Our preparations for the hurricane season mean not only preparing for potential hurricanes or maintenance projects, but also for the trip we will take down south. This trip is kind of a vacation for us. We usually island hop for about 4 weeks, enjoying the sailing, the bays, the beauty of the islands and the people we meet on land or sea. Of course there is always the possibility of a problem arising with regard to our boat, S/V Boyo. It is great to have Budget chandleries or agents on the way in those instances.
The biggest project during the hurricane season is maintenance on our boat. For that we usually try to think of what projects we would like to undertake, and make a list of parts and products we will need in order to do that.
Hauling out the boat is usually the most important project. We will haul our boat out here in St.Maarten this season before heading south. We used to haul out in Venezuela, but for the last 9 years we have hauled out in Carriacou, where there’s a nice small boatyard that will allow you to do everything yourself. In case you do need an extra hand, it’s always possible to hire a worker through the yard. Unfortunately you can’t buy a lot there, but since last year a new Budget Marine agent has opened that can supply whatever you need from the Budget store in Grenada.
For the haul out we clean the bottom of our boat properly, then we apply the primer and after that the anti-fouling. We have done a lot of paint projects during the last couple of years, repainting our top sides, deck, deckhouse and cockpit, which were all done with Awlgrip paint. We prepare well, making sure we have all the materials such as sand paper, filler, roller covers, paint trays, brushes and acetone.
We have many smaller projects we work on as well. We do maintenance on the engine, which Bob does himself. We make sure we have engine oil, cleaners, spare impellers and spare filters for engine projects. Since we have repainted our top sides we do not wax them anymore. Before painting them we usually took cleaner and wax with us to give the top sides a thorough cleaning and make them look nice and shiny again. We also have some varnished wood on our boat that needs to be re-varnished every now and then. We are using Bristol varnish for that which lasts much longer than any other one we have used. Our boat is made of steel and steel needs to be maintained very well. To fight rust and keep the steel in good condition we usually take products for that purpose with us.
Before we start with our maintenance we have our vacation to look forward to! So a quick run through our equipment before departure to make sure we are well prepared, from safety vests to snorkel gear and we’re on our way!
Lia & Bob