Monday, February 27, 2017

Dorado on the rocks!

Dorado on the rocks?

Yes, I DO mean that the anchor dragged and the boat ended up banging around on the rocks for a while before it could be pulled free. However, this is a forensic discovery of the boat's history rather than a recent event.

I planned on pulling the boat Tuesday, doing a quick and dirty job of fairing the rough bits, apply a few coats of bottom paint, and then back in that lovely water on Friday or Monday and away from the noise, heat, lights, mosquitos, and toxic or itchy dust. I managed to back the boat into the concrete and rusted steel slip without trouble, they hoisted it and pressure washed the bottom,
and set me up in the yard, right by the busy road.

I rented a sander to partly smooth the bottom to help the paint adhere, although not perfectly smooth. As I sanded I found blisters that spurted cola-colored fluid, so I popped some and worked to patch them... but had heard they are cosmetic rather than structural and I think everyone knows how I feel about appearance vs function. I also found cracking where fiberglass was smoothed over the joint between the 4,000lb lead keel and the hull of the boat.
Experts have said this is very normal and not a problem as long as the bolts seem sound. Still, it seemed sensible to remove the loose stuff and smooth it out with some fiberglass.... and to smooth out the incredibly rough keel wing. But this became rather overwhelming: how can I do this much in the time I have, what shortcuts make sense and which are problematic.... paralysis sets in.

So, I finally said yes to a fellow who kept coming by and telling me to hire him. So, I have a fellow working for me who refuses to take my shortcuts, insisting that all the bottom paint should be stripped, the blisters repaired, and things done RIGHT. He may be right, although I find myself with very mixed feelings, becoming anxious as days pass and bills mount, then getting much better as we finish demolition and get into the repair phase. 

However, as he cleaned off the bottom paint (and bits of oysters and coral) we have discovered that the port side of the boat has a lot of repairs to undisclosed bashes and gouges!
Clearly the fingerprint of some traumatic event and, given the location of the damage, it could not have been impact with another boat, mooring, or dock. It sure looks like the boat dragged anchor and ended up on some rocks at some point.

We have not seen anything that leads us to believe that the structural integrity has been compromised and, today, moved launch day to this Friday.

Man, the things you see when you bring your aged equipment in for a good expert checkup can be pretty scarey... *grin*


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  2. How fascinating what you can find on the bottom of the boat. I love the way you can piece together the boat's history. I think all the work and repair will be well worth it. I'm going through the same thing with my refrigerator.