Quixotic Update – New Gelcoat!!! Get the Coconut Logs Ready!!

After a week of playing chicken with the rain clouds and despite three broken Chinese paint guns, we finally completed spraying on new gelcoat! She looks amazing even with the 100’s of bugs now adding character to her topsides…

We are getting painfully close to the finish. It’s suppose to rain all weekend so the painting will resume Tuesday on the bottom. In the meantime we will continue the monumental task of sanding all the new gelcoat in preparation for a good buff and wax. When you spray the gelcoat, the finish is textured orange peel instead of glass smooth – so that requires a lot of sanding with 600 then 800 and then 1500 grit wet sandpaper before its smooth enough to buff and wax.  

We thought about painting the boat with two-pack paint but decided against it for numerous reasons: one – lack of access to a high-quality marine LP paint; two – complete lack of a controlled spraying environment free from dust, dirt, leaves, ash, bugs, and all manner of other flying debris that would certainly ruin our paint finish; three – the ability to sand out the bugs and the ability to fair gelcoat and then apply more and sand again, which we have done 2-3 times; and lastly, gelcoat is harder-wearing and will scratch instead of chip off. The main concern I have is longevity of the adhesion to the old gelcoat…only time will tell how long it holds up. It seems to be a strong bond now but ask us in a year or two if we made the right decision…

We have also serviced the starboard saildrive, ground the old paint off and started applying the interprotect epoxy primer. We chipped the old rubber boots off and we plan to epoxy glue the new ones on and then use epoxy filler to fair the edges; we hear they are notorious for coming loose…

In other news, we thought we found evidence of a rat that made its way aboard through the saildrive hole. There was a small dropping and some chewed foam on the nav table. That kicked us into high gear! We went straight to the grocery and bought glue traps and some coconut cookies. We set the bait stations and sealed off the hole.  Well after a few days all we caught was my bare foot! We came to the conclusion that it must have left the same night. We hope at least!

Plans are well under way to construct the coconut log railway to get Quixotic back in the water. We are planning to put two coconut longs under each keel and extend the railway 50 yards behind the boat into deep water. We then plan to put 2″ steel pipes perpendicular to the logs and place steel plates over these pipes. The keels will rest in a U-channel beam welded to the steel plates. The whole thing should slide carefully back downhill. We will hold her back with a truck or tractor.  That’s the plan at least. Stay tuned for the actual account!

Here are some shots of all the paint prep and finally her new gelcoat before the sanding and buffing…

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Quixotic Update – So Close!! – The Pictures Tell the Story….

Quixotic is officially seaworthy again! We are almost done fairing, sanding, and preparing the hulls for paint this coming week. The interior is completely painted and looks incredible. The crossbeam is back on and the rig tuned, the baby stay chainplate area has been reinforced and re-installed. The stanchions and pulpits have been straightened, welded and reinstalled. We are also putting 5-6 layers of glass on the bottom of her keels so when we beach her she has some extra protection from small rocks damaging her newly glassed keels. So that means that Quixotic is now structurally returned to her former glory and is in many ways stronger than before the storm. Now all that remains is reinstalling the rebuilt saildrive and rebuilt engine and dolling her up with new flowcoat polyester topside paint and then applying her epoxy barrier coats and anti fouling paint. Then it’s coconut log rolling time for the big splash!!  I’ll let the pictures below provide a more detailed update…

In other news, Ellie has been officially transferred to Kurt and Dan, her new owners. We have been spending long days with Kurt going over all of her systems and spares and making sure we do a proper hand-over. We will miss Ellie. She is a beautiful, strong boat that has seen us safely across oceans and taken care of us in seas both rough and calm. Take care of her Kurt and Dan and she will always return the same to you.

We also want to thank our friends Chris and Monica on sv SeaGlub for enabling our boat transition to happen. Thanks again guys! Can’t wait to be anchored next to you when SeaGlub finds her way to Fiji!

Here are some pictures of the progress and of Ellie. Cheers!

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Ellie has been Sold…. We’re Working Furiously on Quix-toxic!

For those of you who aren’t aware, we have sold our beloved Ellie to our friend Kurt Roll of San Diego; he will be taking possession here in Fiji in a couple weeks. So….since we lose our floating home mid-July, it’s imperative that we can live on Quixotic by the time Ellie sells. With that timeline in mind, we have been working furiously putting in very long days to get her back in the water, or at a minimum to get her livable.  This week we have had 12-15 people working on Quixotic each day; 5 guys doing glasswork, 5 guys inside prepping for interior paint, a few guys fixing all the stainless pulpits and stanchions and me and Lyss rebuilding and painting the port saildrive and engine.

Alyssa has completely taken charge of the interior and it’s coming along great. She picked a great off-white two-part paint and we had it shipped here from Suva. We hired a team to sand, tape and drop-cloth the entire interior of the boat and they will start spraying on paint this weekend. After the interior paint is done we will flowcoat the bilges, let her air out and then start moving in!

The guys have been making great progress on the bottom. We now have the entire bottom completely sanded down to the old epoxy barrier coat – what a mess! We tried to keep the dust contained but without the proper controls it made a huge mess and was nothing short of a small environmental disaster of a worksite. We have cleaned up as much as possible. Now we know why it would cost 20x more to have your bottom paint removed in San Francisco! We found the old waterline….5 inches below the current paint! The brackets for the crossbeam have been fit and will be finalized early next week. We had to order more glass so the keels will be reinforced and faired next week. But otherwise, the bottom is watertight and almost done!!  We have also bought all the epoxy barrier-coat sealer, two-pack Interprotect primer and Micron 66 bottom paint we will be using. We’re so close!

Alyssa and I have been working hard on the saildrive and engine. This is the first boat we have owned with saildrives and we were a little hesitant about the one square foot hole in the bottom of the boat….so we bought a new diaphragm ($500 Yanmar!?!? really???) and have torn the saildrive apart and rebuilt it. It was underwater for two weeks but the oil seals held and there was no water in the oil. So the work to rebuild included rust treating and painting the steel brackets, installing a new flexible mount, replacing the diaphragms and stainless rings, replacing the oil seals, new zincs and then stripping the antifouling down to bare aluminum, priming with Interprotect and then painting with Trilux 33. Alyssa was cute painting and she kept saying that she was loving our “art project date nights.” Do I have the best girl in the world or what?!?!? :-)

Oh, and you’re not going to believe what we found in the raw water cooling hose that runs from the saildrive to the engine! I was blowing through the hose to check if it was clear and I couldn’t get air through so I ripped it apart. Alyssa noticed a flimsy hose fitting on the engine side and she loosened the clamp and removed the fitting. She exclaimed “Oh my God, it’s a Gatorade cap!” It sure was, and the cap had closed when I blew through it. We were both astonished that the cooling system – such a crucial part of the engine – was relying on a cheap plastic bottle cap! And below the waterline at that! We can’t say for sure that the fitting was used in action, it very well could have been to flush the saildrive after she was brought out of the water….but an exciting find none-the-less!

Today we will continue working on the engine. The engine was pulled immediately after being brought out of the water, then immersed in a diesel bath overnight and then ran hard, oil changed and then run again. So the internals should be fine. It’s all the external parts we are worried about. So we are pretty much stripping and replacing everything not contained within the engine. Parts such as the water pump, starters, alternators, sensors, electronics, wiring, etc. We are also cleaning the heat exchanger, replacing seals and gaskets, replacing belts, clamps, hoses, some fuel lines and an oil line. Then we will de-grease, de-scale, prime and paint. When we’re done it will look like a new engine and should be a powerplant we can rely on for years to come. That’s our weekend project so I better run to get back into it.

Here are a few pics. Will try and post more later. Cheers!!

More Quix-toxic than Quixotic in this shot…
Crossbeam ON!!
Alyssa pulls out the Gatorade cap


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Replacing oil seals in the saildrive
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Replacing the main and secondary diaphragms
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The Blonde Mermaid and her antifouling “art projects”