Friday, February 27, 2009

Back to Work - AntiFouling Paint and more

Kyle dressed to kill, well, paint anyway!

[Kyle]I had almost a week off work on my next trip home but I knew it wasn’t going to be any fun – we needed the bottom painted and we’d planned to be hauled out. Haul outs are all of the work and zero of the fun of boating – zero. Boat yards are hot, noisy, dusty, grubby places to do anything. We planned to make the most of being hauled out and had a host of other jobs to be done that are WAY more convenient to do out of the water – a busy schedule. We had been recommended Bobby’s Marina in the lagoon by several people and this is where we booked our slot.

I’ll spare the details, but life once we were hauled out was a miserable existence; we wake up at first light, work hard all day long (until it’s too dark to continue), and then, stiff and sore from the day, limp over to a cold shower where the grime runs off us in streams. It's impossible not to track mud from the yard everywhere. Aboard, all of the cupboards and storage areas are open with tools and parts spread everywhere. Most of the time there is not even a flat spot big enough to sit (no problem, turn around, go outside and keep on working).

Footprint, showing the world her beautiful new bottom

Gradually, slow step by step, by the end of the 3rd day of the haul out, Footprint hung suspended in the slings, all freshly painted and shiny, clean and tidy inside and ready to go in the water. We got done just in time to limp our aching bodies to the St Maarten regular wednesday night Cruisers Sundowner (a social get together for fellow cruisers). The next morning we were scheduled to go in first thing (which around here is first light). We actually splashed down just after 7am, and then we went to pay the bill – ah the moment of truth. This is where things always go terribly wrong for us. This time we had a pleasant surprise. The bill was too low! Now, if you are ever trying to sell a car, I’m the guy you want to buy it from you because I have a certain negotiating technique which goes like this: “Really – are you sure that’s all you want for your car?” “It seems so nice, don’t you want more?”. Maryanne noticed that the bill omitted labour and supplies for repairing yet more voids in our hull (surely we are done now?). Eventually, even after all my complaining, the bill was not even close to the traditional 4 digits, we did all we could and had to leave anyway.

The thing that really freaked me out though was not the bill, but the staff. Typically, boat owners are treated as nuisances rather than customers (a-la FKG), but in this case, the exact opposite was true. I commented to Maryanne that this was the first time I’d got to the end of a haul out and didn’t want to strangle the yard manager. They even said we were super relaxed people (rather than the usual send off – "Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!"). The boat is in good shape, we didn’t get ripped off, ready for further adventures.

[Maryanne]We arrived at our haul out well prepared. We’d confirmed the rate and agreed the work we’d do ourselves (we were unusually allowed to paint the bottom since the yard was already busy – but normally this would not be the case; policy is all work below the water line must be done by the yard). I’m allergic to bottom paint, so Kyle gets that duty, but I was still busy with waxing the hull, and a host of other jobs on our extensive list. Bobby’s marina is a typical boat yard – dirty and a bit derelict in appearance, but it has a great reputation for excellent shoring of boats, and all our dealings had been friendly with plenty of smiles from the managers and other yard staff. Managers Yvonne (in the office) and Lance (in the yard) were both really helpful and a pleasure to be around, they kept us informed and were happy to help with any questions we had. The one guy that did work on our voids was polite and friendly, let us know when he was done, etc - all the things that make the yard life as easy as possible. AND they had wifi – perfect, and the price was right.

So unlike FKG Rigging (which we hope to never see again), we absolutely recommend Bobby's Boat Yard in the Lagoon (Airport Branch), and did I mention they had WiFi?. (They do have a lot of dogs roaming around, so be warned if that's not your cup of tea).

Footprint with her rigging all back to Bristol, and her bottom hopefully free of marine life for at least the next year, is ready for he next challenge... And next time Kyle comes home we WILL NOT be working on the boat, we'll actually get to go sailing again. Yay!


Anonymous said...

Guess what - we have some friends coming to St. Maartens next weekend. They arrive late on the seventh of March. It's wierd that the world is a small enough place that we would know two sets of people in the same far off corner of the world. Scott and Lisa Jamison

Karen said...

How great to have the good experience at Bobby's Boat Yard and memories of Grand Case (less the minor anchor incident of course, ;-)) to make up for Marigot and FKG. (Could those initials stand for 'Foes of Kindness and Good?')

All your hard work and troubles paid off though.... Footprint looks beautiful! You must have recovered enough from your injuries, Maryanne, to put in some serious elbow-grease!

I've been meaning to ask for a while though, why is she registered in Portland and not Portsmouth or even Annapolis? Is it less expensive there?

I hope your next reunion with Kyle will be nothing but pleasant and carefree.

Happy sails!


Mommy Dearest said...

So--I guess you had to clean all the decks again Maryanne? She looks wonderful. What's the latest word on crossing the Atlantic, ala Kyle's ability to get time off to do it? Thinking of you every day. Can't tell you how much I love reading your posts.

Carla said...

Hey--Hello to Scott & Lisa too! Strange where we meet, isn't it?

JD said...

Thanks for the update- I had some flashbacks while reading your post and remembered fondly the picture that you sent me of the Morris Yard in Maine! Sorry to hear about your experiences with the rigger- FKG (how appropriate, if this was Scrabble, all I would need is an I,N,C... oh but I digress.

It's a great feeling to splash the boat after a lot of hard work and be satisfied that everything is Bristol! Congrats! Haul outs are never fun even when everything goes right. Put them firmly in your wake and enjoy the sunshine- we managed almost 10" of snow here in Richmond on Monday. Lillie still asked about 'Uncle Kyle' - please stop by if you're in Richmond.

SV-Footprint said...

Karen Thanks for your post. I just wanted to answer your question as to why Footprint is registered in Portland, OR and not elsewhere.

Basically we knew we were leaving Norfolk, so it seemed any place we picked would not reflect our real "home". There are no legal restrictions on what hailing port to select. Our official address (although we don't live there) is in Arizona, and believe me there is no cruising boats in the area! Kyle wanted a hailing port that was from somewhere he liked, somewhere that you could access by sea, and somewhere that was reasonably left wing. He had lived in Portland for a while and loves the place, also Footprint is (if the plan works out) to end up in Portland (at least for a while) so here is why we selected that city. I found some other places such as Nomad, MI ( a little island on Lake Michigan) that I thought would suit us well, but eventually we agreed on Portland. Oh, and also Oregon has no sales tax so if we did move there, they would not be chasing us up for additional sales tax for the boat (as is the threat with some states).

SV-Footprint said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SV-Footprint said...

Scott and Lisa

Yea! You found us; great to hear from you. Kyle and I have spent about a month here in St Maarten, unfortunately we will be leaving on the same day that your friends arrive. I'm sure they'll enjoy themselves (especially the weather).

Tell them that they arrive on the last weekend for the Heineken Regatta, and that there are lots of free concerts and interesting things to do associated with the regatta (Just look up Heineken Regatta on line for the full list). For example I think on the Sunday there is a free Wailers concert (as in Bob Marley and the....).

While they are enjoying St Maarten, we'll be headed off to the British Virgin Islands for some exploring there.

Thanks for posting,

P.S. Say hi to Linda, we know she watches the blog too!

Anonymous said...

I am very guilty of blurking. I've read every post since your adventure started. I have a saying with our children - "It's just one of Mom's crazy adventures." I must admit tho - nothing that I have ever done comes close to your life. Good for you to have a dream and the gumption to make it happen. Happy Sailing.

Lisa Jamison (Scott's Lisa)

kate said...

so first i thought, 'finally! a post about boating in the caribbean that doesn't make me jealous!' - and then you had to go ruin it with the happy ending and the low bill and the friendly, helpful people at the boat yard... fine! ok, seriously - that's good news & i know how relieved you must be to have footprint painted and waxed, etc. and ready for the water again. yea kyle & maryanne!!