I can get the bow roller off and repaired and welded....


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Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Day of Grinding, Grinding, Grinding.....

My arms and shoulders feel like they are somehow detaching themselves from the rest of my body..... That said I think that it may only take one more day to get to the place where I can start to repair the surface material on the keel and touch up a few blisters on the hull.

Given the 30 year age of this hull I am amazed at the condition of it. Clearly there has been work done to the hull in the last few years and that work seems to have been really well done... Wherever there is a hole or thin-spot in the epoxy barrier coat, I will be adding waterproof epoxy and feather sanding it...
Here is the port side where I started this morning.
I coated it with stripper then took a scraper and removed most of the remaining bottom paint.

I coated it with stripper then took a scraper and removed most of the remaining bottom paint.

Today I also got the folding propeller cleaned up. It looks GREAT!




So here are the steps to refinish the outside surfaces of the boat:
- a few more hours of grinding/sanding to get the last of the bottom paint off.
- repair the damage to the keel
- re-epoxy any blisters or thin spots on the bottom
- sand the whole bottom with 80 grit sandpaper (with a palm sander).
- prime bottom
- paint bottom
- re-paint the boot strap on waterline.

Then I need to sand the gunnel and re-finnish it with either marine varnish or clear epoxy.

Finally, I will touch up any scratches or blemishes on the white topsides.

At the end I will reinstall the bracket for the dinghy davits and install the new drogue bracket at the aft of the boat....



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Sunday, July 29, 2012

More Grinding, Grinding, Grinding......

Today I arrived a daybreak and started to grind/sand where the stripper failed.... The starboard side is about half done and I stripped about half the port side....



A dirty tiring day.....




I ended the day by going to Princess Auto to get a bunch more grinding/sanding disks and Home depot to pick up another gallon of the Stripper that doesn't work so well... To add insult to all of this 1 gallon of this stuff in Canada is $80. If you recall from the previous post 5 gallons of this stuff from Defender works out to $50 per gallon..... It wasn't worth $30 to go to our mail box in the USA to get the last Gallon I need... Oh well.... I still got a fair amount done....




A BIG THANK YOU! Bill, who not only supplied me with the water I needed, but he brought over a BIG ASS pressure washer to help get the loose stuff of a little quicker.... I hope when his sons come to work tomorrow they don't need all the stuff he has lent me....



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Friday, July 27, 2012

Not Much Luck Today.....

Just once I would like something to go without a hitch..... VERY early this morning my neighbor (Clayton) and I went to the boat to strip off the bottom paint....



I bought 5 gallons of enviromentally friendly stripping compound from Defender for over $250..... At that price it had to be good right? Following the instructions carefully we tested a small area and found that after about 30 minutes the paint scraped off easily...



GREAT! we thought.... We masked off the boot strap and taped a 24" sheet of plastic vapor barrier above it to protect the topsides from overspray.

At this point we applied the compound to the WHOLE bottom. Everything was looking good and I had to go to work for a few hours so we decided to come back at 5pm to scrape off the stripper, powerwash the bottom and celebrate a job well done!... HA!
Very clearly the instructions told me that the stripper could be left from 3 to 24 hours so the 5 hours we were going to be gone wouldn't be any problem at all... Right??

When we returned about 4 o'clock (an hour earlier than we planned) we took the scrapers at tried to remove the bottom paint.... NOTHING!!!! The material had become so hard it was like another layer of paint...

So now what do we do??? We tried to moisten the stripper but that didn't work.... Eventually, we re-applied another layer of stripper to the starboard (right) side and scraped our arms off and here is what we ended up with... only about 2/3's of the bottom paint was gone at 7 o'clock... On the port side all I could do was to powerwash the hardened stripper off.




By the way, 3 other people came to help and we still only got a little done....
On a happy note, Bill, the man who owns the farm brought us 1000 gallons of water in a special fresh water tank trailer which made powerwashing possible...

This weekend I will try another stripping product and a more powerful powerwasher... Who knows, it can't be worse than it is now can it? Really, can it? Stay tuned....
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Down and DIRTY.... Starting to Strip the Old Bottom Paint off...

I have put this off as long as I could... Yesterday I started the long dirty job, grinding the paint off the keel.... after about 5 hours over 2 days and a dozen disks, I have finished stripping the keel.... Now I can make the repairs and get it ready for new bottom paint....












Today I tested the chemical stripper that I will use on the rest of the bottom... It seems to work well.




Today Brian came by to see what he needed to do some aluminum welding for me.... Early next week I hope we can get started at the welding jobs....



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Friday, July 20, 2012

Finally, Getting Some Work Done....

Today started at 5:30 am heading out to the boat to start work at 6 am...  What can I say? It was cool and quiet and I got a bunch of things done...  Today Bill came out and he took on a bunch of jobs too...  The first job was to install the new stove/oven...

All went well...  it seems to be working well...

Then I installed the SSB radio and the VHF, and the antenna tuner.  That all well too....


We quit working today around noon... I'll see if I can get up early tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Little Sailing.... New Orleans Style...

We took 5 days and flew to New Orleans Louisiana for our anniversary.  There were many high points to this short trip, most included food!  From great restaurants to Cajun Cooking School, it was a great week.  One highlight was an afternoon on a rented Benateau 7.5 meter daysailer from Murray Yacht Sales ...   It was REALLY nice to get a little sailing in!












 The other vacation event that involved a boat was a swamp tour provided by The Louisiana Tour Company.  What a blast! Our guide was knowledgeable, engaging, and seemed really happy to be there...












 The tour even included a little "hands on" with a 6 foot alligator! (okay, maybe a little smaller but the camera angle doesn't do the experience justice....)









And who knew that the owner took some time to show me how they maintain their exhaust systems...  Some great ideas I will use on our genset exhaust.




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Finally Started Vacation!!!

I finally started my summer vacation this week! Today I got out to the boat by 7:00 am before the heat set in for the day...

As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, we (ok Shelley) decided that we needed a new oven/stove. That said, we ordered a new one and today I removed the old one....

Yesterday we went to see our old boat down in Lake Ontario.... The new fellow who owns her had a few questions and wanted us to see how she was looking.... He has done an awesome job keeping SeeShell looking great! He did comment that they almost never use the oven/stove because it is an alcohol stove and quite difficult to operate. We suggested that he might look at our old propane stove from Blowin' Bubbles... Such a deal! if it fits, he will likely purchase her from us....

Other jobs completed today was the curtains in the front windows are now installed and look great.


The last job today was to FINALLY finnish wiring the masts! I now have the P.A. horn, radar, mizzen lights, strobe (for fog), DSC antenna, TV antenna, and the wi-fi antenna all wired into the mizzen and the tri-light (and anchor light), windex, steaming light, fore deck light and VHS antenna all wired into the main mast.... That is a ton of stuff!


Just before I went home I started to epoxy the bottom of the mizzen mast. the guide plate disintegrated when I took the mast apart so I am beginning the process of re-building the pate... a few batches of epoxy should fix it all up...


We will be heading to New Orleans this weekend for our anniversary so won't get any more done on the boat this week... Next week when we get home I will be heading to the boat every morning at sunrise and work until about noon or one o'clock

Last Friday evening I went to the boat and met Doug from Klacko Marine Fabrication. What a great guy! He spent over an hour helping me figure out how to design an arch for the transom (back) of the boat. This week he will work out some pricing and get back to me... He is also going to build me the attachment plates I will need to use the Jordon Series Drogue.


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Monday, July 2, 2012

Very Little Done Lately....


Happy Canada Day Weekend!  We had an awesome weekend of weather  which helped us as a country to celebrate us being a great country to live in...  That said, Shelley, Kelly and I all had to work all weekend...
Oh well.  I did get a little done on the boat for a few hours Friday morning.  

A great young man named Ashley, who works for someone in our church and who just happens to be a great welder came to the boat to measure the spot on the engine where I want to mount the watermaker high pressure pump.  He made some measurements and he drew a picture and has gone away to make the needed bracket for the pump...  I was given the task of flipping the bracket on the pump itself....  


We are moving the pump from the right hand side of the engine to the left side for two reasons.  First, where it was on the right, made putting the salon table down impossible as they cut the bracket tube to accommodate it.  We will need to make the table into a bed from time to time so for this reason it had to change.  The second an biggest reason to move the pump is because the impeller housing that pumps sea water to the heat exchanger, was RIGHT BEHIND THE WATERMAKER PUMP!!! Making it IMPOSSIBLE to replace the impeller in the raw water pump without first removing the high pressure pump first... Not the brightest idea in the world...

By placing the watermaker pump on the left side of the engine, it makes putting the table down and changing the impeller EASY!

The last thing I got done was to get the curtains in the main salon almost installed....  I should finish that little job the next time I can get to the boat....