All Good Things Come in Two

This week’s blog post is all about one little word: Progress! Of which we had plenty last week already. It seems as if we always have to go through a valley of tears first before we can get back into the flow. A lot has happened on Milagros over the last couple of days, and all of it is consistently positive. Except for a tiny but not so tiny encounter with a hex nut. That tiny little bastard…

Kelly Peterson 44 sailboat refit in Mexico

Our first topsides paintjob obviously turned into a disaster and still haunts us. That was really a heavy blow. In the meantime, we can say with great certainty that the cause of the adhesion problems was the layer thickness of the paint. After we noticed the non-adherance of the Totalboat WetEdge paint, we did a test by applying a really thin layer of paint with the roller, which adhered really well. It was a lose-lose-lose situation. For us, for the boatyard, and also for Pancho, the worker responsible for the boats. Another boat has also been sprayed with the same one-component Totalboat one part paint in the meantime.

It depends on the thickness

Matthew, the owner, experience our ailment first hand and of course started to brood. In the end, he decided to give the WetEdge paint another chance. He instructed Pancho, the painter / sprayer of the Cabrales Boatyard, to apply the paint as thinly as possible. The same result here too: the paintjob adheres. On top of that, when I researched the Totalboat WetEdge paint, I found that most of the problems other boat owners had had to do with the thickness of the layer applied to the boat.

Our Totalboat WetEdge experience

We think, contrary to the assumption that you could simply shake a one-component paintjob off your sleeve easily, the opposite is the case. Totalboat WetEdge is anything but easy to use. It seems like everything has to be right for the paint to do its job. Temperature, humidity and, above all, the thickness of the paint layer must be meticulously observed. If you stick to these factors, you get what Totalboat promises. Regarding humidity, a criticism of the data sheets from Totalboat: They state that their paint can be processed up to 90% humidity. No type of paint in the world can be processed problem free in such an atmosphere. Enough with the moaning, we had to look ahead.

Back to zero

The paint had to come off again. So, there was only one thing to do: Getting up in the morning, podcast or music on the headphones, investing hours of sanding, sanding, sanding. The paint came off the hull easily at least, and after a few days we were back to the same level as at the beginning of the year. Our paint selection for the second attempt? Alexseal, one of the best known marine paints. A two-component paint that should stick to Milagros’ hull like a MF. Fortunately, through Marga, we got in touch with a representative of the paint, who felt so sorry for us that he gave us some of the paint for free. Thus, our financial loss was minimal, not least because Totalboat immediately refunded us the money for the failed paintjob. We were ready to start over. But there was other work to be done, too!

Kelly Peterson 44 refit at Cabrales Boatyard in Puerto Peñasco

What does not fit is made to fit

Also, with our new titanium chainplates, everything that could go wrong had gone wrong. Didn’t get that part? Missed it? Then it is time to sign up for our newsletter and you won’t miss a thing! Long story short: We had ordered new titanium chainplates from a well-known company in the US of A. Unfortunately, the result came straight from the bottom drawer. They were too long, too thick, too thin and the holes were everywhere but not where they should be. Nevertheless, we didn’t let it get us down. With “a little” effort, we were able to fit them in anyway. Pati was busy for days adapting Milagros to the chainplates. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Hmmm. Nothing is impossible on Milagros!

Our steep learning curve

Where half a year ago we had too much respect for even loosening screws, we were now blessed with a completely different self-confidence when it came to boat work. Pati simply enlarged holes in the deck, sealed the drill holes in the hull with epoxy resin and then we drilled new ones. We adjusted the angles of the drill holes with the drill and suddenly everything was ready: Our new puttings could be installed. Let’s do this!

Fill, fit, lubricate

Now teamwork was required again. Pati on deck, me inside the boat or vice versa. We pushed the new chainplates into position through the deck, screwed them tight and then sealed the deck with Sikaflex UV 4000 sealing compound, as recommended by Jamie from SV Totem. We flood him with questions from time to time, and he always willingly answers. Many thanks for the help! As always, everything took longer than planned, was a bit more complicated than expected and a bigger mess of sealant as expected. And of course: ONE of EIGHT THIRTY damn nuts blocked itself on its bolt.ONE NUT out of THIRTY-EIGHT!




Deeeeeep breath.

No problem

A small cut with the angle grinder and the blockage was released. Of course, we didn’t have a replacement bolt either, so we had to order one. Haha. Anyway, at some point the chainplates were in position. They look nice, these new, strong and expensive titanium plates. If everything went smoothly with our installation, they will outlive us and probably the boat as well. The rearmost plate for the backstay (the rear mast support) still has to wait, however, as its bolts are mounted through the boat’s hull. Before the painting is done, we don’t want to mount any bolts on the outside of the hull.

Rudder assembly

Our rudder had been fiberglassed, mended and painted a long time ago. It is a mighty construct made of fiberglass and steel plates and accordingly heavy. So, we gathered our friends from the boatyard for the re-installation. We did so twice because the first time we discovered a small hole that still had to be filled. The second time everything went very quickly. The whole team tackled together and with teamwork we had the rudder mounted in no time. Another small piece of the puzzle on the way to our launch. Thanks again to all helpers!

What’s next?

Another low point has passed and things are steadily improving. It really is a clear pattern: After the rain comes the sun, after a long, cold winter comes spring. It’s a constant up and down. It won’t be any different out on the water. Speaking of winter: The temperatures here in the desert are now really bearable again. Our two AC units stay mostly switched off, and at night we can finally sleep with blankets again. That also makes many boat projects easier for us. Everything is simply more enjoyable if you are not completely wet with sweat within two minutes.

So far, so good: Everything is fine with us in Mexico at the moment. Let’s hope it stays that way for as long as possible!

We are moving along nicely in the last couple of days, time for a drink! If you want to buy us one, please click on the button below! Also, you can become a monthly supporter on Patreon if you want to. Many thanks!

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