As I write this I am happily anchored in Liberty Bay with my yacht club. It was a hard push to get here but the effort, stress, and exhaustion of the past few weeks has been worth it.
Zippey was far far far overdue for a haul to replace the bottom paint. Last time I had the boat out I paid someone to do the work and instead of the nice (expensive) marine paint I had purchased he swapped it out and put cheap latex house paint on Zippey. Latex house paint is _not_ even close to marine paint quality. The critters living in salt water loved attaching themselves to the latex paint. Keeping the bottom as clean and smooth as possible had been a running battle for the past couple years and it finally became too much effort at nearly this same time last year.
The Shilshole Bay Yacht Club forms a raft up (I am there currently) each year for an amazing July 3rd fireworks show for boaters in Liberty Bay. Last year the trip took Zippey SIX HOURS to make. As we limped into the bay I knew it was time for the big job of stripping down the paint completely. I have sanded Zippey in the past both above and below the waterline and I can tell you that even though she is only 23 feet long it is still quite the challenge to sand down the entire boat. I researched some local boatyards and found one that was set up with facilities that allow boaters to do their own bottom work, South Park Marina.
I was excited as Zippey’s haul out date approached but unfortunately a couple days before the haul out was to commence the marina called to inform me their machine to get my boat out had broken. It took them an entire month for their supplier to get the replacement parts they needed, and another month to clear that month’s backlog. To all told Zippey’s haul out wound up happening TWO MONTHS after it was initially scheduled. This significantly compressed the original timeline, down from 3 months to 3 weeks. I had to dramatically cut back the projects I wanted to do. Down to the following 8 projects out of a total of 25+ I wanted to do:
- Drop the mast and fix the halyards
- Scrape and sand the bottom
- Roll on a couple new coats of bottom paint
- Fix the centerboard so it swings in and out properly
- Rig up a system to rehang the rudder, temporarily until proper rudder parts can be sourced
- Create a new line-based traveler system (Finished back in the water)
- New tiller installation
- Additional anchor chain added (Finished back in the water)
That is the minimum that Zippey needed to get her back into the water, and boy was it a hard sprint to get her done in time for the July 1st-4th Liberty Bay event! Alix and I were packing and moving at the same time, then unpacking and setting up a new home, sailboat racing, and the Footloose events, not to mention a family emergency, uncooperative weather, and a friend from another country visiting!
Zippey’s bottom may not be perfect but it is significantly better. The first couple days were spent sanding off the bottom paint as well as could be done. The day we were supposed to begin painting the weather went south and it rained. It rained for several days. South Park Marina is not a covered boatyard, which makes painting a boat impossible if it rains. So we did other projects, such as dropping the mast and fixing the halyard.
When all was said and done Zippey had become an international project. Someone from Canada came down and worked on Zippey.
I could not have gotten Zippey finished in time without the following people being a huge helping hand:
- Joshua Wold
- Robert Dall (Canadian)
- Ben Matthewson
- Alix Lobaugh
- Momma Lobaugh
- RaeAnn Lobaugh
Each person lent a hand with sanding, painting, or hard labor. Thank you, thank you, thank you each of you.
There are still a decent amount of projects that Zippey should have done, but their are of secondary importance. Zippey is ready to spend another pleasant summer sailing the Puget Sound!
Last year it took 6 hours to get Zippey from Elliot Bay Marina to Liberty Bay; this year she did it in slightly over 2 hours! Zippey went from chugging along at a max of 2 knots ( approx. 2 mph) to 6.4 knots (approx. 7 mph)!
Here are some photos of the process: