Saturday, 23 September 2017

Urgent Boat Repairs In Rockland

After colliding with the rocky ledge some weeks back, we needed a place to haul the boat out of the water and make good the damage. Luckily we found just the place we needed in Rockland, Maine.

Journey's End Marina is well managed, clean and very well equipped. Besides marina berths they have a 55 metric tonne travel lift and hard stand areas, plus indoor storage for hundreds of boats and a complete range of repair and maintenance services.

Clad Welding The Damaged Area
Crystal Blues was efficiently lifted out of the water and blocked onto the hard stand among the many large sheds. Then, without us lifting a finger, they arranged for an engineer from their associated shipyard to inspect our damage and recommend a repair process. Given that Crystal Blues is a steel boat, this was a very welcome response.

Grinding Back
Our own local surveyor also inspected the damage. He agreed with the shipyard proposal so we proceeded with clad welding the dented keel and grinding back to a fair surface.

The shipyard also correctly insisted that we empty the keel fuel tank and test the bottom area of the keel for fuel leaks, using an electronic sniffer (that little operation added a few days to the job!). We also ground back the entire keel base and the sides of the keel for about four inches up from the base, as it was dinged and scratched up on the rocky ledge.

Then we sand blasted all the damaged areas and primed with 3 coats of our standard Jotun epoxy primer.  Obtaining the paint was a major effort - to speed the process we rented a car and drove south to New Jersey to collect it from the nearest distribution center, then drove back to Maine - 8 hours each way.

Epoxy Fairing Compound Going On
After priming the keel was faired with epoxy fillers - we mainly mix our own using West System epoxy and the purple colored phenolic micro-ballons. Then two final coats of Jotun primer before the joy of anti-fouling - three coats of Jotun Sea Force 90.

Keel Finished
At that point we lifted the boat and moved the keel blocks so we could start the process all over again, on the areas that were previously covered by the blocks.

Gori Propeller Service
Another week went by .... the weather in Maine was cooling rapidly, the thick duvet was on the bed and we were often rugged up in 4 layers of clothing.

While out of the water we also serviced our Gori folding propeller - it had served almost 4000 hours since 2005, without more than changing anodes and rubber stoppers, so we figured it was time.

That job turned out to be relatively easy - the hub and blade assembly came off the shaft hub quite easily and we stripped the assembly to replace the thrust washer under the crown gear. Putting it back together was simple, so long as all the parts were numbered... The plastic thrust washer wears over time, creating some sloppiness in the gearing, replacing it tightens up the whole assembly.

We polished the top-sides and made ready for the water, and finally the job was complete, 3 1/2 weeks after we hauled out. We were lucky we found a fantastic yard to work in, willing to let us do our own finishing work and to plan the project the way we wanted it done, while supporting us with their own team every step of the way.. Hat's off to Journey's End Marina in Rockland!

While the team at Journey's End Marine were exceptional, the real moral of this story is to never, ever, use or trust Navionics Sonar Charts!

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