When we purchased the boat, we adjusted our offer to compensate for the estimate we got from 3 yards for a thorough blister repair job. The median estimate was $10,000. The actual bill came in at a bit over $18,000. (Lesson learned- anytime a yard gives you a quote double it for an accurate estimate)That is an eye watering bit of price inflation and you can understand why this first haul out 2 years after the repair was rife with anxiety. While I was coming up with a contingency plan of action for the worst case scenario (which is what I do for EVERYTHING) Mark commented that if the bottom was pock marked he would take the boat out into the Gulf open the sea cocks and scuttle the darned thing and take up golf. Since usually I am the one who engages in hyperbole and melodrama, I had a minute or two of wondering if he was serious or not. We love you Ceol Mor, please oh please do not let this love go unrequited.
The shipyard was very accommodating and managed to get us into the lift at 1:30. Once Ceol Mor was in the slings, Kitty and I stood by to watch the action. Kitty got very concerned when the boat was lifted out of the water. "Too high! Too high! He drop it!!" she exclaimed. I reassured it that it was okay for the boat to be airborne. Kitty kept shouting to the lift operator "Don't drop it" but eventually she relaxed when her little tribe of ducks found her by the sound of her voice. Then she was entranced once again by her 'friends'. "Hi friends!! Hi friends!!" she shouted gleefully to the ducks while Mark and I held our breath as we walked up to inspect the bottom of Ceol Mor.
Hallelujah, praise the Lord and AMEN!! No reappearance of blisters. Phew. Our zincs were completely gone but there seemed to be no damage and they were quickly replaced. The ablative paint had held up pretty well although we will be adding a few coats of paint in the next few months. Our only 'oh no' was a collection of barnacles on the bottom of the keel. Apparently, the soft grounding we had last summer was a bit more abrasive than we thought. The barnacles were scraped off and we made plans to get Ceol Mor on the hard for bottom paint sooner rather than later. Since we were clear on the big blister worry, we refused to get too upset about it. All will be put to right when we do a full haul out for bottom paint. Mark greased the sea cocks. We paid our bill and headed back to the marina.
While I think taking sailing lessons can be a good idea, there is no way you will learn everything you need to about sailing until you are actually doing it. The universe will decide what you need to learn and when so its best just to get on with it. As we pulled into the fairway to bring Ceol Mor into her slip, the universe decided that it was time for us to learn about what the vibration from new zincs on the prop shaft can do and how to dock under propulsion of prayer.
Some people who sail will never admit to having DUH! moments. If you read about their sailing experiences it all goes perfectly as planned, they never make mistakes and they will shake their heads and 'tsk tsk' us for our lack of perfect seamanship skills. I call these people the 'saltier than thou'. If you happen to be a saltier than thou who will read this next bit and if you feel the urge to say " I would NEVER xyz" feel free to note our boat's name- Ceol Mor so if you see us you can move your Bristol fashion yacht far away from us and our imperfect boat and seamanship. This will work well in 2 regards. 1. You won't be subject to our learning curve and 2. you will be far away from us which would work because we probably wouldn't want to hang out with you anyway.
Mark was having a rough go of backing the boat into her slip. It was just not going as usual. There was quite a bit of vibration going on which SHOULD have clued us in that something was amiss. I thought to myself "this is what we get for thinking we had this docking thing down smooth". Mark pushed the engine into forward to have another go at backing in and then in a perfectly calm voice said "Oh. I've lost my propeller". This might not seem to be such a big deal until you realize we are in a crowded fairway on a 23,000 pound boat heading towards the boats docked across from us. With no brakes. We were very fortunate that The Boardwalk Beast was out of her slip as we managed to turn the boat hard to starboard and get her tied up half way into the Beast's slip without hitting anyone else's boat. (Thanks to my mad fending off skills).
As Mark went about replacing the bolts and we made a solemn promise to revisit those bolts with a bit of Loctite, we heard a knock on our hull. It was a member of the Boardwalk Beast crew asking if we would be long. I'm not certain if it was Mark's polite assurances that we did belong in the marina and had a bit of a situation that would quickly be sorted that mollified the crew member or if he was frightened by the roaring of the stuffed alligator but what ever the reason, it seemed to work. The crew member left us to replace the bolts, we fired up the engine and eased into our slip. Piece of cake.
|WHOOPS! Note to self- Loctite and check those bolts more frequently.|