In The Beginning

With the survey completed and the boat hanging in the slings it did not take a marine engineer to see that the bottom had not been painted in a few years and although not as bad as we expected was indeed in need. We have received good feedback and recommendations for the yard here, Marsh Harbor Marina, so we decided to have them block the boat and paint the bottom and save us some money doing another haul out later. Since we had thrown this at them outside their already busy schedule and even brought another boat over with us for them to work on (another story), we were surprised when they said “no problem”. After a thorough power wash and blasting the prop, shaft and rudder of old paint and lots of marine growth, she was blocked and ready to be sanded, faired and painted.

The surveyor had rightly noted that the raw water intake seacock for the engine was probably the original, jammed open and had the handle broken off. This could be a nuisance at best and a serious problem under certain circumstances so replacing at this time is a no-brainer. As busy as the yard appeared, the owner offered to lend me the tools needed to remove the old thru-hull my self if I wanted. Since we had some time on our hands I agreed and went to work removing the 28 year old bronze valve. Needless to say it took about three times longer than I expected. Once removed the hole left in the hull was a fair bit larger than the new thru-hull so the yard had some glass work to do before the new valve could go back in. We noted on the sea trial on the way to the yard that the shifter seemed to want to hang in forward and you really had to pull hard to get it out of gear. Both the inside controls and the controls on the flybridge were taken apart, greased well and put back together. The shifter cable at the transmission was mounted on a steel bracket which was bent and once that was straightened and a little lubricant applied the shifter, although still a bit tight, worked much better. We will see how this works in time and determine if the cable will need to be replaced.

The previous owners had apparently never used the showers on board and there were no provisions made to use them. We decided to convert the small forward head to a shower, so a set up that would let us close off all four sides with a shower curtain and a replacement drain in the floor was installed. The existing drain was just a cover in the floor and drained straight down into the bilge. A replacement drain that can have a hose connected to it and a shower sump that would collect the water and pump it overboard would all need to be installed. So Much to do and so little money.

Another surprise after we hauled the boat was when the house batteries dropped to 6 and 9 volts once they were not being charged. We had the yard order us new batteries since that would be easier than us chasing all over town trying to find them. Over the years with our sailboat we had excellent results using 6volt golf cart batteries in place of our original 8Ds so we replaced the small deep cycles which were dead with pairs of Interstate E2200s which give us about 225 amp hours per pair. In the past we have received about 7 years of use on each pair. The battery box on the boat will not hold 4 of these batteries so we will need to build another box. This is deja vous all over again since we went through this when we bought the sailboat. The electrical will need some cleaning up and minor changes but perhaps it is just that I am a bit more anal than most.

We pulled into the yard one afternoon and there sat the fire extinguisher guy in front of our boat working on someone else’s. Another survey item was the out of date extinguishers including the halon system in the engine compartment. So we conveniently were able to get all of them taken care of. It is funny how things work out.


While we are dealing with all of this we are also trying to get the repairs done on the sailboat that we had to deliver to Beaufort, NC. It made for an interesting week and we found ourselves having to leave with the delivery boat before ours was finished. The yard assured us there would be no problem and they would take the boat back to our slip at Lady’s Island Marina when it was finished. Once the delivery is done and we get back we can begin renovations in earnest.


  1. "Three times longer"? You got off easy! Boat projects take AT LEAST three times as long, if not more, than expected! ;-P

  2. Is it pretty expensive to have the bottom of a boat painted?

  3. Pat, I suppose it depends on what you consider expensive. This boat will run around $1,000.00 to have it hauled, power washed, blocked, sanded, painted and relaunched. And that price will vary depending on the marina and even the location. We pay about twice as much in South Florida as we do in the Chesapeake. Chuck


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