Maintenance in Maryland

13 May 2019   Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
It was another grey start to the day and had been cold overnight, so I turned on the heater to remove the chill.  The rain hammered down last night and was a good test of the port-lights - I’m pleased to report that we have no leaks.  It rained on and off all day, so we did jobs down below.

I cleaned up the components for the steering wheel hub and decided to paint the hub body because it was looking shabby.  That simple process took a couple of hours because I had to set up a cardboard box as a little spray booth in the cockpit and then go to buy some white paint.  Meanwhile Glenys packed her shell collection in a cardboard box to ship home and then cleaned the bilges in the front cabin. 

Steering Wheel Hub

After lunch, I cleaned up the aft window and then applied the final bead of silicone sealant - nearly finished.  I then spent the rest of the afternoon inspecting the seacocks, cleaning them up and making sure that they turn.  I also removed 12 of the handles to clean them up and re-paint them.

We’ve received a quotation from one of the “detailing” companies for some polishing work.  The cost for polishing the hull up to the deck level is $900 and to polish the coach roof is $995 - it’s far too expensive here in the USA with people charging $120/hr even though they use cheap Mexican labour.  The cost of cleaning our 150 sq. ft. of carpet is an outrageous $285 - I can buy a carpet cleaning machine for $100…

In the evening, Mike and Karen from “Marie Louise” came for a few beers - they own a HR43 which is in the berth next to us.

14 May 2019   Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
It rained for most of the morning, so Glenys lurked down below going through some of the lockers to decide what we throw away; what we take to the UK and what we leave on the boat.  Meanwhile, I assembled the steering wheel hub and fitted it back in position.  It wasn’t too bad a job and I was done by lunch time.

By the afternoon, we had sunny intervals, so I borrowed one of the marina’s bikes and went to Free State Yachts to use Roger’s workshop, where I used his bench grinder to wire brush the sea cock handles.  Roger didn’t want me to spray paint the handles in his workshop, so I’ll have to wait for a calm day to paint them outside.  

Small repair to genoa

While I was there, Roger told me that he has a prospective buyer coming to view the boat on Monday 20th, so that changes the order that we do our jobs - we need to get the boat tidied up in six days’ time.

The courier from MyBaggage (DHL) was supposed to pick up our box of personal effects in the morning, but there was some confusion and he didn’t turn up until 1730, which was a nuisance for Glenys, who had to keep ringing them up all day.  It’s not an auspicious start to the process.

15 May 2019   Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
It was a blisteringly hot sunny day.  We took down the stay sail and the genoa.  While folding the genoa, Glenys noticed a small 4 inch length of stitching on a seam which was perished.  Unfortunately, we’ve sold our sewing machine, so she had to sit in the beating sun while she hand stitched. We pottered about in the morning doing deck jobs - soaking ropes; greasing the furling gear; and generally tidying up. 

In afternoon, Glenys started to wash the hull, but gave up after a couple of hours because it was so hot.  We’ve decided that it will be too much work to polish the hull ourselves, so Glenys will continue to wash the hull for the viewing and we’ll then pay $900 to have the hull polished professionally.  We can do the coach roof ourselves, so we’ll save $995.

I lurked in the shade ticking off a good number of small jobs from our list.  I scraped off the last of the sealant from the aft fixed window and we’ve finally finished the long job of replacing the lenses in the port-lights.  I reckon that we’ve spent 80 man-hours on the job.  I chatted to Mike on “Marie Louis” and he said that they paid $6,000 to have theirs replaced, so I feel good about having only spent $600 for materials.  

16 May 2019   Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
There was a slight drizzle in the morning, so we emptied some more lockers getting ready to pack into boxes.  When it stopped raining, Glenys finished off washing the hull and I wandered over to Roger’s workshop and painted the seacock handles.

Seacock Handles

In the afternoon, I gathered together the boat’s documentation and took it along to Free State Yachts.  There’s quite a bit of paperwork - Bills of Sale for all owners; Lloyds certification; European CE certification; VAT documents for when the boat left the UK; USA customs documents, etc. 

Americans have to register all boats with an engine larger than 3hp, which includes our dinghy.  Under our cruising permit, we’re exempt from this regulation, but in order to sell the dinghy, we have to produce the original invoices for the dinghy and the outboard.  Fortunately, I was able to find both pieces of paper.

Back at the boat, I lowered myself into the 6foot deep, cramped anchor locker and spent a couple of hours washing and then wire brushing the loose old paint off.  I’m not looking forward to painting it.

17 May 2019   Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
Glenys spent most of the day packing our personal effects into four boxes and a cargo bag.  The plan is for us to only carry one cargo bag and my guitar case onto the plane back to the UK, so we sorted through our belongings and left ourselves with only enough clothes to last the two remaining weeks.  When Glenys had finished, we loaded the boxes and bag onto trolleys and trundled them ½ mile to store them in Roger’s workshop for a few days.

I spent five hours sweating in the engine room.  I changed the coolant in the engine and the generator, which took ages - not helped by the one hour delay while I cycled to the hardware store to get some more antifreeze and oil.  I then changed the oil in the engine and the generator, so both now have clean oil and strong enough antifreeze to survive a cold American winter.

Trundling our possessions to storage

18 May 2019   Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
We had a long but productive day.  Glenys washed down the teak on the deck, coach roof and cockpit, which took most of the day.  She used a mixture of 2/3 cup of bleach, 4 table spoons of Tri-Sodium Phosphate and a dash of washing up liquid in a bucket of water.  There was a terrific amount of dirt that came off the deck and it looks very clean now with a slight teak colour rather than grey-silver.

I fitted the painted seacock handles and replaced a few teak plugs in the aft coach-roof and toe rail.  I then cleared the lazarette and gave it a good clean.  It’s amazing how much stuff came out of the locker, so I was ruthless and threw a load of stuff into the skip.

After lunch, I cleaned the main sump bilge, which was looking pretty grim and while I was at it, I cleaned a couple more in the aft cabin. 

I then tackled the odious job of painting the anchor locker.  By squatting uncomfortably in the bottom of the locker for an hour, I managed to paint the top half.  I then tried lying on the deck, hanging upside down to paint the bottom half, but it was like doing sit-ups for ½ hour and I couldn’t reach more than 2/3 of the way down, so I’ll finish off tomorrow with a paint brush on the end of a pole. 

Only one more day until the viewing, but I think that we’ve done most of the work - we’ve removed a lot of our clutter from the boat, the deck looks great and the hull looks good.  All we have to do tomorrow is clean and polish the inside woodwork and tidy up.

19 May 2019   Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
Only ten more sleeps until we fly back to the UK.  Glenys talked to the shipping company about sending our belongings back to the UK and discovered that DHL sometimes refuse to take cargo bags and we have a cargo bag in our consignment.  Somehow we needed to repack into a box, so Glenys walked to West Marine and scrounged a large cardboard box, which we cut to the same dimensions as the cargo bag and put the whole bag inside - job sorted.

Unfortunately, sorting out the shipping took ages, so we didn’t get started on cleaning the boat until 11:30.  The rest of the day was a frenzy of finishing off small jobs, cleaning and polishing the interior woodwork.  By 17:00, we’d done as much as we could and the boat looked great.

In the evening, we invited Vince and Lara from a HR40.