After two weeks of maintenance work both inside and outside, standing or crouching, a weather window finally presents itself allowing me to schedule the launch of Øya to Monday January 27 in the evening. It means a lot of work, so the week was an intense one!
To launch the boat, you must:
- Apply anti-fouling paint.
- Start the engine to verify that it will operate when in the water.
- Ask the shipyard to lift the boat which is currently standing on its keel, so that I can treat the sole (the lower part of the keel).
All these operations which seem relatively simple are in fact quite demanding!
Anti-fouling paint needs to be applied as late as possible because it loses its properties quickly when it is not immersed. Depending on the paint used, the tolerance is around a week. At 200 € the pot of 5L as much be careful!
However, it still needs to be applied in a low humidity atmosphere and it dries for a few hours.
The cooling system of a boat engine uses seawater, but before launching, the ship isn’t on the water right?
It is then necessary to make a whole system with a water bucket fed by a garden hose so that the engine can be tested correctly. It is a fairly simple system but whose implementation is quickly painful when you are alone: you go back and forth, you put water everywhere inside etc.
I had not anticipated that the throttle grip button that disengages the transmission was completely seized. So I spent 3 hours loosening it with paper towels and WD-40. That was a bonus!
Luckily, the engine started well, the battery is still in good condition, it’s just fine!
The sole is therefore the part on which Øya rests when it is standing on land. In fact, it is inaccessible, nor even to sight for a visual control of its state.
In itself this is not a problem: at worst it is rusty it must be treated, at best we apply anti-fouling and the job is done.
The problem that I encounter is that treating rust requires drying time, several coats, and therefore favorable weather.
It is therefore necessary to lift the boat during a weekend, so that the site machine is not monopolized during the working days.
In fact, on Monday I was thinking of redoing the gas circuit rather than doing all of that. What has radically changed my program is the weather.
Thank you Gloria
The famous Gloria storm was a blessing for me since by installing a magnificent high pressure on the British Isles and Brittany, I had good weather all week!
More than three days without rain in Brittany during the month of January it is a weather window not to be missed. So I postponed the gas circuit project. I would do it when I will be in Quiberon Bay, in fact as it had been planned from the start…
Rescheduling of the week
Always do things in the right order: install the anti-fouling without having verified that the engine is running is risky since in case it does not work and the repair takes time, then the anti-fouling is lost. Likewise, make sure that the yard is available to lift the boat for several days.
After a discussion with the site manager, we agreed to lift Øya during the weekend starting on Friday evening. It’s a bit uncertain because the weather window will surely close during the weekend, and we had this discussion on Tuesday… But sometime we just have to get started!
So in order, I was able to do:
- Engine started Tuesday
- Anti-fouling Wednesday and Thursday
- Friday, handling some rust that I had not seen until there, and lifting of the boat with the guys of the building site
Once Øya rose, I could look under the sole and see that as I expected it had to deal with rust. I did not expect as much, especially since the weather window closes, the forecast is the most all weekend.
So I spend my Friday evening calculating the drying times according to the temperatures announced and set up a weekend schedule around the raining hours… I am rather pessimistic about the smooth running of events.
Saturday morning begins with a proper downpour, the first in a long time! The boat is soaked to the bottom, of course.
The first step I have to do is to scrape the rust (again), for that it must be dry. So I installed pieces of tape here and there that prevent water from running down the hull by making it drip instead. Only this action sounds like despair! In short, I was able to dry my bazaar with a neighbor’s heat gun and started my stripping.
Four hours later, it is clear that the forecasts were not reliable and to my advantage because it did not rain again. Since then I have been able to apply the first layer of the treatment.
With the heat gun (a powerful hair dryer) that I move every 5 minutes, I manage to make the treatment dry much faster. It is laborious, far from good practices and right in the “do as you can”!
I check the short term forecast every hour and although it is gray, it is not raining. I was able to apply another layer before night. As for the intermediate primer layer, I put it at 4 o’clock in the morning using the frontal since the forecasts announced a strong deterioration on Sunday around noon with showers.
Finally, I was able to put the anti-fouling of the sole on Sunday morning, so it’s finally done, but it was rather funky!
It’s not over, but it starts soon!
The last few things to do before putting the boat in the water: tidy it! It’s been a nameless mess since all these manipulations started.
I will also need to install a helm, check the level of diesel and prepare the mooring.
Then, once in the water, I could stay at the dock for two days for free before leaving for another port. If everything goes as I would like, and especially if the conditions allow it then I could make my first sea trip in a few days!
That was done exactly under the conditions that I wanted to avoid, namely precipitation, in every sense of the term. I am not dissatisfied with myself in the end, I even enjoyed it! I’m glad I was able to advance so much in my program .
I did the best I could with the knowledge and the conditions I had. By cons for a first experience is fine, but I would make the second goes more calmly, properly.
It’s not for nothing that nobody does this in January! But at least it’s done.