Friday, 15 February 2013

Naked Again

We’ve stripped off all the old anti-fouling paint (but honestly, is 4 months really “old”?) and have prepped the epoxy layer for new bottom paint… the good stuff this time. 

Removing the last of the "old" bottom paint.
Apparently, you can’t (or shouldn’t) put just any anti-fouling paint on your new epoxy layer.  We had followed the advice of a few friends who recommended putting on the cheapest stuff we could find, since you always have to re-paint every year anyway.  I think you can probably get away with that if you’ve got 20 years of build-up between the hull and the cheap paint layer, but for the first layer on new epoxy, we’ve found out the hard way that you really need something that will hold.  We’re using Soromap AFC Performance Hard Matrix this time, which we’re told will match up nicely with the Soromap epoxy layer below.  And yes, it’s 3 times the price we paid for the cheap stuff.

Hull, before and after.

The next debate is whether it is necessary to put on 2 layers of bottom paint, or just one.  Another friend told us that he has tested the 2-layer hypothesis by putting down just one layer and then making a test patch with a 2nd layer to see if there is any difference one year later, and reports that there is not.  I suspect we will let fate decide.  If it doesn’t look like we’ll have enough paint for 2 coats, we may just put a 2nd coat around the water line and use that as our “test patch”.  Otherwise, I’m pushing for a full 2 coats.

Keel, before and after.

Which brings me to our latest frustration: no 2 people agree on the best way to do something.  We are bombarded with advice, all conflicting.  For newbies, this is a very frustrating situation.  I met up with a friend in the boatyard yesterday who was pulling his hair out over an electrical problem.  These kinds of problems really drive me crazy because I don’t understand anything about electricity.”  WELCOME TO OUR WORLD, I thought !  We aren’t comfortable with ANY of it: electricity, plumbing, epoxies, silicones, hull work, instruments… all of it is bewildering to us.  He then told me that our problem is that we’re perfectionists and that we have to learn to distinguish between what problems you can just live with and what problems you really have to attend to without delay.  I suppose it’s like running:  you have to learn what little pains and discomforts you can run through, and which ones you really should stop and take care of.  But the only way you learn that is by pushing through all of them and getting injured.  Is that where we are?  As it is, we now have LESS confidence in the boat than we did in the beginning, since it seems that every time we go out, something breaks, sometimes with spectacular and stressful consequences.  When will that end?  We’ve definitely got the boatyard blues right now. 


Craig said...

Don't know if it helps, but expat life in Italy has helped with the lesson, "still healthy, housed, and getting paid, then we're good!" Keep the water on the outside and the gin on the inside and hopefully the rest will sort itself out. Hope we see you down here sometime, and don't worry about the anti-fouling, nothing grows in the Med anyhow!

Unknown said...

I hope nothing I say sounds like advice because I think that's annoying :) Besides, I certainly am not in the position to offer it! In a sense, though, you're "starting over" in a new field and I do know something about that — it's *terribly* frustrating at times! At times, I really miss "knowing what I'm doing" and the ease that comes with that.

When I was reading this, I was reminded of the "10,000 hour rule" that was bandied about after Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: the key to success is practising it for a total of about 10,000 hours. In the transition from sailors-after-work-and-on-weekends/vacations to Sailors, I would guess you're in the middle of those hours. I think that stage is, like you said about running, the time when you begin to know how little you know and there's the potential to get hurt. But, as you know, things worth doing are risky.

As part of an online-course on creativity that I'm taking for fun, I had to read this essay : It hit me hard because it was written EXACTLY when I moved to Guam and my own life was just about to turn into chaos & hell because of the radical changes that had happened. What really resonated with me was his point that operating in the unknown makes one more aware and more mindful and the effect is to have less fear of the unpredictable and the unknown. As I said to someone recently, "What's the worst that can happen? It's not like someone is going to box up all my stuff and ship me to Micronesia without it").

Too many words to just say: I think you're exactly on the right track and know so much more about all of it than you're giving yourself credit for at this moment when you're frustrated. Learning anything new (being an oceanographer, being a parent, being a sailor) is challenging and painful at times but you're definitely on the right track for great success.

Take care!