Ian and Joel have been going great guns on the Brocade, despite less than ideal working conditions. They have had to work on her in semi-secret, because in theory the warehouse where she currently lives is for storage only – but in practice we have been left with little choice, as we haven’t been able to find anywhere more suitable to keep her. So we have been covertly empire-building, spreading out our stuff a little further each day, but trying to keep a low profile and not overstep the line. Not easy with such a conspicuous boat!
Yesterday they trailered her over to a boatyard near to the warehouse so they could scuff sand her in preparation for repainting. It would really have been pushing our luck too far to sand her in the warehouse – the other boat owners might not have been best pleased to come back and find their boats covered in a fine layer of silver dust.
It was quite a shock to see her this morning. The last time I saw her she was scruffy and streaky, her silver paint blemished by many months at sea. But she was still recognizably silver. Today she was, errr, well, looking a bit rough. Scuffed, most definitely.
But as with all decorating projects, she has to look worse before she looks better. We have now managed to find a boatyard where Joel can paint her over the weekend. We have to be out by Monday, but that should just about give us enough time to get two coats of “Seattle Grey” on her, economizing by using a painting technique called “rolling and tipping”, rather than spraying.
It’s all a bit seat-of-the-pants due to the ridiculous tightness of our budget, but we’re managing. I am eternally grateful to Joel (of JUNK fame) and Ian for their fantastic work, and their willingness to live with uncertainty as we improvise and make do and mend.
Maybe one day I will have a budget and a huge team like Ellen MacArthur or Alex Thomson, but for now it is curiously life-affirming to see what can be achieved with minimal funds, but a huge amount of determination, enthusiasm, and creativity!
Photos: (top) – Brocade before sanding….. and (middle) after.
(Bottom) rudder fixtures – old (black one, on top) and new (stainless steel, below) – a huge improvement in strength and durability, and our biggest expenditure so far at $1,150. Ouch!