Our Barge, Odysseus

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Ugh! Another Haulout! May 19-23

We had arranged for Odysseus to be stored on dry land this year; we had discovered some problems with the bottom coating during last summers cruise and wanted to get a good look at it. Unfortunately, the very expensive paint we had applied when we bought the boat had failed completely so a new bottom job was in order. This is about the hardest, messiest job in boating. All of the old paint (nasty, toxic stuff) had to be scraped off, then the bottom water blasted and recoated with two coats off more nasty toxic stuff. This time, however, the nasty, toxic stuff was much less expensive so the damage was physical instead of financial.
We were really lucky that the weather was beautiful the whole time we were working on the boat. In fact, some days it was downright hot! This was a big contrast to last September when we traveled through the Ardennes in the mostly pouring rain.
Cleaning off the old paint took all of Tuesday, the water blasting was done Wednesday morning and the first coat of bottom paint went on that afternoon. While I was painting the bottom, Cathy Jo was putting a coat of paint on all of the green topsides, which meant some prep, undercoating, filling and fairing. By Friday morning the painting was complete and Odysseus was ready for launch. Saturday morning she was in the slings.

The first bottom coat is applied and the green topsides are ready for a final coat.

Putting the slings is place.

The boat was maximum length and weight for the crane so there were some tense moments during the launch but all went well and by 11 am she was floating.

We spent the next several days traveling about the area collecting supplies for the summer's journey and finishing up a few projects. By Tuesday we were basically ready to go. Since the car had to be returned Friday morning, we thought we would take Wednesday to make our pilgrimage to Belgium for the Ham de Ardennes (and a little look see around the area), do our final big provisioning trip Thursday (you need a car for all those bottles of wine!), return the car Friday morning and get underway Saturday morning. So on Wednesday, it was off to Belgium!

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