Yep. That’s the final product. Ain’t she a beaut? And, we got there with just a little soap and a credit card.
But, that’s the finale. Let’s rewind (imagine that veed-viddit-viddoop sound a VCR makes), and play it from the beginning, shall we? Now, I’m not tech-savvy enough to make one of those amazing time-lapse videos, so we’re going to do this the old-fashioned, flip-pad way.
Scroll really fast!
Wasn’t that fun? But wait. I still see a little fox soot on there. Let’s see if we can’t buff that out. “Brandon!”
Perfect. A clean slate! Now, where’s that fancy new boat logo, and my credit card?
I started sticking the logo up there, scooching it one way and then the other, trying to get it in just the right spot. (Although I had saved us some dough by opting to apply the logo DIY style, I was sure the Captain would not be pleased with a crooked, shoddy job). But, I was struggling to get it right.
Until I had the brilliant idea to bust out the level. I’ve hung plenty a-picture frame in my day. Surely that would do the trick? Right? But, as I went to measuring and leveling, the boys at the shipyard started to chuckle and sneer and get a big kick out of it. I knew something was up.
“Come on guys. LEVEL with me. What’s so funny?”
Our bottom-job guy finally had to break it to me. I had made a real ass out of myself by ASS-uming the boat was level on the jacks. Surely that was the case, right? Wrong. That’s what the guys thought was so funny. The boat is just propped up so it won’t fall over. They certainly don’t take the time to “level” a boat when they set it up in the shipyard. What was I thinking …
So, Bottom-Job Brandon stepped in to help this blonde and make sure I got it lined up right. Turns out, he was a master of the old “eyeballin’ it” method (patent pending).
With the logo finally in the right spot, we started the long, laborious process of scraping (with the credit card) and peeling (also using the credit card, our hands, elbows, a toe here and there, and just about anything we could get up there when the corner or edge of a letter began to peel off of the boat). We used the soap (half water, half Dawn) in a spray bottle to tame unruly corners and tips back into place.
Once Brandon felt he had passed on all the knowledge he could, he let me at it unsupervised (scary thought) while he went back to work on the hull.
So, the credit card and I kept at it and got the job done. (Thankfully, I am a master with the credit card! Cha-ching!).
“Ahhh … time to rest.”
Nope. We still had to do the hailing port. I called Brandon back in to lend his special “eyeball” technique for the “Pensacola, FL” portion of the logo and we went back to peeling and scraping.
The hailing port portion of the logo was the toughest because of the through-holes on the back of the bilge (where the bilge pump drains out). Some of the letters had to come up and over these fittings, which was tough. I seriously thought we were going to lose the tail end of the “a” on Pensacola. I had to cut it off and stick it back up there and it kept falling off. It’s like a 2 cm piece of green sticker that dropped like 5 times to the dirty, asphalt parking lot of the shipyard. It finally stuck and to this day, when I scrub the stern, I am amazed to see it there.
That “a” was a real pain, but I kept at it, and finally peeled the whole thing back. And … voila!
Boat logo done. Now that she had her new name, we were ready to splash her back in the water. We had scheduled the splash ceremony for June 7, 2013.
I did not know at the time, but in the world of cruising, a boat re-naming ceremony (also known as a “splash ceremony”) is kind of a big deal. This will give you a clue (http://www.boatnames.com.au/boat-naming-renaming-ceremony.htm), but note the instruction: “Buy a bottle of good Champagne & invite your friends to witness and party.”
I was definitely excited.
Of course plenty of other extremely critical and exciting things happened while the boat was on the jacks but I, naturally, focused primarily on my logo job. I am the center of this universe, you know. But – let’s get a quick recap:
Blister and pockmarks and abrasions abound! She was covered with them:
Tons of small ones,
And, even some oozing ones,
Thankfully, we got lucky (which is rare) with the monstrous one in the back that we thought was a potential core leak.
Turns out the low-pitched, “thud” our surveyor heard when he was giving our girl a “good banging” during the sea trial, was not a leak to the core, just a blister in the fiberglass coating on the hull. Where some sailboat hulls are completely fiberglass, we have a balsa core on our boat which is covered by fiberglass. If you were to take a core sample of our hull, it would look something like this:
Meaning, had that leak near the strut joint on our hull made its way to the balsa core, our repair job could have looked something like this:
But, like I said, we were extremely lucky. Our fiberglass turned out to be super thick. Bottom-job Brandon said he was afraid to keep drilling because he started to think we didn’t have a balsa core after all, just fiberglass. But, he finally reached wood and found it to be completely dry. There was no leak to the core. He gave it the seal of approval and filled her back in.
We checked all the through-holes to make sure they were clear and fully-functioning. This is the paddle wheel that spins to register speed on the electronics panel.
We ran through that system and checked the electronics.
She was good to go.
We gave the plastic rub rail a hard-core acetone rub-down and polished up the stainless steel stanchions and pulpit.
“Brilliant!” says the Orbitz chick!
And, for all you “lint-licking” fans out there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEJJUGJZxpU. “What the french, toast?”
We removed what was left of the warped, worn davits brace that caused us to lose the dinghy in the middle of the Gulf during the Crossing.
We lost Phillip to a lazarette.
He thought it was best he go in to check on the bilge pump through-hole. After he spent 10 minutes wriggling and writhing and birthing himself from the lazarette, he learned to next time always send me into tight, cramped spaces on the boat. Don’t worry, you’ll see me in the same, humiliating, compromising position soon. Lazarettes are scary!
On top of ALL that, the boat was fully-primed and painted.
And, with the new logo on the back, she was ready to make a splash!
As were we!
But, I had some more work to do. Either because I’m the first mate, or the only lady that would be there for the splashing (probably the latter), I was told I was going to be the one to smash the bottle on the hull for the re-naming. While I was flattered, I was also a little nervous. The guys at the shipyard made a big deal out of telling me what bad luck I would bestow upon the ole’ Rest and all of her progeny if the bottle didn’t break (into a million pieces!) on the first swing. I headed to the store that night and scooped up a dozen bottles of champagne – some for sipping, and others for practice “smash” swings on steel poles and road signs around town (yes, that was me). I was going to be sure my bottle scattered into oblivion when she struck the hull. I had to be ready!