Well boys, the
ugly truth has been exposed...
I bought the boat without hauling it to exam the bottom and maybe its
just as well.
Actually a little pre-story first... I went by the harbor masters
office and told them I was going to take the boat out and have the
bottom painted... they wished me good luck.... hummm.
No big deal, they were just being nice. I walked down the dock
and my neighbor was washing his boat. I told him that I was going
to be out of the slip for a few days and not to worry because I was
going to be over at the yard getting the bottom painted... he
wished me good luck. Hummmmm.... two people in a row
wishing me good luck while getting the bottom painted???
So it got pulled out of the water.
I waited the first day for the yard to call and give me my estimate for
paint, replacing underwater metal parts, and any other details like
replacing a sea-cock with a ball valve but no call.... Hummmmmm...
Finally I call them and the guy asks if I know that I had some
fiberglass turned loose from the wood hull? Yes, I already knew
that. He said his painter was out for a few days and he would
prefer not to paint the boat as he had several others in line ahead of
me. Then he suggested that perhaps they just "paint the bottom
and put it back in the water" - it should be all right...???!!! I
had to ask him what exactly was he trying to tell me and thats when he
suggested that I come down and take a look.... So I did.
Here is what I found...
The old girl is resting on its blocks.
Sorry about the lighting... it was 4:00 PM and the shadows were
By the way - one thing about the drawn water line on this boat - the
black line is actually about six inches above the actual water
line. That is kinda cool as it makes the boat look sleeker than
it actually is. I will be keeping the drawn water line where it
Here at the stern you can begin to see what was troubling to the yard
master... the old bottom paint did not remain intact when the
laborer water-blasted all the barnacles off. Hummmmmm......
Again, we are at the stern on the other side and the same problem is
here too. For reference - the red is the most recent paint, the
white is the second most recent, and the yellow ish area is the actual
gel-coat of the fiberglass that covers the wood hull (shush - don't
tell the insurance company - I told them it was a fiberglass
boat). The blue - who knows - I think I actually peeled away
four, five, six coats of old paint!
And here is a close-up of the problem. Good God what a
mess. Remember - this is supposed to be smooth and sleek
underwater for that blistering 8-mph cruising speed! Every little
ripple robs a tenth of knot off the cruising speed.
A sane man would drop it back in the water, go a respectable distance
off-shore, and scuttle the old girl - but that is not what will happen
to this boat (I may delete this sentence in a day or two after the
shock wears off).
We agreed that his laboror will spend another day scraping off the
loose paint where it is easily removed, use a sander to smooth off the
rough edges of the ramaining paint, then they will apply bottom paint.
He predicted that each time I haul the boat over the next few years I
will continue to see the paint pealing away from the fiberglass.
No big deal - just keep scraping away the loose stuff and paint with
stuff designed to stick to that gelcoat fiberglass surface.
There are a few spots where the fiberglass below the waterline has been
torn and those places must be repaired to make the hull watertight
again - the yard will do this too.
Believe me - this looks pretty depressing but there is a silver
lining... you're looking at a 75 year old wood boat that is -
despite its paint problems - largely one solid piece. The other
silver lining is that it is a smaller boat - meaning that each of these
problems are manageable and in totality - wont cost THAT much to repair
- and once repaired - the hull is likely to offer several more years of
I am looking forward to getting back on the water.