I had to get back to the east coast to see my mother for Mother's Day so this was a quick 3 day trip.
During the last trip we applied the second coat of Amerlock 2/400 to the starboard side. We are using the Amerlock as a primer. This trip we followed with the first coat of PSX700 below the bumper. Since Fir has nearly no water or fuel on board, we are able to reach what will be underwater when she is fully provisioned.
After some experimentation with barges and painting methods, we settled on a makeshift float, pictured below. It's narrow profile kept the wind effect at a minimum while giving us access to low points on the hull. Because the material is relatively soft, we could get very close without scratching our previous work.
Access to the boat has been problematic. We have been using a step ladder from the floating dock to the buoy deck. The combination of a ladder on a dock that hasn't been maintained makes moving heavier supplies punishing to say the least.
Fir originally had a 01 deck door. At some point, a previous owner welded the door shut. We need this door to load the provisions that we require -- not the least of which is motor oil whose fill station is just inside the door.
A secondary issue is the vegetation (hyacinth) that has grown between the shore and the floating dock. Since the marina is no longer maintained where Fir is moored, the hyacinth has become so thick that it has managed to push Fir from shore. In addition to the excess vegetation, Fir cannot be accessed on the port side, which happens to be where the door is located.
Joe and Chris used a small boat to break up the mass of plants, dragging clumps into the channel by anchor. With this work done, we ought to be able to move a barge to the door for loading.
We have drained all of Fir's 6 potable water storage tanks, (with the exception of water in the day tank for cleaning). This has been important for three reasons:
We need to insure that the boat is not leaking. Fir's water tanks are built into the hull. The bottom and sides of each water tank is the hull. When the tanks are filled, the hydrostatic pressure inside and outside of the tank is nearly equal so it is impossible to tell if the hull portion of the tank is leaking. Emptying and drying out the tanks is a critical step in checking the condition of the hull. This area had not been tested by our surveyor because the tanks were full during inspection.
Second, we want to clean the tanks we rely on for potable water. See the previous post for our work on the water tanks. This trip we decided that the tanks required more time to dry out.
Third, Fir needs to be high in the water when we take her from her current mooring to the main shipping channel, about 1,000 yards away. The Fir draws 11.5 feet when properly provisioned. She is probably drawing 9 feet today because her tanks are empty. We have concerns that the area where the channel meets the shipping lane may be too narrow to accommodate Fir.
While we want Fir high in the water as she leaves her current mooring, potable water is a major source of ballast. We need to fill the potable water tanks as soon as we make it to the shipping lane. Our water source will be an existing valve off of the aft sea chest. Joe opened the old valve (leaving it in place) and installed a new bronze valve from Groco.