Abracadabra's Spa Visit
When we arrived in Mazatlàn on October 2 Abracadabra was already out of the water and in the boat yard ("on the hard" in sailorspeak) perched on stands that - no matter how many times we've seen her up there -- makes those of us from earthquake country a bit queasy. When we first saw her on her tenuous looking perches, the craftsmen at Total Yacht Works had already scraped several years of paint from her hull.
Sadly, the next time we saw her, she sported many scary little "x's" - marks identifying blisters in her fiberglass. For non-boat people, blisters are just what they sound like: little pockets in the fiberglass that, if left untreated can allow water to seep in and create big pits in a boat's hull, ultimately turning a hull quite spongy. In Abracadabra's case, these baby blisters are suspected to be the result o taking a cold-water boat to the warm waters of Mexico.
Fortunately all of Abracadabra's blisters were very shallow and the crew at Total Yacht Works opened, scraped, dried and filled them within a few days. Next came two coats of epoxy to prevent future blisters; two of anti-fouling paint to avoid turning Abracadabra's hull into a floating biosphere; and a pretty new boot stripe. The boot stripe (the little paint strip about two inches above the antifouling paint) is ornamental - but in our case a new one was required because we had "raised the water line" a couple of inches -- put anti-fouling paint higher up the side of the hull. Abracadabra is a heavy girl when she's fully loaded, and more of her is below the water than ever before!
Finally, the Total Yacht Works guys gave her a beautiful polish job and -- after 12 days of work, she looked like a sweet young thing!. Molly's now interested in seeing what a two-week spa stay can do for her . . .
The most dramatic part came next -- getting the pretty baby into the water, and back to the dock, without scratching the new paint!
First came the big monster lift . . .
|Miriam - The (Fortunately) Cautious Lift Driver!|
|Five Foot One Inch (On A Good Day) |
Model Next To A Lift Wheel
which picked up Abracadabra . . .
|The Dark Blue Bottom Will Lighten Upon Contact With Water We're Told|
for a last little dob of anti-fouling paint on the bottom of her keel which had been resting on a wooden support . . .
|The Last Minute Finish|
and then took her to dangle her over the ocean . . .
|Nervous Captain Following Closely|
and sloooowly began to lower her . . .
|Down She Goes|
Once the deck was flush with the top of the pier, we stepped over the transom and joined Abracadabra's slow descent. The Fonatour line handlers kept her from swinging into the pier, and dooooown we went:
Picture taking time was over when we got to the water. The Captain checked for leaks - a bad thing on a boat. Finding none, on came the engine, and away we motored.
Happily, we docked without scratching her shiny new self - and sighed a sigh of relief.
Now all we have to do (ha!) is move all the things stored inside to the outside, clean it and bolt it on - and we can sail away. But that's another post.
FYI Re: E-Mails of Blog Posts
Several readers that signed up to receive blog notices haven't been getting them. Blogger Help says this is because we've been drafting in Word and due to Word's heavy programing content making a file that is too big for Blogger to e-mail. (Why this has become a problem almost two years after we started this blog - go figure.) This post was drafted on the blog itself and therefore should - if Blogger Help is correct -- go through as an e-mail. If you have signed up for e-mails and you actually get one of this posting - we'd appreciate you letting us know!
And, FYI, there are several posts about our summer inland sojourn you may have missed due to this e-mail glitch. Check them out if you're interested.