This weekend dad and I headed down to Gosport for the Annual Anti-foul. As the boat sits in the water for the almost the entirety of its life a lot of weed and barnacles can grow on the bottom of the boat, which can cause the boat to be difficult to steer and travel through the water less well, burning more fuel when under power and slowing it down under sail. For this reason we paint below the waterline with anti-foul which prevents the growth of marine biology!
So when we got there on Friday night the boat had been lifted out of the water using a crane and sling and power washed while she was in the sling to remove the slime and any weed that had survived the antifoul. She often gets a bit around the bow and I have a theory that this is because she is kept on a swinging mooring which is also covered in weed, so this makes it easier for the weed to attach itself.
We didn’t do any work to the boat on Friday night but it did mean that we got an early start on Saturday morning. By 7.45 we were up and working! The first job is to scrape the old antifoul to remove any loose bits. Luckily for us there weren’t that many loose bits so this didn’t take too long! We then thoroughly washed below the waterline to get any powdered antifoul off, and the water came off blue!
We also washed the hull above the waterline using a tub of blue stuff that dad picked up from the boat show last year. Really have no clue what it was but it worked! We also used acid crystals to remove yellowing just above the waterline, so she’s show-room white!
The rain started at 11am and didn’t stop all day. It was still raining that evening when we took the green ferry to Portsmouth for a meal and still raining when we took the green ferry back from Portsmouth after the meal! It was also incredibly windy. Now a boat moving in the wind is something that I’m used to as a sailor, but when the boat is on a cradle on the side of the quay (a little too close to the water for comfort) it’s a bit un-nerving! Luckily by the next morning the rain had stopped, the wind died down and the boat was dry enough for the first coat of antifoul.
The first coat took forever to go on and when it did it didn’t look great. Previously we’ve got the boat yard to antifoul when the boat’s been lifted for repairs, so this is the first time dad and I have done it ourselves, and there’s definitely a knack to it! By the time the whole of the first coat was done she didn’t look too bad so dad set to work polishing the upper section of the hull while I pulled all the fenders down and scrubbed them clean, as a winter in a marina hadn’t treated them too well!
I also managed to get out of doing to second coat by cleaning and polishing the cockpit. I don’t know who decided that cockpits should be white but whoever it is, they’re not my favourite person! We put the boat into Port Solent over winter for the electric plug-in and ease of access, but the problem with Port Solent is that it’s a really dusty place – possibly due to the closeness of the motorway. This means that a lot of dust gathers on the boat when she’s there for a few months and as we don’t get down very often it doesn’t get cleaned off until now. But having attacked the cockpit with a bottle of Cif, it’s definitely more white than grey!
I might be biased, but I do think she looks smart now…