April 18 – June 25, 2017: We cut short our cruising season and came back to Subic Bay earlier than usual so we could get a little jump on our plans for this year’s haul-out. We wanted to tackle our two biggest ticket items (repainting the hull and new antifouling bottom paint) before rainy season set in, which generally lasts from June through September and usually coincides with our summer trip home to Canada.
Chris also had a bunch of other projects lined up while we were out of the water. Things like pulling the prop shaft to change the cutlass bearings and an assortment of stainless steel welding projects. We hoped to be back in the water before flying home to Canada for the summer towards the end of June.
Sometimes our best laid plans change and we are forced to go with the flow. Here are some of the highlights of what really happened.
Usually when we haul out MOKEN in the Travelift at Watercraft, we go in bow first. This requires disconnecting the roller furling at the bow so we can be lifted without hitting the roller furling on the lift. By going in stern first, all we need to do is lower two radio antennas; a much simpler alternative. So back in we did. It’s a bit trickier this way, especially with a bit of a cross wind and steering that isn’t very responsive in reverse. But after a few tense moments, we finally managed to get aligned and pass our dock lines to the handlers in the lift without any mishaps.
It’s takes a bit of time for the Travelift crew to get the slings in place, but as they are familiar with MOKEN and we’ve already gone through the process a few times in the last five years, we don’t feel quite as anxious as all 35 tons are hoisted out of the water, carried to the yard and placed on hard stands.
In part while still at the dock and continuing on the hard, we stripped items off the deck in preparation for painting and took loads of extra gear from inside to make room for inside projects and get it away from the dusty boatyard. We moved carloads of stuff off MOKEN into storage at friends’ houses and filled our hotel room with cushions, our queen-sized mattress, scuba tanks, painting supplies and Nukaat. He enjoyed time off the boat exploring the gardens and eating grass around the hotel, although he wasn’t too impressed in the other cats that were hanging out there. They, on the other hand, were very interested in him and kept coming up to say hi.
We painted the pilothouse and top deck of MOKEN two years ago. Now it was time to repaint the hull. If we were going to go to all this effort, we were going to go about it the right way. We’d been planning this for some time, bringing back paint supplies from Canada last year, ordering the primer, paint and additives when we went to Singapore last fall, and coordinating with our painter, Oliver. The paint arrived in Subic while we were out cruising this spring.
We chose Alexseal paint in forest green. Alexseal is an advanced polyurethane that can be applied by roller to create a durable high gloss finish that doesn’t need buffing. Getting from preparation to final coat took a total of seven weeks with a regular crew of five guys and up to 12 on painting days. Prep included cleaning and filling rusty spots around the gunnels and hull, wet sanding and several coats of primer with more wet sanding between each coat, and three coats of green with wet sanding after all but the final coat.
The crew put up a bamboo frame and tarp to cover the whole boat before starting on the paint to keep dust and bugs to a minimum. Once the rollering starts, the painting goes quickly. Painting was done early on Sunday mornings when the yard was mostly quiet and wind was at its lightest. We’d pick up the crew at 0400 hours on painting days, they’d start at first light and be done by 1000 hours.
Finally the painting was done and it was time for the big reveal. The depth of colour and level of gloss was stunning. We were incredibly pleased with the end result.
With the painting out of the way, we started putting MOKEN back together. The rub rail, the bow rollers and all the other deck hardware that had been removed before painting were reattached and we moved on to other projects that were waiting until the painting was done.
Next Steps: There shouldn’t have been any next steps related to painting. But sometimes things go wrong. We decided to celebrate with the dive trip to Tubbataha Reef and flew down to Puerto Princessa for a week. On our return, we found MOKEN covered in white polyurethane overspray from another nearby yacht that had been painted while we were away. The white was noticeable on the new green hull, but it was also all over everything from the stainless to the solar panels. Although not visible on the white deck, you could feel it. To say we were disgusted was an understatement. We seethed.
We contacted Alexseal for options. If we buffed the white overspray off the green paint, it would ruin the protective coating and we’d have to keep buffing it forever. That was exactly what we didn’t want to have to do. The whole point in using Alexseal was to avoid this. Alexseal recommended a light sanding and one more final topcoat. So that’s what we’ll be doing once we’re back on MOKEN in mid-October.
Soon after the haul-out, MOKEN’s bottom was pressure washed to remove all the barnacles and other growth. It always makes for a stinky few days in the yard as all that sea life dies off.
Then the boatyard’s crew showed up and set to work sanding all 48 feet of MOKEN’s bottom to remove several coats of black antifouling and grey tie coat to expose the red primer. All of this sanding is done by hand! It took a lot of effort to remove it, but this was necessary because we decided to switch to a different bottom paint that is well regarded in these waters.
The reps from Chugoku came to take a look at the hull. With that out of the way, the guys got to work repairing and priming small blisters and exposed metal areas. Next, the bottom was spot primed and made ready for the next steps. We had originally planned to pop MOKEN back in the water before our trip to Canada in the summer. But with our challenges with the painting overspray, we decided to hold off on the rest of the antifouling project until our return as the final coats are best applied just before launching.
Next Steps: After the topside painting is completed in October, the antifouling will be finished and we’ll attach 16 new hull anodes prior to launching.
Prop, Shaft and Rudder
With MOKEN out of the water, it was the perfect time to pull off the rudder and prop, pull out the shaft and replace the cutlass bearings. It sounds much easier than it really is.
- Removed and cleaned prop.
- Pulled and cleaned shaft.
- Pulled and cleaned rudder shaft.
- Replaced shaft cutlass bearings.
- Replaced anode and wear bearings on SPURS® Line Cutter.
- Installed prop nut anode.
- Replaced main and rudder shaft PSS shaft seal bellows.
We are unable to do any welding projects on MOKEN when it is in the water at the yacht club, so we asked our favourite welding shop to complete a few projects for us while we were in the yard.
- Installed wind generator mounting pole.
- Installed aft rope reel to accommodate 600 feet of Samson MFP Floatline.
- Installed bracket for relocation of mainsail winch.
Next steps: Chris will complete the installation of the wind generator this fall.
In the Engine Room
The engine room is Chris’ man cave and he likes to keep it ship shape. In addition to the inside work on shaft and seals, here’s what else he got up to in here. Our air conditioners don’t work when MOKEN is out of the water, as they are salt water cooled, so it was hot work.
- Cleaned up and painted the engine room.
- Drained and replaced main engine coolant. Replaced all coolant lines with silicone type.
- Replaced main engine belts.
- Installed a second Raymarine depth sounder transducer.
- Relocated the Jabsco accumulator to cold water line.
- Removed all watermaker lines/pumps. Cleaned and re-installed. Relocated strainer.
Next Steps: Chris has a long list.
Just when you thought the list was already long, it goes on. Here are a few more odds and ends:
- Our canvas maker, Rolan, made new covers for our liferaft and rope reel.
- Replaced bow thruster blades with new six-bladed type for increased thrust.
- Replaced old fire extinguishers with new halon type.
- Sent sails for repair and re-stitching.
- Removed AC fridge in preparation for installation of DC fridges.
Next Steps: Install our two new Isotherm INOX Stainless fridges.
In addition to all the parts cleaning, we decided it would be a good idea to thoroughly clean inside all lockers and nooks and crannies, wiping down everything with vinegar and water to help prevent mould growth in preparation for leaving MOKEN for three months while we went to Canada. We left MOKEN locked up with dehumidifiers scattered throughout. A friend checks on it weekly while we’re away.
We’ll be back from Canada in mid-October and then it will be time for the big push to get MOKEN painted, antifouled and ready for re-launch. Busy days ahead.
In our next blog post, we take a break from the yard to go diving. Woo hoo.