Last week we hauled DreamChaser up onto the hard at Mayer Yacht Services in New Orleans. We shared a little bit last week on why we chose Mike Mayers yard. He is a very fair and knowledgeable yard and what I like most is that he is a fellow boater and lover of all things marine. This means that he always brings ideas to us when we ask for a repair or some work. He shared the most expensive and best way and then alternate things to consider. When we asked for prices for things like sanding and varnishing while it was in the yard, he offered his price and also gave us the ability to do the work ourselves if we want. He joked with us that we had permission to work on the boat in the yard, we just didn’t have permission to hurt ourselves. 🙂 I appreciate his sense of humor, but by being fair like this it is going a long way to allowing us to figure out where we can save a few bucks with the kinds of things we can do and defer the things we can’t or are not good at to them. For example, we are going to start to work on sanding the toe rails and bowsprit when the painting is done so that we can get that ready to start adding varnish. It is not a high skill job, but time-consuming so we can save some labor by doing that work ourselves.
That said, I am amazed at how fast some of the projects that I have put off for years are getting done. When I am doing the work myself or with just Deb and I we prepare an area for some work, do the work for an hours or two and then we put everything back to get back to it later. When the yard does work, they prepare the work place once time (The day it was lifted) and then they get 2-4 people all working at the same time and things get done pretty quickly with that kind of manpower put on the task.
Complete Random comment here, but as I write this I just got a notice that there was “Activity detected” on our inside cameras, so I popped it open and I can see that someone is working in the engine room. It kind of looks a little like Whack a mole as his head pops up over the floor every so often.
The bilges have been painted and look good at this point. Deb and I need to look at it and decide if we are going to have another coat put down. It looks pretty good so I am not sure that we need to do that but will take a closer look this week.
The big news is that this week we saw that they had already started to sand the hull of the boat. Essentially they knocked down the heavy paint but didn’t strip it all the way down to bare glass. You can see the colors below it. The yard was thinking that maybe the boat was blue at some point in the past. This is not a color that is typically a primer color so weren’t thinking it was the primer coming through. I was suprised at how quickly they got to work on this and it was odd to see it all spotted with the green sanded off in sections and primer, or other colors showing through. They also put some blue tape across the general water line so we could have some discussions with the yard on the colored stripe we will have done above the waterline as well as near the top of the hull.
When we went back the next day, we noticed they had it painted white. I was worried at first because it wasn’t a great coverage but looked to be glossy (not what I expected from a primer) As it turns out the yard likes to prime in gloss paint to show the areas for repairs easier. They did that and we could see these little spots with cracks in the old fiberglass. They did a lot of cosmetic repairs to correct those cracks and small nicks all over the boat.
See the video on this page for details on these little cracks and more details and close-ups. The picture here shows the area where they did the most fairing on the boat. You can see the wide stripe where they concentrated on the most of the fiberglass repairs but also because this is the section of the boat that is going to have a wide black stripe and black is highly reflective and would show imperfections more so than white. They will come back and do the black at the very end so we are excited to see what that will end up looking like.
The very next day we came back and they had already sanded and were putting on the second coat of primer. I am amazed at how good of a finish they get painting this outside like this. They put up some plastic tarps to keep the overspray from hitting the other boats in the water at the docks and the shop next door that does aluminum and stainless fabrication. Surprisingly enough it seems to do a great job of keeping the spray down for sure.
We are excited to see the work that will be done in the next week and we will continue to update the blog and videos each week for sure.
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Safe sailing from the crew aboard S/V DreamChaser.
Also published on Medium.