When we arrived on the 15th Fracas looked very much like we left her. She was well cinched down to the ground with her straps. Her stands were well placed but one of the blocks of wood under her keel was collapsing a little. This had led to some extra pressure on her forward stands. Nothing serious, I just need to bring it to Randy’s attention and the boys will fix it.
The ensuing operation took a certain amount of elbow grease ( by the boys ). They had to use the stands and some other additional stands to lift her bow up enough to get the collapsed block out and the new rookie block in. 15 minutes later and the boat’s weight was back on the blocks and the stands were doing their job of holding her upright. ML was nervous about working on the bow while this offending block was in play.
The Mangos had been below back in the spring and had reported bees. Hundreds if not thousands of dead bees inside Fracas. We also found the dead bees. They were somewhat drier now than in the spring but were no problem for the shop vac. We still find them though, every time we move anything or take something new out of a place. Soon we will have been almost everywhere and we will move on to the c’s.
Almost immediately I moved to the batteries. Mangos had added about 8 litres of water to them in the spring and it was questionable if they could be saved. They were pretty much dead when I started to rehabilitate them. I attempted all manner of tricks to get them to live. But like Dr. Frankenstein, I ultimately failed. They showed glimpses of life but whenever they were left on their own they eagerly returned to their former state, dead… In normal times, I babied my four L16 batteries. So, as they say “add money and move on.” so I did. Four new batteries later and everything is tickity boo.
I moved on to the electronics. I fired up the navigation equipment; radar, chart plotter, wind speed, and autopilot. After some prodding, unplugging and replugging, and tapping (just short of with a hammer) everything was working. I turned on my vhf and a fuse blew. My new (relatively (used one season pre-covid)) garmin vhf300ais. It was pooched and garmin has agreed to do nothing. Their helpful suggestion was to buy their new 315vhf… Add money, move on…
My main project over the past couple of weeks has been the exterior of the hull. Fracas was painted with Awlgrip around the year 2000. After almost two years on the hard and no maintenance or care, she looked pretty tired. Drastic measures would be required and I was unsure if my old and arthritic body to meet the task.
After several days of study at the University of ‘youtube’, I decided that I would wet sand the entire hull. After a couple of trials, it seemed that a progressive sanding with 600, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit would give her an acceptable gloss. Then machine polished with 3m perfect-it machine polish (blue). Then it would have to be sealed. I’ve given up on wax. Wax doesn’t last down here. At home, you might get almost a season out of a proper wax job. In Florida, it might last a month. After all this work, I’m sealing her with Jescar power lock plus polymer sealant, two coats. Then I will maintain the sealant with a Silicon dioxide spray. This will help protect all the work and enhance the hydrophobic properties.
The downside of this sealant project is the amount of work. When I’m finished I will have hand sanded an entire 42-foot sailboat 4 times, machine-polished once and two full applications of the sealant (like waxing). A lot of work. Have we been to the beach or the gulf yet? Nope. Today we are working until noon and going to the beach this afternoon.
What’s left you ask? Through hulls, hoses, clamps, bottom paint, engine oil and filters, transmission oil, heat exchangers etc… more later