Tuesday 18 June 2024

Petrella: high & dry

The weekend's fussing and fettling went well. Lightly rubbed down the copper coat, which for now remains in reasonable shape. After the jet-wash when she was lifted out, it really didn't need or want anything more than a light burnishing with what amounted to a scouring pad.

Scraped the hard growth off the prop, prop shaft, foot of the rudder's skeg and around the engine's water intake. Antifouled the keel and a few patches the copper coat didn't cover. Freed up the paddlewheel of the log so that it spins again. Fully in the anticipation that it'll seize up with growth once more within about a week or two of relaunch.

Was surprised at how easily the copper coat cleaned up. Not sure when it was put on, but it's nearing end of life now. Was dubious about the almost certainly significant cost of replacing it, but having seen how well it's looked after everything below the water line, and how easy it's been scrubbing her off for another season, I'm having a serious rethink.

A local company (same chap that sorted out the forward heads and resealed our aft windows earlier this year) is giving the hull a deep clean and polish this week, so she should look all shiny and new, or as shiny and new as a lady of her admittedly veteran age can hope to be, when we relaunch next Monday.

Fingers crossed for some settled weather. My unintended theatrics at the helm when we moved her to the slip to lift her out last Monday have left my confidence a little unsettled. Which is silly, because it's not like I'm entirely new to this.

But it will be nice to get her back onto her berth cleanly and without mishap.

I haven't opened negotiations with my wife yet, but I'm conscious I have no gigs the first weekend of July. Weather permitting, that might be the perfect opportunity for a mid-season shakedown cruise. Perhaps sneak the Monday off work as well, and stretch the trip all the way out to Falmouth and back.

We shall see.

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