Boat Striptease

Written By: Field Trip

Sigh. I’m still in Saint Martin. Saint Martin is French – very French. I’ve noticed Mark and Sarah giggling as captain and crew of other vessels that should NEVER be naked - walk around naked on their decks. I’m just glad I don’t have to see those sailors strut their stuff on my decks!

I woke up for a rolly night and overheard on the radio a Dutch ship asking if anyone was interested in heading to Rotterdam. Apparently they didn’t have enough cargo and wanted to ship 8 – 10 yachts to the Netherlands. Hmmm. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be lifted out of the water, put in close quarters
with a bunch of monohulls, and shipped 3,500 miles to Europe. I’m a sailboat and can sail there just fine thank you very much! It irked me a little that they would even consider shipping me. Should I be offended? I safely took Mark and crew over 12,000NM from Argentina. What the heck is another 3,500NM? Arg!

Nevertheless, Mark and Sarah decided they would give this a shot…so I had to go along. I was a little nervous thinking about the trip. After all, I’d been in the water every day since my splash in Argentina. My underpants (paint) had some patchy spots. I had some tag along patches of green goo on my lower extremities from the holes in my underpants. I frankly needed some work done ‘down there’.

I guess Mark must have read my mind. He decided to lift me out of the water, give me a good cleaning, and some new clothing – before we got to Europe! What I didn’t expect was how and where this was going to happen.

Mark ran around getting quotes for a quick haul from four boat yards. He settled on TOBY’s. An English owned yard on the French side of Saint Martin. Trust me, the yard wasn’t much to write home about. I liken it to a Motel 6 vs. Marriott, but that seemed OK with my captain. He wanted a place where he could do some of the work, and access others to help. This was a working man’s yard, and seemed to make him very happy.

I didn’t expect what was next. You see, I don’t get hauled out very often. In fact, I’ve only been hauled out once before - on a very nice travel lift in Tortola, and only for 2 hours. Here they brought over a large yellow crane that loomed above my mast. I was thinking, please don’t hurt my rigging. Please don’t drop me on the hard. Please, just please, leave me in the freaking water and I’ll deal with my 'bottom issues' later.
Me, on Travel Lift in Tortola
Crane hauling me out!
Some of my 'bottom issues'
I think Mark and Sarah were a little worried too. Thankfully, the haul went OK. I was safely put on the ground, and was finally ‘out of the water’ for the next week or so. Whew, that was a relief!

At TOBY’s, there were a lot of kids who made friends with Michael and Elizabeth. I watched them run around like a bunch of little rascals – having a blast every day. Made me chuckle as I sat on my keels and watched. It was nice to see my two younger crew members play with other kids. They threw rocks in the water, played with homemade swords and learned to ride bikes.
The 'Little Rascals' playing in yard
Elizabeth riding bike!
Meanwhile, Mark pondered a long time before he decided what my new ‘bottom digs’ were going to be. I think he must know how little I liked to be hauled out – and decided to give me some real ‘bling, bling’.

He went with this stuff called CopperCoat. It’s a water based epoxy that is 99% pure finely ground copper. Yep. Copper bling on my bottom thing. Cue up a little Rump Shaker by Wreckx-N-Effect, and let me hit the floor. No gold teeth here, but a shiny copper bottom will sure attract the ladies!

Best of all, these digs are supposed to last 8-10 years. Yup. I’ll still need to get a wash or scrub down once in a while, but that’s it! Sounded like a good idea to me if we’re in remote areas with limited to no travel lifts for a haul. Hauling out you see isn’t always easy with me. I have some girth. That girth makes finding a travel lift hard if you are not in the Caribbean or US.

To make a long, itchy, story short, I was stripped down, and had 2 new layers of Sea Hawk barrier coat, with 5-8 coats of CopperCoat. Needless to say, I feel great, and am happy to be heading out of Saint Martin, farther south vs. riding on a ship to Europe.

Sea Hawk epoxy primer - 2 coats
CopperCoat crew, taking a mid morning break.  It took 2 cases of beer to apply CopperCoat!
Mark and Paul rolling CopperCoat
Ingo and Chris working aft
My new digs - Bling Bling on my Bottom Thing!
I guess Mark figured while he was ‘down there’ he would check out my shafts and props. If you don’t know Mark, he can be a little obsessive compulsive on performance and analyze the heck out of stuff. It drives me (and Sarah) crazy sometimes, but it keeps him going so all is OK.

Mark got my shafts nice and clean and decided he would tweak my props. Yup. He wasn’t totally satisfied with my 4 blade Max Props in forward, so he’s going to do more testing on the Volvo props. I’m not sure if I should be offended, but he actually had the gaul to take off one of my Max Props and put back on a Volvo. I’m not exactly sure what he’s up to.

For me, it’s like trying to run a race wearing a Nike on one foot and a Hush Puppie on the other. Don’t ask me which one is a Nike. I frankly don’t know yet. He’s also looking at the Varifold props. He’s just not happy with how I perform. Viagra anyone?
Max Prop and Volvo Prop

To add insult to injury, he got out a measuring tape, after I was stripped down to my bare necessities, and measured, uhumm, the height of waistline. I guess he thought I was dragging my ‘pants on the ground’. Well, he was right. I was wearing my pants 1 - 1.5 inches lower (original waterline painted lower than specs) than my designer – Ted Clements – had designed. How embarrassing. No one wants to have their ‘pants on the ground’.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much Mark could do as my striping would become squished if he pulled my pants up higher as my designer Ted suggested. Sometimes it is what it is.

Now, if I can only get captain Mark to ease off on this prop stuff, I’ll feel much better. Trust me, it’s not fun to have someone mess with your junk under the trunk. Especially when it involves grease, wrenches and this scary thing called a ‘prop puller’……..


s/v Field Trip


  1. Dear Field Trip,
    I feel your pain!
    I noticed how the beer fueled painters used two strips of blue tape to keep them from "Oops, I went to far!".
    But you look mahhvalous!
    I'm trying to understand the pants being lower by 1 - 1.5 inches.
    Is that compared to what you should float on an empty stomach, or bloated with all that gear and supplies on board? ;o)
    Maybe 8 layers of new copper underwear is pulling you down?
    Best of luck!
    "Anonymous Hull 44XX"

  2. Just curious as it's been awhile since I had to research bottom paints. Is it typical to need a barrier coat so soon after launching, or is this preferred as a primer to the copper paint? Mark, I'm afraid if you want the family to think this is all a lot of work, you have to quit smiling so big! You can even see the smile under the mask! Thanks for sharing...


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

People of the Forest - Orang-utans

A Warm Fulaga Welcome

Upriver Adventure