Once we were able to get the boat up onto the trailer and drag it off the launch it was time for the remodeling of the boat to begin. First things first, we had to clean the hull of any algae or encrusting sea life. This started with bleach getting sprayed onto the hull followed by a high pressure washer to remove all the “stuff.”
** Side note ** Yes, that really is a Volkswagen Thing (or Safari if it was first sold in Mexico) parked behind my boat. It belongs to our staff instructor Aries.
Captain Felipe becomes a smurf after scrubbing the hull.
He was a bit more prepared for day two!
The old Captain did a mighty fine job, too!
Remodeling Won’t be a Quick Fix
Once the hull was clean the amount of damage was plainly visible. I went into this thinking I was an amateur at this so I’d see no damage but to be safe I’d call in a professional for a second opinion, then after a deeper cleaning we’d repaint and be back in the water.
Unfortunately, I was way off. The hull damage was easy to spot, even for this untrained eye. Above you can see a chunk of gel-coat missing.
Everywhere we cleaned we exposed more damage and more spots of broken or missing gel-coat.
And spidered gel-coat.
The above photo is of the boat about 72 hours after it was removed from the water. And yet the photo shows water dropping out of the hull. We found a few areas like this, obviously clearing up the mystery of where we were taking on water.
And another chunk missing…
So at this point we have little option. I can paint a boat hull, but I cannot repair fiberglass well enough to entrust it with structural integrity. It was time to call in the professionals. The remodeling of Libra II was no longer going to be a quick repaint job and back to the water.
The remodeling starts with sanding out all the old and damaged gel-coat and fiberglass, then patching it with some sort of filler. What I believe it to be is a mixture of powered fiberglass and gel-coat to create a thick paste.
Following the patch the workers sand the patch smooth and prep the boat for the first layer of bottom-coat gel-coat.
Here is the remodeling project after the first layer of gel-coat on the bottom. Time to let that dry and start remodeling the top half of the exterior.
Ughf. It seems the bottom wasn’t the only part of the boat that needed repair.
And more damage hidden underneath the rub rail. Anyway, the same remodeling principle applies – sand it down, patch the holes, sand it smooth, and then paint.
The photo above is the first time seeing my boat without another company’s name on it. The Libra II is part of Albatros Charters no more!
Starting to look pretty good, eh? This was the second color. The first color I asked for a color match on our towels, which is kind of a slate blue color. Well, the paint came back military grey. I was having none of it. Thankfully the fiberglass crew agreed with me and mixed up a few different samples of blue.
The catch here is I had some close friends coming down for a visit. When this trip was originally planned we had plenty of buffer time to get the boat finished. But alas, Mother Nature is winning this game and we were way behind schedule. Part of the catch was one of my friends coming down works as a model, so I was hopeful to take advantage of that and snap some promotional photos. But that didn’t work out as plan because…
That paint job with my logo happened. I’m just… confused. I’m not sure why the artist decided to make the word “Endeavors” so large that it cascaded down the rib of the hull effectively making it look like the bottom half of the word was cut off. He told me to trust him. For a guy that painted his car like this, I probably shouldn’t have trusted him.
Hahaha, lesson learned. Anyway, I tried to make the best of a bad situation.
But that’s what I had to work with. <Sigh> We’ll have to get Aubrie back down here for a second photo shoot after a few touch-ups. Once my friends left it was immediately back to the boat yard for not only additional work, but to correct the error of the first logo by quickly sanding it off.
In Part Three of the remodeling we’ll tackle the interior remodeling, plus the redo on the logos. Not only will our boat look good, but we’ve prepared many updates to the interior which make this a very comfortable boat for diving off of. Stay tuned!
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