The Haul Out

The Monday after we sailed Windsong into St. Augustine we finally hauled her out to begin the massive rebuild. I had been anticipating this moment since I bought the boat about a year ago. I had never seen the hull below the waterline but knew a little bit of what to expect. I dove down to check the bottom once, but it was too murky to see anything. I could feel blisters however near the waterline so I figured I would have a few of them. Windsong was kept in warm Florida fresh water for a long time without a bottom job, ripe conditions for blister problems. I feared that she may have a case of full blown pox - a condition of thousands of tiny gel coat blisters covering the entire hull. This was the worst case scenario and I wanted to be prepared for it. I didn't expect any other major problems with the hull, though I anticipated some damage on the keel from when we ran hard aground. During the past year I have been studying all that I will need to do to the hull depending on its condition.

It was a gross morning with a ton of rain. We hauled her out in the downpour and I got a first look at the bottom
Proud owner :)

After the haul they gave her a good pressure wash. There wasn't much growth on the bottom, just some slime. She had only been in salt water for about two months and the water was pretty cold the whole time, so barnacles didn't get time to grow. The pressure wash was taking off chunks of old paint that had begun to deteriorate over time. It turns out, the gel coat blisters I thought I felt were actually just paint blisters and chipped off with the pressure wash.  However, I would eventually find that blisters were there, deeper and worse than I could have thought.

I had to leave to work half way through the pressure wash, but thankfully the weather cleared up later on for me to check her out on the stands.

Decades of old anti-fouling paint chipping away.
Depth sounding transducer, paint blisters
keel damage
thru hulls
Rudder and prop
The prop was in surprisingly good shape. I thought the cutlass bearing would be shot since there was a ton of vibration when motoring at cruising RPMs. It turns out there is some sort of shim that slides under the prop and into the bearing tube. This shim somehow broke, making the prop loose and explaining many strange noises and vibration.
I am concerned about this area that the rudder attaches to. Lots of cracking and whatnot
The zinc. This appears to be the only zinc, with all thru hulls wired to it. I anticipated bad problems with electrolysis since it had been so long since a zinc was replaced, but somehow it is still there.
Port side paint
I discovered many things about the hull as I began to remove the many layers of paint. I'll detail the first two weeks of work in the next post. I am having computer problems at home so I cannot upload any new pictures that were taken after the haul out. As soon as I get them up I'll post and keep a more frequent progress report going.