May 2002
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Week Ending 4 May 2002 (Bob)

Refit Status - A lot of progress was made this week, the major projects included:

  • Painting - All cracked and damaged filler and paint was removed to 1' below the waterline and sealed with epoxy.  All areas were filled, and the workers began the process of sanding the hull fair with long sanding boards.  The hull looked terrible on Monday, and by Friday it was looking fair again.
  • Interior Joinery - The team from Nai and Toe showed up early Monday morning (we expected them Wednesday) and started to turn timber and plywood into sawdust.  By the end of the week we had a new wet-locker, radar cabinet, and cabinets although a lot of finish work yet remains.  We tweak the design daily, but our rapport with the carpenters is good and they really want to do a good job.  We are happy with the progress.
  • Toerail/rubrail - Nai and Toe carpenters have smoothed the deck where the new toerail will go, and have started to shape pieces for the rubrail.
  • Canvas and Upholstery - Muzza from Canvas Creations has taken all measurements and started to work on building a bimini.  We have high hopes based on all reports from his work.  Jin and Pong have ordered our leather, and we looked at another example of the workmanship and we are really looking forward to the new settee cushions.
  • Miscellaneous - The rigging that we struggled with through all airports from LA to Langkawi is being trimmed to length by Scott of Precision Shipwrights.  We have removed the teak cockpit coaming and found some dry-rot - we have to decide what to do about that.  Teo (an independent worker) is polishing all the stainless to a shiny finish and has the bronze ports looking like gold.

More Parties - Terry from 'Virgos' Child' had a significant birthday this week, and many of  us went to help him celebrate, and listen to fireworks set off in his honor.  The party went late into the night although, this morning he said he felt fine - but we believe he was lying!

Week Ending 11 May 2002 (Bob)

A Week of Refit Fever:

  • Monday - Chaos prevailed! - byThailand Man making radar cabinet.jpg (20572 bytes) 0900 we had 15 people on  board: 3 guys welding on the bow pulpit, 2 guys building cabinets, 6 guys sanding the hull, 3 guys sanding the coach-roof, 2 guys applying fiberglass to the cockpit, a couple of guys sanding below, one guy hums quietly as he polishes stanchions, while a few with unknown missions wander the decks.
  • Tuesday - More of the same, but Man brings the plywood reinforcements he has made to re-install the ports in the main cabin.  They look strong and well-sealed, unfortunately the ports do not fit, so he has to trim each one after it is installed - neither of us noticed that the ports were tapered. On TV the Royal Plowing Ceremony is held, and good weather and good fortune is predicted for the next planting season when the water buffalo selects rice and alcohol which foretells a good rice harvest and prosperity for all.
  • Wednesday - The rains come - even though the hull looks like it may be ready for the primer, a low over the South China Sea brings rain and painting is not possible.  The cabinetry looks almost finished (except for doors).  A stripper arrives (keep it clean readers!) and starts to remove the polyurethane from the cabin sole.
  • Thursday - More rain, but this does not slow down the sanders who strip all gloss off the coachroof and mask off the non-skid deck in preparation for painting.  Nop's welders bring back the bow pulpit and fit it - a thing of beauty and close approximation to Shannon's production pulpit, at a fraction of the cost.
  • Friday - Rain-rain - No painting today but sanding continues everywhere and Formica -look-alike appears as it is fitted to the cabin sides.  Just as quickly, it disappears to who-knows-where.
  • Saturday - Pro looked at the sky and predicted no rain for the day, so by 1100 the decks had been cleared, all hardware had been covered in plastic (they use Saran Wrap to cover everything) and the 1st coat of primer was being applied. By 1300 our hull was gleaming white and all of the minor imperfections were very visible.  This is a BIG milestone.  Judi provides drinks for all comers as a cooler full of sodas and ice is offered to the myriad of workers that swarm over the boat in 90 heat. 
  • Sunday - Our only quiet day on the boat, we spent it cleaning the boat and installing stanchion bases so that the welders could measure for new gate stanchions next week.

Refit Status -

  • Painting - 1st primer coat on, another primer required and then the final coat in about 2 weeks.
  • Interior Joinery - Pilot berth and radar cabinets 80% done, doors and finishing still to come.  We have asked Nai and Toe to also make cabinets on each side of the companionway to contain radios and storage, so the list looks like this.
  • Toerail/rubrail - No action on the wood front, but we have ordered a new Genoa track since ours was quite corroded.
  • Canvas and Upholstery - The bimini is almost done; unfortunately the painters made us remove the bimini frame, so it will be a bit before we can test it. 
  • Miscellaneous - On the rigging -  Runners, lowers and upper shrouds have been made, only the back-stay remains for next week.

Other Goings-on - Boring - boring - boring!  The workers start at 0745, quit at 5 PM and keep us running all day answering questions and trying to catch mistakes before they turn into disasters.  They work 6 days per week and we need a quiet day to do little things to stay ahead of them.  We will need a vacation after this! 

 Week Ending 18 May 2002 (Bob)

Getting ready to paint - This week ProLong Passages final preps to paint.jpg (21117 bytes) Yachting made great strides with our hull by finishing the fairing and getting the 2d coat of primer on under clear blue skies.  This culminates 3 weeks of hard work by a small army of young men who sanded, gouged, filled, and finally faired the hull with long boards to get a smooth surface. We have tried to show our appreciation by smiles and thanks at all times, and a cooler topped up with cold sodas at the end of each 6-day week.

Other projects come together - Our ex-pilot berth hasLong Passages new cabinets partially completed.jpg (16483 bytes) taken on a new life as storage compartments for books, cameras, paper-work and printer.  Sun and Man have done a great job, Long Passages new stanchion gates beling welded.jpg (16124 bytes)and a young alchemist applied his stain-mixing skills so that the wood matches the color of existing cabinets to a 'T'.  We had decided to strengthen the stanchion gates so Nop's welder briefly interrupted the coach-roof sanding to make sure that they fit the decks perfectly.  Our leather has arrived at Jin & Pong's place so we stopped by for a peek, and are happy with the color.  Our new genoa track has arrived, so it will be ready to install when the toerail goes on next week.

Wonderful Phuket restaurants - We continue to find great Thai restaurants in Phuket, this week The Natural, a whimsical place reminiscent of a tree house.  There are many levels with tables among the tree branches and computer monitors converted to aquariums.  The mostly-Thai menu was comprehensive and food was excellent.

Next week to Singapore - Next week we zip to Singapore so that Judi can have a follow-up medical exam and we can refresh our visas.  While there we will also pick up a bunch of marine supplies shipped from the US.  The Thai Customs operation is expensive and rife with corruption so most people try to avoid shipping anything into Thailand if they can avoid it.

Week Ending 25 May 2002 (Bob)

Wow, do we shine!! - On a beautiful May afternoon Long Passages under wraps.jpg (18582 bytes)Pro Yachting put covers all over our yacht and sprayed a shiny coat of Fleet White Awl-Grip on Long Passages' topsides - she felt proud again!.  We think she looks great, and believe she will ride higher in the water Long Passages boot top being painted.jpg (19934 bytes)because of it.  The next day under threatening skies a dark red boot top was sprayed on, but an afternoon shower ruined the finish, and Pro had to regroup for another day.  Meanwhile the cove stripe (that used to be gold) was carefully masked as we prepared for our monthly visa run, this time to Singapore.

Crisis in leather - Monday morning we got a call to visit Jin and Pong where our new cushions are being built.  It turns out that the water buffalo that provide the green hides (the color we chose) don't grow big enough to cover our settees without seams, and Jin wanted guidance on where we wanted the seams.  We reluctantly agreed to seams, but suggested they let the buffalo grow a little more before tanning them.

Its off to Singapore - Judi had made a medical appointment in Singapore as a follow-up to her operation in January, so we got up before dawn and caught a taxi to Phuket airport for the flight to Singapore.  Her visit was fortunately uneventful, so we settled down to some serious shopping.  On our second visit to Sim Lim Tower (electronics shopping extraordinaire)Singapore boys preparing for dragon dance.jpg (27963 bytes) we succumbed and bought a DVD player and accessories so that we can view DVDs from around the world, CDs, and music on MP3 CDs, (plus other capabilities that we will probably never need!)  We really liked being in Singapore again, it is so clean and civilized and surprises, like boys preparing for a Dragon Dance are just around the corner!  We stayed at the Perak Lodge in Little India, where Judi stayed when she first arrived in 2000, and we really liked it.

Other progress - While we were gone the carpenters and varnishers carried on, so that by the companionway our new cabinets were finished, and the entire interior had been sanded and a coat of varnish applied - she is starting to shine inside also.


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