I know that most people don’t get their boat hauled out and anti-fouled in May, but COVID has meant Blue Opal has had to sit in the water for quite a while with the consequence that the local marine flora and fauna had taken up residence. I took her up to Malahide Marina (and marine services) on May 10th, and sailed her back today in SE 20 gusting 26 against the tide. To say it was lumpy would be an understatement. Not as bad as the trip up from Wicklow Head, but certainly not the most comfortable sailing I’ve done. With the sprayhood down, the cockpit gets quite wet from all of the spray that gets thrown up as the bow buries itself into a wave, and there’s no point trying to keep a pair of glasses on!

Anyway, when she was lifted out, she definitely looked a bit green…

The prop was also pretty well barnacled.

And then some random other photos, just so I can remember where the slings go.

The navy blue gelcoat is starting to look pretty tired at this point, so I probably need to get her polished. I have an estimate from the yard, and it’s under 800 EUR; feels like an okay price given it’s a three stage process and it’s pretty much all labour costs. I also got an estimate for copper-coating, and that’s the one that makes you take a deep breath – over 6000 EUR. However, the trade-off is that I’d only have to put her on the slip twice a year for a quick wash and scrub with a scrubbing pad for about the next 10 years if it all goes well.

To the credit of the yard, when I asked about it, they didn’t say it was the best anti-fouling ever and I had to do it, nor did they say it’s utter shite. Instead, they pointed out that in general it works out just fine, they’ve got several boats in the marina with 12+ year usage of the first application, and that they do it in a fully climate controlled environment. There was a bit of discussion about how the company behind the product can be a bit of a bear to deal with, always falling back on whether it was applied according to ever-changing standards. It’s one of those jobs that has to be done in the climate controlled shed, so the mast would have to come down. That’s a good time to check the rigging over, make sure all the nagivation lights are still ok, check for fatigue at the spreaders etcetera, and potentially a good time to go “right, radar is getting replaced, wind transducer is getting replaced (it’s broken right now, so that’s another problem to solve), and while I’m at it, the whole boat network is getting replaced”. Any through-hull fittings can also be checked over at the same time. Basically, it’d be a winter ashore, and a pretty big hit to my wallet.

Finally, I had the engine exhaust changed, as it’s been leaking black stuff, and also changed out the primary diesel filter to a Racor that should be easier to manage.

Denis, the Boathouse Captain at the club, was happy to take possession of the old riser – it would fit our club launches, though it goes the wrong way. He did notice that the large nut was not sitting on the threads properly, which is probably why the whole thing rattled. Wouldn’t budge either, so I suspect he’ll be taking some heat to it. The lack of rattle from the exhaust has turned out to be a noticeable thing in the cockpit – didn’t realise it was that bad!

Returning from Malahide; lovely day in Dun Laoghaire!
Summer anti-fouling and other yard works
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