As previously mentioned Serenity is in need of some serious TLC. The first on our long list of L & C was a long overdue bottom job. From 10 feet away you could tell the bottom was in rough shape; critters, scratches, water line incorrect, and just all around grossness.
Tim scheduled time with our down-the-river boatyard Snead Island. Using these guys comes with a hefty price tag but they are considered one of the best around. We were lucky enough they could get Serenity in when Tim came to Texas for a business trip. On a nice Saturday morning off he goes with our neighbors Randy and Bill to drop off the boat. Other than a scare with the engine losing RPM’s (remember to bleed the lines when changing filters)! the trip down the river was uneventful. Serenity gets hauled out.
Couple days later our dock neighbor Chuck calls Tim with an update. First thing he says was, “I went to the yard and your boat had fallen out of the cradle” It was laying there on its side”! Tim let loose with a swearing tirade worthy of a champion, but then Chuck started laughing and said just kidding. Not funny man!! Actually, it was pretty funny since that’s the kind of crap I pull on people.
Back to it… The de-grossifying begins. I guess one good thing about a boat that’s had 1, maybe 2 bottom jobs in her life is there isn’t a whole lot of old paint to remove. Bad news was the bottom was all sorts of jacked up. It looked like much of the hull had been hit with a shotgun; shallow, round’ish indentations scattered all over. Once devoid of the last millimeters of paint the bottom was fuuuuuugly. I mean, don’t meet it in a dark alley kind of fugly. Luckily the gel coat was intact. Miraculously there were no blisters, nor breaches of the fiberglass layer. Small favors…
Additional items repaired: cutlass bearing; which we knew she needed so no biggie. Through-hulls – 5 were messed up and got replaced. Again, no big surprise there. Apparently the prop had received a smack(or 2 or 3) so that needed tending to. Zincs were replaced, as per expectations. A pleasant surprise, the rudder straps were fine. Can you hear fate laughing? Yeah, me too.
The bottom job gets completed – yippee!! It looks great. We went old school and did black. Black is slimming, right? Does my hull look fat? Sorry, I digress….
The day comes to drop her back into the H2O. Much anticipation as she goes back into her element. Of course the Snead guys hop on board to do last minute checks. Huh. Water in the bilge. WTF. Where’s it coming from? They hunt all over and determine the stuffing box is the culprit. They flip the switch for the bilge pump. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Batteries are dead. They are older than dirt so no real surprise there so then they had to get a charger on board to charge the batteries which took a good couple hours. Serenity is once again on the hard.
The guys try to loosen the nuts for the stuffing box. Of course the nuts are literally welded together. Pretty sure the stuffing box has never been serviced. Ever. To make this even more fun we have a hulking Westerbeke generator in the engine compartment completely in the way of the 2 guys working, plus dealing with the accumulation of crap stored down there, plus it’s a sauna in the compartment. After a couple hours of wrenching/pounding/hammering to try and loosen the nuts they FINALLY surrender. The contents of stuffing box? Basically a piece of dental floss. No bueno.
The afternoon wears on with them cleaning, getting the packing replaced and everything buttoned up. Tim spends the whole day in the boat yard, getting fried in the hot sun. With the sun on its way to setting Serenity is re-splashed. Much holding of breath. Looks like that solved the problem; no water leaking, batteries are charging, engine running nicely. Many hours later, one very sunburned Tim, an anxious girlfriend soothed, and a check in the amount to feed a third world country Serenity is back home. Lookin’ good sweetheart.
One item crossed off; 999 more to go. 🙂
Next time: headliner grossness and why spare toothbrushes are good to have aboard.