On December 5, we took Island Time to Snead Island Boat Works forĀ a bottom job, to replace the standing rigging, service the engines and some other routine maintenance tasks. We estimated the work would take about three weeks. We planned to spend two weeks at Jon and Melinda’s (Scott’s brother and our sister-in-law) and one week visiting our children, Matthew and Kathryn, in Denver for Christmas. We planned to be underway to Key West right after New Years.

A sailboat on a boat lift

Our catamaran on the lift before work started.

Slight change in plans. We left Snead Island on January 28 … more than seven weeks after we arrived.

About the Boat Work
First off — Snead Island Boat Works was great to work with. Everyone was nice, quick to tackle a problem, worked on Saturdays even when they should have the day off, answered questions and more. This is a reputable yard with a professional crew. However, every project look longer than anticipated.

For the bottom job, they sanded the boat to the fiberglass to remove multiple layers of bottom paint. That exposed the blisters — 72 of them. A blister is like a pimple. Water seeps in and permeates that part of the hull. During the job, they sand it out and let that water drain. That can take a while. One blister took three weeks to drain. Delay number one.

When the blisters were finished draining, they painted three coats of barrier paint and two coats of anti foul paint to protect the hull. They then moved the boat off the blocks and back onto the travel lift so they could do the whole process under the areas where the blocks had been. And guess what. They found another blister on an area that was already finished. The yard foreman is quoted as saying, “Crap. Crap. Crap.” Start the whole process over on that blister. Delay number two.

Another project was to replace to standing rigging. Those are the cables that hold the mast up. After the boat was ready to go back in the water, the mast could be put back on the boat using a crane. The first day, the weather was windy. They were successful the second day. Foreman says, “Captain, move the boat over there” as he points to where he wants us to go. Engines won’t start. We used the “Tom Sawyer method” to move the boat to the slip at the end of the run. They sent over the mechanic the next day. This guy was wonderful and got both engines running. We hoped to get underway after the canvas guy finished installing the new bimini and dodger. Another delay by one day.

Men use a crane to lift the mast onto a sailboat

Putting the mast back on the boat with a crane.

Finally. Ready to go on Saturday, January 28. Nope. One engine won’t go into forward. It’s Saturday morning when the yard is closed. Two guys come in on their day off to save the day and fix it. We are underway by noon, aimed for Marina Jack in Sarasota where we picked up a mooring ball for the night … right next year to our friends Ivor and Lynn on SV Gratitude.

The Three Day Rule
Scott’s mother had a little sign in her guest bathroom: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Benjamin Franklin is credited with that line. We took full advantage of our time with Jon and Melinda and their friends. Our dogs, Scout and Sandy, enjoyed their walks with Cooper and Lily. One benefit was that we all enjoyed watching the seven Star Wars movies so we could remember the full story line. After seven weeks, we hope we didn’t stink too bad. We enjoyed our time with Jon and Melinda. Especially appreciated were the family dinners with our niece, Marina.

Where are we now? Key West. Look for the next post for details of that adventure.