Swizzle Haul-out & 10 days of hell

Our first haul out on Swizzle was a daunting yet exciting experience. We took the bot out of the water at B&V Marine, in Langkawi, Malaysia. 

We chose to use B&V Marine due to its convenient location to our land accommodation, and best of all PRICE! Now some things we had to consider for haul out and a few tips for anyone looking to do the same

1. Facilities - B&V Marine had everything we could have hoped for, metal working, wood working, power and electricity at every hardstand, bathrooms, a shower and more importantly, FREE COLD WATER to drink throughout the day. The marina was located within a few minutes ride of nearby hardware stores, plumbing shops and paint stores which saved our butts more than once. 

2. Price - We were pleasantly surprised to see that the marina we chose was at least one-third the price of other marinas nearby. Why? Because B&V caters to pleasure vessels, not big yachts and superyachts. Their price point was set for the average sailor who planned on doing at least some of the work on their own. If you decide that you don't want to do the work, fret not, their daily labor rate is 400 ringgit per day, about 100USD for an 8 hour day. Be aware though, Langkawi has more public holidays than any other place in the world, so if you come during, let's say, Ramadan... good luck. We hauled out and realized that there were 5 public holidays shortly thereafter within an 8 day span. Lucky we were already planning to do all the work on our own, however, this means all hardware shops and supply stores are closed as well. 

3. Staff - Unlike some marinas, B&V has a full in-house staff to accommodate anything needed. In the case of outside contractors, there is a nominal fee, but as I mentioned, it's not necessary considering all the expertise they have under their roof. The entire process went very smoothly with everyone well versed in slipping in and out of water. 

Now for the nitty gritty:

Obviously the #1 reason for haul out is bottom paint. For us, this was a BEAR of a job. The boat had sat long enough to the point that barnacles had to be sanded off. Not just any sanding would do. 60 grit sandpaper and the least to get the beds of the barnacles off, The sanding in itself was 2 days of work and that's not counting the scraping and powerwashing done on the intial lift out. 

There are lots of options for antifoul paint once you're ready to paint. We used a local brand to the area, CMP, and ended up doing 4 full coats of antifoul. Add in the epoxy primer and that SIX coats in total. Maybe a bit much but we'll be thankful in the end.

The mess of a bottom
The mess of a bottom

Painting process - 1st antifoul over primer
Painting process - 1st antifoul over primer

Side view final
Side view final

Final result!
Final result!

Our second priority for coming out of the water was for a full cut and polish of the hull. This process consists of using am agent with tiny abrasive particles to "cut" any scuffs, scratches and imerfections then you use a polish to fill in the abrasions for a nice, shiny and water resistant coating. This was a rough one mostly due to having to hold the polisher above your head for several minutes at a time. All in all, this process took one full day to complete and the outcome was AMAZING. Almost mirror-like.Before and after

Before and after

Fully polished

Fully polished

Another piece of work we needed to knock out while on the hard was repairing our rudder AND our propeller. Both we pretty well beat up and the propeller was showing SERIOUS signs of aging, pits and rust holes through the entire thing. For this, an easy, fast and reliable fix was to use a fairing compound (Epoxy resin & hardner plus some hardening additive to make it like a peanut buttery consistency) and smear over everything. This process can be tricky as the epoxy was to set up and "flash" (harden too quickly in the mixing pale) expecially in the heat and humidity. After a few coats and lots of smoothing, a light sand scuff of the epoxied areas and bot prop and rudder are sturdy, smooth surfaces ready to go sailing.

Lastly, our biggest one was fixing our rudder. We had noticed that we were losing steering, especially in following seas of heavy winds and our helm would always roll to one direction. Luckily we found the culprit to be a metal bracket that had come loose and nearly fallen off completely. I was prepared to take the rudder off in its entirety which would have taken a lot more time than what we had to spend to fix it, but nonetheless, it was fixed and now works like a dream. 

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If you can’t repair it, maybe it shouldn’t be on board.
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