Converting our 50 year old wooden sailboat into an electric vessel during her 2018 haul out.
Clipper is hauled out every year for her annual anitfoul. A haul out basically means cleaning her hull of barnacles and growth in general. Ensuring her wooden hull is kept in great condition.See her haul out in 2017 at Wynnum Manly Yacht Club. WMYC is a slipway, so you book the cradle for the time you need to do the work. You are launched on your final day as there is another boat waiting to be hauled out. You make a list of the important jobs that need to be in the time allocated. This time the items were the installation of the electric motor and the fitting of a transducer for a depth sounder.
Preparing the wooden sailboat hull for painting
As soon as Clipper is hauled out in a cradle at the slipway, she is pressure cleaned. Kevin follows by scrapping off any barnacles. Kevin will always check for rot in the wooden hull and checks the through hull fittings for corrosion. This year everything was in good order.
By slipping her annually Kevin can quickly see if any rot is starting or if anything else requires attention. Due to her yearly haul out, Clipper would be one of the best maintained boats on the Brisbane River and we wouldn't have it any other way.
People often comment on how much it must cost in time and money to maintaining a sailboat. Our reply is always the same. Maintaining a sailboat is no different to maintaining your home on land or your car. They all take time and money. Living on a small sailboat means the maintenance cost is very reasonable. It costs about $1,500 a year to perform a basic haul out. That includes haul out fee, pressure wash removing most of the barnacles, cradle and scaffold hire, under coat paint and antifoul paint. This keeps the hull in good condition.
Painting the inside and outside of a wooden sailboat
I am not very good at technical sailboat terms even though I live on a sailboat. But each year we paint the outside of her hull above the water line. There is nothing that beats a vessel which is well maintained. There was Norglass white marine paint left over from last year. I put Norglass pre-coat on her above the antifoul line, followed by Norglass top coat. At just over $100 per tin there is no wastage allowed. It is too expensive to waste.
Antifouling and affixing the anodes is the last job just before launching. Otherwise the antifoul will harden and not be as effective in protecting the hull. Kevin put Hempel undercoat followed by Hempel olympic black antifoul paint. After the painting is finished Clipper looks a million dollars and I would have to say, one of the best maintained boats on the Brisbane River.
Painting on the inside is a bit of a secret. We are always looking for quality and value. Sometimes we find both at Bunnings in the paint mistint section. We found some Dulux white super gloss enamel to paint Clipper on the inside, and it gives the best finish. With a good quality paint brush you can almost perform miracles with paint. This time I painted each of the rear quarter berths with a tin of mistint each. The before and after shot are below. They look so much better. All the boaties who come aboard ask the same question, how did we get such a lovely shiny cabin roof?
A transducer was fitted in the keel at some time. It is an old style transducer and we can longer get a screen which works with that type of transducer. Kevin had Trymax look into the best way to fit a transducer into the hull while she was on the hard stand. The hull has a 20 degree slope making it difficult to fit an off the shelf transducer. Now Kevin knows this is the case he will research for the next haul out.
Electric motor installation
This was the other main reason for the haul out this time, the fitting of the electric motor. After two and a half years of research and buying the components, it was time to make Clipper into an electric vessel. Kevin is writing more on this in the near future as he is the master mind behind it. We are also doing dome YouTube videos on it. Clipper is now an off grid electric vessel. Take a look at our YouTube channel and watch Kevin motor sailing for the first time our Facebook to see up to date activity.