This is the beginning of the grand story about painting lady ‘Learjet’ in Fiji Nov/Dec 2007.
Poor ‘Learjet’ needed a new paint job for the entire exterior. She was still sporting her original paint job from 1989. The age and the wear and tear from 3 years in the tropics and we were beyond cosmetics. The paint was in such bad shape that I would soon risk water intrusion below the paint (not good).
Painting the bottom is pretty much a standard maintenance issue, so we’ll ignore that. Painting the topsides (the sides of the boat, above the water line) is a big issue. And painting the deck is a big deal multiplied by about three.
My original plan was to do the paint job over the summer (Jan thru Mar 2008 ) in New Zealand, perhaps at Nelson. But I met a really good painter in Fiji, Willie. He had a great reputation, including having been trained by one of the best painters in New Zealand. So, with Pamela returning to New Zealand to attend to her business for about 6 weeks, I figured I would use that window to do the job in Fiji, which would keep me out of the boat yard during the NZ summer.
So, I started on what was thought to be a 2 week job that turned out to be a 10 week job!
The story begins with ‘Learjet’ stored in her “hole” at Vuda Pt Marina, near Nadi Fiji.
Notice ‘Learjet’s keel in that ditch — “the hole”. Normally a yacht is lowered far enough that it rests on the old used tires in the foreground. Well, they didn’t have any “holes” deep enough for ‘Learjet’s 2.8 meter draft. Hence the stands.
Notice the tree in the background. That caused me no end of headaches with debris from the tree fouling the paint job. But I had to go here, because it was the deepest hole, and their stands are not high enough to handle ‘Learjet’ in a shallower hole, not to mention that the higher she it, the harder it is to paint her. In retrospect, I should have made them put me somewhere else in the yard further from a tree, and simply hired a backhoe to deep the trench deeper.
Notice that wind turbine on the radar arch. That’s my spiffy Lakota wind turbine that puts out 800 watts of electricity, and tilts itself into helicopter orientation when the wind pipes up, and is completely self-managing up to about 100 knots of wind.
Oh, and the boom and stack pack. That’s a completed project from the previous summer — carbon boom, 2/3 meter wide landing pattern in the stack pack for those lovely 3DL sails.
Can’t wait until next edition???