Friday, August 8, 2014

Beating The Boatyard Blues

Wandering Star on the hard at Bock Marine
I would like to say that work has started in earnest.  In fact it has started in earnest but as Sim pointed out we are still facing the mountain and nowhere near climbing down the other side.... Sigh. So far I have taken this upheaval fairly well. For example, for the foreseeable future (at least two months, if not more) I have no toilet to pee in.....I have to go to the shower blocks. No problemo. I have no lounge or sofas or even floor boards to walk on. No problemo; And I am surrounded by the dust and dirt from sanding and chipping interior paint. Er no problemo?, I'm working on that one. But like I said we are still staring at the mountain.  We haven’t actually started the major sanding etc yet.

Cleaning out the bilge for inspection.
Sim as usual has a HUGE job list to complete this haul out.
He wants to:

  • Remove all the fuel and water tanks (from beneath our built in furniture) - 6 down, 2 to go.
  • And paint out all the bilge repairing any bits as we go. This is the big job.
  • Over haul our Maxprop – which involves taking it off and sending it 2000 miles away to be serviced
  • Replace our stuffing box with a new mechanical seal.
  • Install new galley sinks
  • Take out old swivel chairs and table and replace with new sofa/bunk/sea berth while we have all the furniture out any way.
  • Take out and refurbish window ports that have sealed shut.
  • Remove the millions of barnacles, sand and repaint the bottom.
  • Clean and polish the topsides.
All whilst living on board. We have talked about moving off the boat while we work but we can’t really afford it. And to be honest I don't really mind.  When you have lived on the water for as long as I have (I can say that now as 10 years IS a long time) then being on terra firma, even if it is in a boatyard, is almost a treat.

Sim has other jobs planned but he is so distracted it’s hard to get a conversation out of him....I get filled in on a need to know basis! I do hear constant purrs or complaints from the variety of new tools he has recently added to his collection.  He LOVES his Fein multimaster that has helped cut through furniture to neatly remove it.  He is not so impressed with his new mini needle gun powered by the new compressor which is used to remove old paint or rust.  But he was impressed by the new puller which extracted the propeller hub from the shaft easily. As usual Sim works hard.  The tanks were a beast to pull out but he persevered....and (nearly) always with a happy face.
Sim and his needle gun
To make life a little easier while living in the yard:

 We have put up a tarpaulin to shade the decks and offer some rain protection. Boy has it rained.
Tarps up
Installed a double mosquito netting in the cockpit – as we have taken out all the saloon furniture – the cock pit is being used a lot. It’s not too buggy here but you only need one little blighter to drive you nuts!
Our new lounge - the cockpit, a mess but somewhere to relax
Cheap lino has been taped to our teak cockpit floor to avoid scratching it with all our comings and goings. As well as rags and rugs strategically placed to avoid chipping any paint work.

The lino covered cockpit before it magically became a mess!
We have inserted a pipe into the galley outlet to collect the grey water from washing up so dirty water doesn't pool under the boat attracting all sorts of nasty critters.
Pipe stuck in galley outlet to collect dirty water
An epoxy bucket sits in the loo and is emptied daily so that we don’t have to make midnight runs to the toilet blocks.

The fact that we feel comfortable in Bock Marine is a HUGE help.  Their rates are not exorbitant. Their facilities are nice and clean and they are very helpful and friendly. They have hot water showers, a laundry and nice lounge room.  The courtesy car is a huge help and we can just nip into Beaufort to Piggly Wiggly – yes that is the name of a supermarket, or Ace hardware and get bits we need.  And it’s really pretty here.  Surrounded by tall pine trees, we overlook the ICW and watch (when we are not working of course) the boats go past.
Amazing sunsets
So although this may have sounded like a little moan, I guess on reflection it not so bad.

Surrounded by river and tall pines - whats not to like?

The end of another day in the yard

Sim sands off the paint to do an ultra sound thickness test

The entrance to Bock Marine

That little boat the "Cricket ii" is the boat that inspired the novel and movie Jaws .

Sims new compressor

It was a job to get these fuel and water tanks out.


  1. As we read this post we were reminded of Eileen Quinn's song about life on the hard.
    You are indeed looking at the mountain, but once at the summit you will know every nook and cranny and once down the other side you can relax in the knowledge that all the unseen parts are sound.
    Keep on smiling.

  2. Thanks Guys, We are looking forward to that day. Can't get "its a hard knock life....." out of my head now :-)