Monday, 16 February 2009

Refit Week 23 - Life After Sand Blasting

We're very glad that's over - for 15 days my world consisted of a hand held light, a small sand blasting gun and a tangle of airhoses. Hooded and fully clothed I worked in a confined, noisy darkness, constantly bruising myself and getting smothered in grit. Ley sat on deck, controlling the sand flow. She was sitting next to a huge (& noisy) extractor fan, staring into a vortex of sand and making sure the sand supply was working. For her it was both mind and bottom numbing - over 40 bags of sand went into the hold, and then were shovelled out again.

Now we have to finish the painting - we already have two coats of Jotamastic 87 epoxy on everything in the hold, applied with a small 1" brush, making sure we get in and around all the frames and stringers, without missing any small areas. Of course we hand sanded between each coat. The next three coats will be sprayed - I bought a mini spray gun this week and our contractor Pro-Yachting has no shortage of compressors.

Back at home, our house guests Jon & Pam Choate, SV Tweed, were a great help in keeping us fed, watered and (reasonably) sane. We celebrated Pam's 60th Birthday with a big night out at Nai Yang Seafood.

Then it ended - for the first day of no blasting or grinding we walked around the house in a daze, really feeling like lost sheep. Normality returned, and Ley has settled down to varnishing our cockpit table, bread making and turning out a great batch of Green Mango Chutney (get the recipe here, or from the download panel in the right hand colum). She also finished servicing and re-building our big primary winches. I've started editing and compiling the video from our Bali travels last year.

My bruises are slowly fading, I have a very painful trigger finger and Ley never wants to look into a bag of sand again! We both agree that this project was the toughest job we have ever tackled on Crystal Blues. With us (finally) out of the way, Pro yachting have sprayed the final primer coats onto Crystal Blues hull and deck, and are now doing the final sanding and masking. Their attention to detail is amazing - lucky for us as both Neil and Pro are very fussy! We expect the AwlGrip gloss top coats to be sprayed over the next two weeks.

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