Article and Photos Provided By: Jean-Marc Claes
Captains Log: September 25th, 2022
Location: Curacao, Carribean Sea
It is time for that dreadful time of year – yearly maintenance for Blowing Bubbles.
Maintenance means a haul out and being on land for some days/weeks.
The bottom of the boat needs to be repainted regularly with an anti-fouling, so the ocean doesn’t take possession of the hull by growing all kinds of ocean life on it, resulting in the sailing speed of the yacht being negatively affected! Therefore, during the last sailing year, we needed to clean the hull every month, but while cleaning, the anti-fouling was slowly disappearing, and the time had come to redo four layers on the hull.
We wisely chose to use scuba gear to remove the old leftovers and sand the hull while still in the water. Fresh air from the scuba tanks and pleasant water to keep us chilled was the better choice than sanding the hull on land in the hot sun while being covered in a face mask not to breathe the particles coming off the hull while sanding it! The job took us four days, and ten dive tanks were consumed, but the hull looked like a peel of a perfect apple, smooth and shiny.
After a little washdown to remove the seawater, it was time for the paint job. In total, four layers of anti-fouling would be put on the hull, using different colours, so we would be able to see in the future how fast the anti-fouling would let go, so better planning for this returning job can be made! Not only is the painting in order, but also the check of the Thru-Hull fittings. These fittings act as the ‘holes,’ taking the waste water out of the ship (showers, toilets) but also the cooling water for the engines onboard, and of course, the saltwater inlet to be used in reversed osmosis and turned into drinking water.
One of the Thru-Hull fittings needed replacing, which is NOT an excellent project. Positioning yourself in the tightest spots, moving left and right with barely 5cm to spare, sweating like a waterfall and focusing on a job that requires much strength, it feels like forever being squeezed in a small box, juggling with too many tools and wrenches. However, the end goal is to replace a part and be done with it: blood, sweat, and tears will get you there; one way or another, the job needs to get done!
During all this time, there are no guests onboard and no relaxing scuba dives to be made!
Annual maintenance is needed to offer the best services, keep Blowing Bubbles safe and sound,
ensure she can navigate the oceans, and continue our world tour.
What is next?
Back in the water and heading to Bonaire to start the new season filled with ocean adventures,
great scuba dives and welcoming our guests to join them.
SY Blowing Bubbles is ready for you, and we, the crew, are in the mood for some lovely adventures because being on land is not really what we are made for!
The ocean is calling, and we are responding! Will you be coming on board too?
Count Down to Launch