Just a quick haul out, polish, antifoul and splash back in… …not likely !
The haul out was fairly trouble-free although the slipway near our berth has a very shallow incline with the tide fairly low, making the whole operation quite marginal. I’ve never seen ‘Lady’ out of the water before, having bought her on good faith (arguably a reckless thing to do but as the purchase price was under £10k, it seemed a risk worth taking). She’s been afloat for a good two years so a lift was more than due.
Lady’s bottom had a good coating of slime and a fairly even distribution of blisters the size of 50p’s. The blisters were full of water, but not osmotic in the sense the water didn’t smell of pear drops. To me this suggests the blisters were from a paint failure between an epoxy primer coat and the gelcoat which is no real surprise given that preparation isn’t a lot of fun under a boat.
As I don’t want to loss the best part of the season, I’ve scraped the bottom, bursting all the blisters and coarsely sanded the entire bottom. Following that, the bottom has been pressure washed and after a week of drying I’ll cover with an underwater epoxy primer as a barrier coat to superficially replace the gelcoat and then antifoul. It’s not a proper job, but sufficient to keep me going for a season or two, perhaps longer if I’m lucky.
I’ve made a few gelcoat repairs, particularly where I’m replacing the old corner fenders which is a tricky business considering how thin Freeman gelcoat is in places. I’m convinced this is from the factory rather than too much polishing over the years. Following on from the gel repairs, the hull was compounded and ceramic hybrid waxed. This is a bit of an experiment but in theory, if the ceramic wax holds up to the hype, I’ll only need to wash the hull and top up with product every few months rather than having to abrade the hull any further with cutting compounds and polishes.
You can see a before and after image here – On the face of it, not a huge difference but Y-10 (Oxalic acid) certainly has dealt with yellowing on the waterline.