Red and Blue and Teal

I can't put into words how good it feels to know that Spring is just around the corner. The trees are beginning to sprout new buds and the grass is showing just a hint of green. That means it's close to getting the bottom of the boat wet, too, and that requires bottom paint, finishing the paint on the boot stripe and the few other projects that are below the waterline. And as you can see, Susan is not having fun right now. I will explain a little later where the red and blue and teal come in.

We have been using a hard bottom paint for about as long as I can remember. This season we are trying something different and going with an ablative.  Our choice is Micron CSC and once the red paint is scuffed and the bottom is prepped, we will be using the black color. We have another few weeks before we have to get the bottom paint applied.

The weather is not cooperating in getting the boot stripe finished either. We put three coats on and the third coat turned out badly because the temps dropped to below 34; the dampness caused the Awlgrip to blush. So it is sitting now waiting for a couple of days of no rain - we seem to be getting it about every three days - and temps to stay above 50 degrees. Oh, this is where the red and blue and teal comes in. The original boot stripe was red, and at some point, a previous owner painted it blue. Now, in the Beach House tradition, we are painting it teal to match the name graphics and some additional accent stripes we plan to paint later.

The head discharge seacock was the last of the 30 year old valves that we had not yet replaced. The intake, which strangely was right next to it, had been removed and relocated last year. We fiberglassed in the old hole but had not yet painted the area, planning on removing this last antique. It had to be cut out with my trusty sawzall and needed some additional fiberglassing and sealing with epoxy before the new bronze seacock was to be installed. At the same time, we replaced the head intake hose and cleaned up some of the old plastic pipe that had been left over from a previous installation of the holding tank.

With the new valve in place, it was fun re-installing the discharge hose for the head. These never go back on the hose barb without a struggle, so it requires a pot of boiling water to stick the end in until it softens enough to slide over the barb. A generous coating of dish soap on the barb and inside the hose helps lubricate everything to make it easier. The trick is to hold the hose in the hot water just long enough to soften it up without overdoing it. Everything receives a fresh coat of paint, and all of the hoses below the waterline are always double clamped. It really looks much better now that this small job is done. We feel better with all new seacocks under the waterline.

Our experience with the HawkSpeed paint for the rudder and prop was a complete failure. When the boat was hauled last fall, most of the prop was bare and the rudder had spots missing with some barnacles on the painted area. The rep from Sea Hawk Paints finally came to look at it, but we have not received a report from him yet. It will be interesting to see what the report reads, since Sea Hawk pulled the paint from the market right after we applied it to our prop and rudder. This season, we are going back to a coating we used several years ago with some success. It is a spray-on zinc coating from Pettit called Zinc Coat Barnacle Barrier. It worked for us as well as any other coating we have used on the running gear and much better than the HawkSpeed. It was a bit of work getting the HawkSpeed off the prop and rudder to get it cleaned up in preparation for the new paint. The Zinc Coat has not been applied yet.

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