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Where is TIDES INN Today?

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The last position reports for Tides Inn will be displayed on the map. (Courtesy of Currently, Tides Inn is in refurbishment at Wormley Creek Marina, Yorktown VA

Almost Ready to Launch

Making steady progress, but it will be a few more days before launching.  Yesterday we finished undercoating at the waterline and under the jackstands.

   Today we got the first coat of final bottom paint applied as the local temp went up to 105 degrees. Fortunately we were working in the shade of the hull, and it only takes a couple hours to get a full coat applied.


    The first coat is now done.  Tomorrow we will apply Prop-Speed to the prop while we allow the bottom paint to dry thoroughly, then Thursday a second coat of bottom paint.   Then its just the final cleaning and waxing the hull over the weekend. Should be ready to launch early next week.

     Meanwhile, we checked off another task, finishing 4 coats of Cetol on the companionway entrance and washboards.  Looks good.



Boot Stripe Finished

     Boot stripe finally finished. I didn't realize it was going to be such a job  (actually, I knew it was going to be difficult given that I was trying to get it as perfect as the original professional job). It came out much better than my first attempt several years ago (tried to paint when it was 100degs outside - big mistake).   We rolled and tipped as a team of two, using Interlux Primecoat and 333 brushing thinner.

     Our main challenge was covering up the white primer paint underneath. It took 3 coats (thinned to ensure they flowed properly) to cover the white. I later saw the professionals mix a little topcoat with the primer to make it light blue and easier to cover.  I also had difficulty avoiding runs under the thru-hulls, which require sanding out (exposing the white primer again) and a challenge blending in with the existing paint.   Now we'll let it dry couple days, then tape off and bring the bottom paint up to the edge.

   While we wait for the paint to dry harder, its on to the next project...

Slow and Steady

  We're making slow but steady progress getting the hull back in shape. The boot stripe takes a good deal of prep work and then at least two coats of final polyurethane.

    After a week of sanding, priming, and resanding - then taping off - then 3 trips to West Marine to get the right paint and paint brush, we are ready to apply the first coat of polyurethane. Sue rolls the paint on and I "tip" it with the brush. You have to get just the right amount of thinner for the temperature and sun conditions. We had to guess with a dab of thinner. I'm not sure we ever got it right until just at the end of the port side which was in the shade.

   Here's a couple pictures of the port side, all primed up and sanded and ready to be painted.

Here's the port side with one coat of boot stripe paint. We'll add the second coat tomorrow.  The stern section came out excellent, The front has some clear brush marks that need to be sanded. Good news is that it looks great from a distance.

While waiting for the paint to dry between coats (takes 24hrs), there is time to start working on some more of the teak. I removed the two locker covers from the cockpit which I could take home and work on. Here is the original condition (one original and one stripped, then one sanded). I then had to clean and bleach them with teak treatment (no photos of that).

   And, here is what they look like in the final form.

Making Progress On The Hull

   We're making steady progress on getting the hull back in shape. Had to do some major scraping of the bottom paint that was peeling from the bare fiberglass - the hull was not thoroughly dewaxed before its initial bottom painting in 2003, and sitting 2 years in the sun caused alot of paint to separate.

   After scraping, sanding, and dewaxing, we applied non-sand primer paint on the bare fiberglass patches. This primer is super sticky stuff - they must mix glue in with the paint.

   Next comes a layer of red bottom paint covering up the no-sand primer spots to build up the areas scraped down. 

   Then we're ready for a full coat of red undercoating.   Meanwhile, I'm still working on the boot stripe. Put on a undercoating of white filler to repair the numerous scratches along the waterline - I guess from mooring balls. I have finished the first sanding. Now need to repeat with finer grade sandpaper.

     Along with bottom prep and painting, we have also been stripping and Cetoling the gunnel. Got 4 coats on in the past week and now time to reinstall the stainless rubrail. We will do the top of the gunnels once the boat is back in the water.  Its just much easier to do the outside while the boat is pulled.

Another Job Nearing Completion

After 15yrs its time for another new set of batteries. And that means hoisting 4 70lb house batteries and 1 50lb starter battery up into the boat which is still up on jackstands.
   Its a multiple segment journey from the truck bed to the battery compartment. First, hoist the battery to the stern platform. Then lift it by hand to the helm seat. Then carry to the companionway. The carry down the 4 steps to salon and over to settee. Then finally position into the battery compartment.   Its a two person job for most of the steps. The dinghy davit hoist does a good job of lifting the battery to the stern platform, but then Sue has to push the battery onto the platform while I ease off the hoisting line to let the battery swing forward. From here it is lug them by hand up to the cockpit.

  Once all 4 house batteries are in the salon, its time to position them into the battery compartment.

   Going into the battery compartment is a tight fit. There is absolutely no wiggle room. You have to lower the battery athwartships into the opening, then holding it above the 2x4 framing, spin it 90deg to get it into place. Lowering a 70lb battery requires a tripod stance, 2 knees plus a forehead braced. A boat cushion makes good protection for my forehead. 
   Finally, all in place. I'll do the connections in the morning when it isn't 90deg temperature and 90percent humidity. There is also the starter battery to position into the rear bedroom. Fortunately, it only weighs 50lbs, but still is an awkward install going down into the engine compartment, then sliding sideways into its shelf location. The problem is where to brace your forehead as you are bending over the engine compartment lowering the battery, then pulling it back toward you - basically it ends up on a shelf under your knees. 

Making Progress

Every job takes about twice as long as you think it will, but at least being retired means you have the time to spend.  I finished up the starboard side compounding, first using heavy oxidation cutter, then again with 3M Finess-It fine cut.  Takes about 6hrs for each pass so 2 days to do each side. I still need one more pass with Finess-It on the port side.  Then move on to waxing and buffing. That's probably a day per side.  The hull looks pretty good except, now I know how many scratches I have - lots. But you dont see them unless you are this close.

   My arms are tired from the compounding so I decided to do some "cross-training" and move on to teak sanding/scraping.  It took 2 days to sand the outside gunnales (80 and 240 grit) then a third day to strip the 1/2inch wide underside - then most of day to remove the protective masking tape and wash off the glue residue. The a thunderstorm came through which meant having to sand again the next day. Finally, ready for the first coat of Cetol. I am only doing the outside of the gunnales while the boat is pulled; I'll do the rest of the job at Dare Marina once we are finally on the water. 

     Still have the bottom to do and boot stripe. That's a week or more of work.  Not looking so good for 31 May launching unless I step up the pace.  Given that it hit 90deg today, that may not be likely.

Hull Rubdown and Wax

   After 15 years its time for Tides Inn to have a good rubdown of her hull topsides. Sitting in the boatyard in the sun, the hull has gotten pretty pasty looking.
   You cant tell it from the photos but in this "before shot" the hull has no shine whatsoever. 

    Working on the starboard side with the first application of "heavy oxidation" removal rubbing compound. 4hrs of weight-lifting the 10lb orbital polisher.  Then (next day) another 4hrs of "finishing" rubbing compound, plus 2hrs to do above the rubrail with both heavy duty and finishing duty rubbing.

     All done with the rubbing compound. Starboard side now ready for waxing.  Sue removed the gunnale stainless trim in preparation for stripping and new Cetol varnish for the gunnales. That will have to wait to next week as we are off to Nashville tomorrow.   And, of course, there is still the port side to do.

  Meanwhile, Sue has been working with Rivah to stay calm in the kayak - preparing for future kayak rides in the Bahamas. So far, very successful but not too many distractions.


S/V TIDES INN Homeport Dare Marina, Yorktown VA