Thursday, April 5, 2012

Swing Set Gets A Checkup

  No better time to get yard work done that when the weather is not fit for boating, but then the rainy weather impedes the work you need to get done, but that's just the way it is sometimes. When I say "yard work", I mean boatyard work. I haven't owned grass in over 14 years.
  The third coat of bottom paint went on yesterday morning and we raised the boot stripe, or rather raised the bottom paint to come all the way up to the boot stripe, allowing for about another inch of bottom protection. All those additions to Swing Set over the last two years in preparation for living aboard had to be paid for somewhere. Turns out we like the look, and the two inches of vinyl just above the paint will go a long way to prevent those solvent streaks that tend to occur after a needed thorough cleaning to remove water spots due to a long interlude between regular washings. It's something that happens during several days in transit, especially on the dirtier rivers.
  Jason, one of the techs at Bloch Marine was busy applying epoxy to the running gear when I showed up yesterday, and Casey supplied me with a quart of Interlux Micron Extra to have on hand if I need to touch up a scuff or two down the line between bottom painting It's something I've always wanted to do but never had any paint on hand. I do now.
  If the rain today doesn't hinder them too much, an ablative coat will go over the epoxy and then two coats will be applied where the stands, or supports, are in place on the hull now. We'll forgo the telltale blue for these areas, there's not much to them. Jeff, the service manager, and Jason, decided to paint the hubs of the props; a good idea in my estimation. Barnacles, or "barnies", as Loopykiwi, one of the readers of this blogs calls 'em, won't grow on the "working portion" of the props. As I've made mention of earlier, I'm concerned with applying paint to the blade portions of the props as I've heard some negatives regarding doing so, in terms of vibration, or noise.
  Bob Peyman, the marine surveyor showed up right on time. Bob had gone over the exterior of the boat late last week before the bottom paint had been applied and had seen the few areas where some minor blisters had been repaired. I had the interior of Swing Set open for him to conduct his thorough inspection. Bob had some very complimentary things to say about Swing Set and albeit with some very minor infractions, easily rectified, he pronounced Swing Set fit as a fiddle and intended to pronounce her in bristol condition on the upcoming survey. We will be eligible for a nice discount due to the fact that we had our old survey, done before we purchased Swing Set eight years ago. It's nice that people in the know acknowledge your efforts to maintain a fine vessel.

  John Bloch came by; he's the owner of three Bloch Marine locations here up on the Alton Pool, just to see how it was going. He knows I'm a finicky customer, and he does his best to keep me happy.
  Pete Tully, the owner of Polestar Marina, also took a minute or two out of his day to slip by and let me know that I'd get more work done on Swing Set if I wasn't spending so much time writing blogs. He has found me out! Don't tell Rosie.
  On Monday at the latest, Swing Set makes the splash back into the river. I have Karl Kotraba, half owner of K.W.K. Services along with his dad Kurt, coming by on Tuesday and we're going to replace hoses, engine zincs, pullys, and raw water pumps. Actually Karl is going to do the crawling and climbing and I'm going to observe as much as possible in the event that I'd have to be forced into service for similar chores at a later date. I don't drive with my fingers crossed for nothin'.
  The guys at Bloch know that K.W.K. works on our boat occasionally, and vice versa. It's something we've been doing since this Sea Ray and us have made our acquaintance. I've always been fortunate to never have to go without someone to take a looksee at any mechanical issues because they were "too busy"; one of them always makes time for us. This is one reason we're getting most of our work done up here in our home port, we want to spread around a little more of our pension dollars among people we know before we become the potential victims of unknown entities later on, which is inevitable.
  The minor rearranging of some items in the engine room will fall upon my head next week. I added to the coffers of the local Lowe's Hardware yesterday, buying some plumbing items and stainless hose clamps, along with some miscellaneous "stuff" that fall into the category of "I might need it." I remember the days when anticipation on my part was reserved for visits to the local strip bars. Nowdays, my eyes are lit up like a slot machine when I enter a Lowe's or West Marine.
  I guess I earned my keep today, running an early errand, picking away at our address change list, having lunch and writing this blog entry. It's raining out, and it's time for Holly and the couch, along with the Charles Dickens book I'm working at. I might even spend some time contemplating the work I'm about to engage myself in on Swing Set next week.

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