Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Shindig checks into the Boat Spa

Shindig has taken good care of us for three seasons in Mexico;  it was time to check her into the "Boat Spa" for some TLC.  The tropical weather and heat takes its toll on wood teak decks, fiberglass, gelcoat and any painted surface.

One big project that we had been delaying was the removal and the painting of the mast, boom and spinnaker pole.   It feels like an infrastructure home project, like replacing old plumbing in your house. If it all goes well,  you still have water coming out of the tap in the end.  And after a whole lot of work, it is still functionally the same.

The rig was 18 years old so this was also a good opportunity to inspect all the welds and mast fittings very closely.  Mexico is a great place to do this type of work.  It will make me feel more confident in the standing rigging for a Pacific crossing in 2017.

Lots of corrosion at the masthead.  18 years in the sun and salt will do this.

I did a lot of prep work, both on the outside as well as the inside to get the mast ready to be pulled.  It was kind of like a tooth extraction  but on a much larger scale. After a few days in the La Cruz Marina, we went over to the boatyard's dock, tied up and followed instruction as the "surgery" began.  An hour and a half later, Shindig was already back in her assigned slip, tied up, and looking kind of odd with a mast.

Tied up at the yard, preparing for pulling the mast

Off with the boom

Peter Vargas is lifted on the crane to make the appropriate attachments

Mast is out and swinging into the yard


Work progressed well at the boatyard.  Daily monitoring, encouragement for the 2-3 guys who worked on Shindig, as well as contributions to their Saturday afternoon end of week celebrations were part of the routine.  Meanwhile in the slip, boat workers washed and waxed Shindig's hull, topsides and stainless steel.  Even the dinghy and paddleboard now look sparklin' new.

Three and a half weeks later, the mast was ready to be stepped.  With almost precision work, Shindig pulled into the boatyard at 830am, the Sea Tek rigging team led by Peter Vargas was waiting to help tie her up, and the crane began its careful work.

Here is a time lapse of the re-stepping of the mast.

Two more days of putting everything back together again, and Shindig was ready to head out.

We are happy to have this project done and behind us.  Peter Vargas and his team were thoughtful and did a great job.
Everything went back together well and we didn't have any extra parts!

Here are some intermediate photos of the painting project.

Paint is chemically stripped 

Then sanded
Detail work with a wire brush at the masthead

First coats of paint on the spinnaker pole and boom

Main furler gearbox and motor detailed and painted

Lots of little bits and pieces painted and drying

New Shindig graphics for the boom

Painted mast is reassembled and standing rigging is going on

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