Saturday, 1 November 2014

Out of the water

I drove up to Kirkcaldy last Thursday, then on to Cairnbaan on Friday. It's a long way with one driver! The break in Kirkcaldy lets me see my parents, an only adds about an hour on to the driving time, so its well worth it. Julian was down south, in Slough at an Open University residential school, but I took Alex. He doesn't sail, but he's an old hand at boat cleaning and painting!

We got to Cairnbaan just before lunch time, and signed into the hotel and had a drink at a snack before heading over to the boat yard. The yard is pretty small, and Robinetta was tucked in right at the back on a cradle. She must have been the first boat out of the water! It was a pretty grey day, and very damp, but fortunately that did not matter.

We had told Adam Way that we did not want Robinetta pressure washed since Paul Drake, who her recaulked her for us, had warned us that the new putty might take a couple of years to harden up. We had ignored this advice last year, and some of the stopping had come out during the wash down. This year we paid attention, and had come prepared to scrub her down manually.

Given that Robinetta had been in the water since mid April her bottom was surprisingly clean. There were some barnacles, but only right at the base of the keel. It's possible that sitting in the fresh water of the Crinan Canal for a week before she was hauled out had killed most of them off. The weed that in other years would have been really thick round the water line was hardly visible, and it scrubbed off really well to leave a hull that looked in better condition than since we first bought her. In previous years there had always been an obvious amount of bare wood showing after haul out. This year there was hardly any.

Adam way had put the foredeck cover on carefully, pulling it taut so that no water pooled on it. He had also brought the main cabin cover forward, so the foredeck bulkhead was not exposed. There was still water in the bilges though, so I pumped them out as much as I could, then mopped out the rest.

There was a little oil in them from when the engine had its oil and filter changes ready for winter, but more worryingly the step that covers the engine would not go back into place. Something somewhere is getting distorted and the step was about a 1/4 inch too wide for the gap it used to fit in easily....

Alex had just about finished scrubbing the hull by 1630; the damp had turned to drizzle and it was getting too dark to see what we were doing, so we finished work and headed over to the hotel. Ten minutes later it began to rain heavily, and continued that way all night.

Next morning was bright and sunny. Just what we wanted! After a huge cooked breakfast we headed back to the yard. Alex finished cleaning the hull (we had missed a few bits in the poor light yesterday) and I checked the bilges. They were still nice and dry, so the covers are doing their job. I still could not get the step back in, which makes getting in and out of the cabin a bit of a stretch.

Alex touched up the hull and rudder with grey metallic or underwater primer as required, then rubbed down the bowsprit which had lost quite a lot of varnish over the course of our trip. We managed to get a complete coat of varnish on! Only one, so its hardly a complete job, but all the bare wood got covered, which should hold it until spring.

I stripped off all the mast furnishings, antenna and wiring, strops, shrounds, stays, ropes and hoops and loaded them into the car, together with the seat cushions. Robinetta is very bare now!

By 1600 we had done all we could. It had clouded over again and was beginning to drizzle, so it was time to head to Kirkcaldy, ready for the long drive south tomorrow.