Bottom Job

“Bottom Jobs” have to be done at least once every two years.  Every single year, if you listen to the folks who do the work!  Candide gets hauled out of the water about every 18 months so that a new coat of toxic paint can be applied under the waterline.  The paint is toxic enough to kill certain varmints (like barnacles and other growth) that interfere with the boat’s performance.  This page will explain exactly what’s involved with a bottom job.  Pay attention, because if you live aboard and ever plan on taking your boat out of the marina for a Sunday afternoon cruise, you’ll wind up doing this ever so often…

 

These guys (Paul and Geoff) are working hard to break loose a stubborn turnbuckle.
bullet Step 1: Remove the Stuff in the Way.  I imagine that yard workers much prefer to deal with powerboats.  To get a stink pot on the lift, all that has to be done is to move the boat to the travel lift, move the straps under it, and lift it out of the water.  Not so with a blow boat.  Candide has not just one, but two (jib and stay) “wires” that must be removed so that the boat can fit under the travel lift to be hauled out of the water.  Unfortunately, Candide’s forward stay had completely frozen since the last time she had a bottom job. Get More Information about forex robots on top 10 binary options demo as the website will have complete information about various forex robots and time taken for signing up with these robots is just 2 minutes, this system can be used by both novices and experienced people as they are very flexible.

The only way to free the turnbuckle was to literally destroy it with a huge crowbar.  Eventually, the guys got it free…and I had to order a new turnbuckle to the tune of $130.00!  Such is the first step…

Candide emerges from the water.
bullet Step 2: Haul the Boat from the Water.  Here we see the awesome sight of Candide being lifted clear out of the water.  Awesome because she weighs nearly 30,000 pounds!  All of that weight is supported by two straps.  Yep, two straps!   Trust me when I tell you that it’s nerve-racking to watch your love and joy be hauled clear out of the water with only two nylon straps supporting the entire vessel!  Nonetheless, this procedure has been done thousands and thousands of time on boats much heavier than Candide.  Never once have I heard about a boat slipping during a haul out!  Knowing this, though, doesn’t necessarily help when you’re standing there watching it being done…
Fouled propeller!
bullet Step 3: Inspect the Varmints.  The picture to the left is absolutely shameful.  Candide’s propeller is so fouled that it can barely churn the water.  It’s disgusting, gross, and pitiful even.  This propeller was so useless, in fact, that it took nearly six hours to move to my new marina…a trip that should have taken only two!  As you can see from the picture, there’s an impressive build-up of those cursed creatures called “barnacles” that have attached themselves completely around the propeller.  This action seriously inhibits the forward “thrust” that the propeller normally provides.  Considering that the entire bottom is covered with the same critters, it doesn’t matter whether the engine is used or not.  Even under sail, as fouled as it was, wouldn’t have made my six-hour trip any shorter!
Sprayed down!
bullet Step 4: Water Jet and Scrape.  Water at a billion p.s.i. can do some wonderful things for removing the growth under your boat’s waterline.  Here, we see a yard worker using a high-pressure hose to remove the barnacles and other growth from Candide’s hull.  Note that the boat is still on the travel lift.  In fact, she’s only a few feet away from the “service slip” from which she was hauled.  For environmental reasons, this is standard practice the the U.S.  All of those barnacles, weeds, slime, etc., will be carefully removed and properly disposed of from this particular location.  Maintaining a “Clean Marina” is very important to most service yards! 
On the hard!
bullet Step 5: Block up the Boat.  Now the boat is put “on the hard.”  The yard workers will place heavy blocks of wood on the ground and lower the boat on top of them.  These blocks will support the vast majority of the boat’s weight.  They’ll use metal stands to hold the boat in an upright position.  When everything’s all set, the straps will be removed and the travel lift will be moved.  When you click the picture on the left, you’ll see in detail how much better the hull looks after being pressure sprayed.  While it’s a bit hard to tell from this photo, the gunwhales (the wooden trim around the hull) is some 10 feet above the ground!  This means that you’ll have to use a fairly tall ladder to get onto the boat.  Believe me when I say that it’s a bit nerve-wracking to step onto the deck when you’re thinking that the entire boat is supported by a few flimsy metal stands! 
If you forget something, you’ll have to be creative in how you remove it from the boat!
bullet Step 6: Adjusting to Life on the Hard.  Trying to live aboard a boat that’s out of the water can be very difficult.  First, you’ll have to climb a ladder to board the vessel.  In the picture to the left (click to enlarge), you can see the top of an eight-foot ladder!  As you can see, it doesn’t reach to the gunwhales…you’ll have to step down about two feet to reach the top step (the one that has warnings that read, “This is NOT a step!  Do NOT use this as a step unless you have balance like the performers in Cirque del Sol.  Danger!  Warning Will Rogers!  Danger!”).  Because Candide’s A/C uses river water to cool itself, it can’t be used when the boat is on the hard.  This means that it gets very hot down below.  To top it all off, you’ll have to be very creative when moving heavy object on or off the boat.  This picture shows me lowering a suitcase full of business clothes down to the ground (I had an out of town trip that week).  It would have been a LOT easier if I had removed the suitcase while the boat was still in the water!
This worker is wearing a “moon suit” for protection as he sands the old bottom paint from Candide’s hull.
bullet Step 7: Sanding.  In this picture, you see a yard worker wearing a “moon suit.”  He’s covered from head to toe in a protective, disposable costume.  He’s also wearing gloves and a respirator.  No doubt he’s sweating profusely under all this garb and can’t wait until the job is done (I don’t think he can go to the bathroom wearing that stuff).  All of these protections are designed to keep the worker safe from the highly toxic paint that he’s sanding off in preparation for a new coat.  You definitely don’t want to breath that old paint or get it on your skin!  By the way, a lot of liveaboards do their own “bottom jobs.”  Virtually every marina in this country will require them to wear similar outfits, which costs about $300 or so.  The outfits can be used for several years, but they’ll have to find a place to store it on board.  At this point in my life, I’d rather pay someone to do this nasty job for me.
Apply the new paint!
bullet Step 8: Apply the New Paint.  It’s now time to start painting.  As you can see, there’s no need to wear an uncomfortable “moon suit” to do this job.  Simply grab a roller and start applying the stuff!  I chose to have Trinidad Bottom Paint applied to Candide.  The stuff costs about $160 per gallon and comes in a variety of colors…red, green, blue, or black.  Unfortunately, my marina was out of green…so I had them apply black rather than wait for a shipment of green.  It should also be noted that some marinas will only apply a single coat with their basic “bottom job,” while others will apply two.  At my current marina, they apply two coats as standard fare.  It definitely pays to shop around for you bottom job…two coats are always better than one!
Ready to go back into the water!
bullet Step 9: Splash Back into the Water.  Finally, the boat is ready to go back into the water.  Here, we see that the travel lift has been moved into place.  The hull under the waterline is jet black with brand-new bottom paint and a new sacrificial zinc anode has been placed around the propeller shaft.  “So what’s the big deal?” you may be asking.  Well, it took over five hours to sail Candide 11 miles from her old marina to the new one.  Today, I sailed her from the new marina to the old one…and it took only two hours!  Keeping the bottom clean and freshly painted is extremely important when it comes to the speed of your boat!