Boatyard Blues

After more than three years, it was time for the Lyra crew to do some time on the hard.

Lyra half-and-half

Green Brett

It was time. After 3.5 years, we could deny it no longer—Lyra needed some T.L.C. in the form of bottom paint. We probably should have hauled last year, but we were able to scrub the bottom and stretch another season out of the amazingly long lasting Interlux Micron CSC that we applied when we bought the boat. This spring, though, it HAD to happen. What's the big deal, you ask?

Well, for one, a haul out is expensive (yard fees, supplies, paint...), for another, since we live aboard, it's a bit of a logistical nightmare. And that's if everything goes right. So, we finally sucked it up and scheduled Lyra's haul at New England Boatworks for April 20-23. A tight window, to be sure (which got even tighter when rain entered the forecast), and we had a lot to do.

Since my husband, Green, put in most of the grunt work (someone has to take care of the kids), here's his take on the weekend:

"With a deluge of rain forecasted for Saturday and Sunday, we wanted to get as early a start as possible on the bottom paint, so on Thursday, I brought the boat 1.5 hours north to New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, R.I., for our haul out.

The boat was finally hauled out late Friday morning, so Jen and I got started sanding the bottom ASAP—we had the first coat on by sunset. Since the last bottom paint lasted so well (Micron CSC), we chose Interlux's Micron Extra this time around, but in red. The bottom is actually quite large when you get up close to it!

Yours truly painting the aperature.

Saturday, the rain fortunately held off, and I replaced our depth transducer. As it was shaped differently than the old one, I had to make a faring block to reduce drag and protect it. Jen cleaned up the propellor and we got another coat of paint on... And one more for good measure around the waterline where the majority of growth starts.

Sunday morning, I buffed and waxed under the stern where we can't get with the polisher when she's in the water. I was able to knock off when the rain started.

Monday, we went in the water at 3:30—we are having some transmission issues and were trying to address them. At 4:30 the diesel tech finished up, and I untied to head for home—only to have a heart attack when the engine immediately quit. I had no way to get back to the dock, the engine wasn't running, there was no room to sail, it was very windy, and there were any number of $1,000,000 boats around to run into.

Expensive neighbors: Puma Ocean Racing's entry in the previous Volvo Ocean Race, il mostro_, at New England Boatworks._

I aimed Lyra at the sandbar (the best choice available), ran below and turned on our pressure fuel pump—I knew that the engine was either victim of a clogged fuel line or had air in the line. After 20 seconds of cranking, the engine started, just in time. Yikes, that was close.

The problem ended up being a clogged filter—Lyra is set up with a "dual Racor" system—or redundant filters. All I had to do was throw a couple of valves and she got us back to Newport. It's the first time I had to use it, and is it nice!

Unfortunately, we are still having transmission issues, so I am working on a solution for that.

We are SO happy to be back aboard and out of the hotel. And we love our shiny red bottom!"

Looking good!

Shiny red bottom!

*Transmission update- After years of service, the tranny needs a rebuild, so that's been this week's project. Unfortunately, the way our boat is designed, engine access is difficult at best, and in order to remove the transmission, the whole engine needed to come out. And sit on the saloon floor. And the table that's usually there? That's up by the v-berth. In this photo, Green has his "game face" on while standing in the bilge where the engine was. He's taking advantage of the engine being out (yes, that's the beast behind him on the floor. No, we are not staying aboard tonight.) to replace the mounts and paint the bilge. Hopefully the tranny rebuild will be done soon and this can be buttoned up by this weekend!

Summer sailing CAN NOT come fast enough!