Using Shallow Water- Jan 30th 2014

Friday the 30th was as had been predicted, by NOAA weather. Biscayne Bay was calm. More so, the water near the marinas’ dredge island was even calmer. Conditions were perfect for working on the drive leg and scraping barnacles from the hull.

For the first time, in a month, our Gemini catamaran was released from its mooring ball. We motored to protected shallow water and first dropped our 35 pound Delta anchor. ( As a side note, I should have set the delta instead of “droppin & drift’n – it did not right itself in the grass over muddy sand. It’s weight and chain simply slowed our dragging within limits.) Our 13 pound lunch hook was carried by dinghy toward a sand bar and dropped. ( It set well !! )

Our depth gauge kept a reading range of 3.7 to 5.2 feet.

The one noise one does not want to hear, when working on your boat, is a splash of parts, or tools. The idea of suspending a tarp from Yacht A Fun’s two hulls didn’t work as well as conceived. In reality, I think a more purpose designed pouch could function better. (A future Diann sewing project for sure.)

Here you see a photo of the propeller before scraping, brushing, and sanding.

Propeller before work

Propeller before work

This is the cleaned up prop.

Propeller after being prepared for paint

Propeller after being prepared for paint

Here it is after making the run back to the mooring ball.

Rustoleum oil based paint

Rustoleum oil based paint

Friends of ours, at Dinner Key mooring, are paying $2 per foot to have a diver come and clean their hull. My best guess is that we would see a bill for $100, or so, due to our double hulls.

Since the water, at the island, was shallow, I was able to scrape both hulls while the drive leg’s first coat of paint dried.   Cold ! Damn Cold! I saved a hundred bucks. But damn, the water temperature was like Carolina spring time swimming pool water! I shivered like a ten year old while drying off afterward.

One of the aspects of doing somewhat precision repairs / maintenance on a boat in shallow water- is keeping the boat from moving. Granted, if the Delta had been properly set, there would have been less boat movement during my efforts. But I believe I would have still had to walk with the drive leg as wind moved the hull from side to side.

Walking and painting with the movement of the boat

Walking and painting with the movement of the boat

When the work was done, I cranked the dingy and retrieved the lunch hook. We did a port “side tie” again for the dinghy, so it would remain easily available for use.

After cranking up Yacht a Fun we retrieved the Delta. As I stood at the bow, with Diann captaining at the helm, I could see the Delta on its side in the clear shallow water. Lesson learned!

Our hot showers sure were welcome, after we had again moored and tidied up the boat.

Gas was needed for the outboard, so we went to a gas station while “out”. We returned via dinghy well after dark. Another rather long day on our Gemini catamaran.

Alex RookerUsing Shallow Water- Jan 30th 2014

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