One of the highlights of the last few weeks was finding the baby Jesus in the rosca de reyes, a traditional Mexican Epiphany cake! The cake was given to us by our landlords and we fulfilled our part of the tradition by giving them tamales. Well actually, we should made the tamales, but not being skilled nor having tamale gear, we opted for buying them from the tamale seller up the street that was recommended to us by a local.
We got back to the boatyard on New Year's Eve ready to finish up the last big project of painting the bottom. Before the Christmas break, we finished the final bits of the first pass of fairing. After a couple days of touch up fairing and then sanding we were ready to put on the barrier coat.
Barrier coat is a special kind of paint that is meant to make a waterproof seal over the surface of the hull. Way back in August, we had Calla Lily's hull sand blasted to remove 30 year of bottom paint. Her hull surface was then fiberglass which is not inherently waterproof. Over time, it will absorb water and this will cause deterioration in the integrity of the hull. Calla Lily's hull was in very good condition and we made only a handful of repairs.
We chose Interprotect 2000 for our barrier coat, It is tried and true and has been around for decades, It is an epoxy based product that lays down teeny tiny overlapping scales to seal out water. It comes in grey and white which is cool because if you alternate colors in each coat you can tell where you have been. Another bonus is you don't have to sand between coats! Also, when you do sand it as we will have to for our bottom paint, you can tell how deep you are cutting as the color changes. It took 3 days and 6 gallons of barrier coat to put on the 4 coats. The next step will be to move the jack stands and keel blocks supporting the hull to do the sanding, filling, sanding, fairing, sanding, final fairing, sanding, and 4 coats of barrier coating. Look at the pictures to see what the jack stand situation looks like.
Now that we are painting and because the paint requires about 3 days of curing time before sanding or moving jack stands, we have time to work on other projects now. More on that later. As I write this, the bottom is mostly sanded and ready for Coppercoat, which is the bottom "paint" we are using. In a couple days, with the help of some fellow cruisers, we will Coppercoat the bottom!
In the time we are waiting for paint to cure we have tackled a long list of other projects. So far we have:
Installed the new windlass
Removed most of the masking tape from the deck (an absolutely massive, faffy, and fiddly job)
Bedded the stanchion bases
Tested out a gelcoat repair kit
Marked our new anchor chain in 25 foot segments
Attached the chain to the anchor and boat and raised and stowed it
Installed our new solar panel (to replace the one that got damaged by a flying stand up paddleboard in a storm)
Made a sink cover our of HDPE plastic
Replaced the engine cooling thermostat
Installed a new propeller shaft seal
Made new dock lines (6oo feet of them in various lengths from 25 to 200 feet)
Touched up the deck paint
Installed a new starter for the engine
Installed a new glow plug thing for the engine
Changed the raw water impeller in the engine
Installed the heat exchanger
Installed the rebuilt CV joint axle thing in our drive train
Next up, Coppercoat!