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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

No painting today. Rain delay.

August 21, 2013
RSYC haulout day 2.
No painting today.  Rain delay.

It rained yesterday on and off all day.  No big deal as yesterday was a prep day.  First we sprayed the hulls with a dilute mixture of oxalic acid to eliminate stains.  We used a powered form of oxalic acid that we found at Newline, an industrial cleaning supply shop here in Suva, Fiji.  A kilo of powered oxalic acid was F$15 and Kathy mixed 60 grams in 1 litre of water which made a solution that was very effective.   Just spray on a dry hull and the stains disappear in front of your eyes like a late night infommercial.  It also helps to give the hull a wipe to ensure even distribution of the solution, then rinse within 5 minutes or less or the acid might do damage.  LightSpeed is painted with Awlgrip which I would guess is less forgiving than gelcoat.  Either way don't let the acid sit to long before rinsing and it's best to follow up with a thorough soap and water wash.  

Once the hull was nice and clean we washed the bottom with soap and water to remove fuel and oil contamination then it was quick wet sand with 120 grit paper and the bottom was totally ready for new paint. 

Today was pretty much a bust as it rained all day.  At times it would just drizzle giving us a bit of hope and at other times it would pour with tropical abundance. I found a small window of opportunity to sand the saildrives and put on a coat of International Interprotect metal primer.  Kathy and our Fijian helper Daco tried to build a tent over the boat, but a deluge created puddles and soon the whole tent collapsed. Barb from s/v Iron Butterfly stopped by and helped out for a few hours which was great moral support.  I got less than a quarter of the bottom painted and around noon we called it a day as it absolutely pouring.  Our goal was two coast of paint today, so again it was a total bust.  

We have our fingers crossed that tomorrow we can find some windows of opportunity.  We really need some nice weather as starting tomorrow the tides start to fall and we need a big tide to float off the lift.  It looks like we won't be ready to launch tomorrow, and perhaps not until next week.  But, by next week the tides will be 40cm lower, so we're working on plan B on how we can get LightSpeed in the water.

Plan B could be some lift bags to float the boat higher or simply unbolting the supports on the lift and letting the boat tip the 40cm into the water.  Either way we'll get the boat wet and get back to cruising next week or at least bust something in the process.  

That's it for now.