Sunday, September 4, 2011

Below the Waterline

This is Matt, He takes care of everything below the waterline, and a few things above on the mast, he is the best in Corpus!

Here Wand'rin Star is lifted out of the water with the 15 Ton Travel Lift.
Here is the Starboard side showing the marine growth just 1 month after Matt cleaned the bottom.

This is after getting powered sprayed. You can see the paint was wearing and time for a bottom job.

The Endeavour 42 has a big keel, modified full keel with a cut away forefoot. The ballast is incapsulated in the keel. So the hull and the keel are all one piece. This is unlike a bolt on keel that is just a big piece of lead shaped into a keel and bolted on.

We discovered we had a crack extending about 14 inches up diagonally fron the rudder post.

And there was this crack at the top of the rudder right at the rudder post.

Here you can see how the Prop is full of barnacles.

The prop has been scrapped and cleaned ready for painting.

This is the line cutter we had installed when we re-commissioned the boat in Kemah. I wanted this after being out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico when one of the boats traveling with us had a big piece of line foul their propeller and the skipper had to jump in with a knife and cut it free so he could get his engine started.

This is a grounding plate on the bottom of the hull. A big copper cable runs from the top of the mast to this plate and supposedly if we got hit by lightening this grounding system would save our electronics.

Here we discovered the area sealife was having a bit of luch from this wood block spacer on the Garmin Sounding unit.

Here is the almost complete repair where Jimmy removed the wood and fiberglassed in a new spacer.

This is our Surveyor Mike Firestone inspecting the rudder damage. Jimmy drilled a couple of holes to expose the core to determine is there had been any water damage to the core.

This is a close up of the one of the 3/4" holes drilled into the rudder to inspect the core.

Here is the completed fiberglassed repair at the rudder post.

This is the other completed crack repair.

This is Jimmey's Son Enis putting on the finishing touches on the shaft and proeller.

The repair and bottom job is complete. ready to go back in the water.

Matt is the our goto guy for taking care of the below the waterline parts of Wand'rin Star. He cleans the bottom on a regular basis. The going rate for such work here in Corpus is $75 per cleaning. This is a bargain since it means I do not have to don a wet suit, get out my diving gear and spend a couple of hours doing this on my own in the murky water of the marina where we often have more than our share of jellyfish around. In the colder winter months you can go 3 to 4 months between cleaning but when the water warms up in the summer you need a cleaning every two months for sure. In the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest about every 6 months is normal. The paint on our bottom was due for a bottom job Matt told us just after cleaning the hull recently. I knew he was right and I purposely delayed hauling the boat out since we are near starting our cruise and I wanted to have the boat hauled out, re-surveyed, and bottom painted all at the same time. I went to almost every boat yard in the area checking prices and trying to guage the quality of work done in each yard. I asked several BYC members and got their recomendations. We finally setteled on have Jimmy Sanchez and his crew do the work at the Corpus Christi Mrina Yard. His estimated price of $1765 for the work was reasonable and many people in the area said they would only let Jimmy touch their boats. The only concern I had was their relatively small 15 Ton Travelift. Wand'rin Star weighs about 27,500 pounds loaded with water fuel and all our gear. That would leave a small margin for error on a well used rusty travel lift. We have been haul out 3 times before but with 40 ton or larger travel lifts so there was no concern. This time I emptied the water tanks to get 150 gallons of weight off and we hauled about 3 carloads of stuff off the boat since it would be in the high humidity and over 100 degree temperture for a week or longer.

The Rudder Damage

Right after having the boat hauled out Jimmy's crew power washed the bottom of the hull to remove all the marine growth of the last two months. This allowed a close up view to evaluate the condition of the fiberglass on the hull below the waterline. I was interested to see if any blisters had formed on the hull. To my surprise there were no significant blisters and that made me and my pocket book happy. Each blister can cost $35-$50 to repair depending on the size. The warm water of the Gulf seems to contribute to blisters. The hull on it's last bottom job was sanded down completely and a epoxy barrier coat put on before the bottom job so obviously this was very effective in protecting below the waterline. Then Jimmy got my attention as he was intently inspecting the rudder, his quick eyes from over 40 years of experience spoted two cracks in our rudder. Holy Cow!, this was going to not only cost alot of boat bucs but also had the potential to take weeks to fix. I immediately contacted Mike Firestone a Marine Surveyor I had contracted with to update our three year old marine survey. Then I started researching the internet to see what all is involved in buying a new rudder. Well a company in Florida could build us one for about $2500 and take about 2-3 weeks.

The Marine Survey

I wanted to get the boat re-surveyed so we could get the insured value up on the boat before departing on our cruise since we have done so much work on her. Mike Firestone is the most reputable of the surveyors in the area and he has already proved a valuable asset to us in this process. Mike Met the next morning first thing to begin the out of water portion of the survey and inspect the rudder damage. He said is was probably due to running aground so I recounted to him about the 3 times we had run aground in the ICW bringing the boat to Corpus. One of those groundings was a hard one and we were helped off by a passing Tow captain who just directed his props at us and shot lots of water at our stern helping us float off. Karen Glandt of Gulf Stream Marine suggested contacting our boat insurance and filing a claim. Mike then directed Jimmy to drill two holes in the rudder to see if there was any water in the rudder or any core damage. Fortuantely there was no water in the rudder and Mike determined the rudder did not need replacement, just a bit of fiberglass repair. This was a big relief as both the time and money of having a new rudder installed was weighing pretty heavy. Our Insurance Boat US came through in a big way and paid all of the yard bill except for our deductable. Jimmy gave the boat all of his attention and had the whole job done and back in the water in 5 days.We are now back aboard and I am making my have to do list before departing. I plan to get at least 1 task done everyday for the next 2 months so all we will need to leave is a few days of decent weather.