A lot has happened over the last year and a half. Some of it good, some not so good.
For those of you who are following the posts, you know that we bought an older (1978) 50 foot Gulfstar. One of the previous owners was a St. Lucian who was quite well know in the Virgins (read more about him here http://www.allatsea.net/caribbean/profile-of-oliver-deligny-and-the-varnish-extraordinaire/ . Needless to say, the boat was simply gorgeous! Unfortunately, there have been two owners since him who were not as meticulous.
We closed on the boat and quickly realized that she was “not as advertised” and began working hard to bring her up to the beauty she once was. With each project, it seemed as though she was fighting us. Everything we touched, big or small, became a huge project. Work that should have taken hours morphed into days and projects that could have been completed in days became weeks. If you have heard the old saying, “twice the time three times the money,” you might say to us that it should have been expected, but this was almost unreal. I began to think that we had been sold a bill of goods, a lemon, a derelict in fact. I thought that our Surveyor might have been on drugs or worse, in the pocket of the seller. Of course none of this was true but we couldn’t help thinking it all the same.
Our first indication was immediate. The boat was on the Hard when we purchased it. It had one spot on the hull that looked suspect so we decided to sand the entire bottom down, check the spot and reapply the bottom paint.A friend of ours, Keith on Kookaburra, volunteered to help. After four days of sanding, both Keith and my husband were exhausted. Keith had to go to work and Carl was left to finish up. I can’t say how many coats of paint were on the bottom but, there must have been multiple and they refused to come off.
Eventually, the bottom was repaired and repainted. Since we were on the hard, we had to make special arrangements to crank the engine for survey. This entailed bringing in a mechanic in to get water to the engine. The mechanic, who came highly recommended, suggested the lift muffler was leaking and needed repair. We had it pulled only to find that there was nothing wrong with it. In fact, the mechanic managed to fill the cylinders with water, now we had another problem on our hands. Another day in the yard to remove the water and the engine cranked without a problem and ran smoothly. Finally we were able to splash La Creole.We arrived at Crown Bay Marina to top off fuel and water and then on to our Mooring in Elephant Bay and got settled in. Both booms were off their masts and upon examination; we discover that the gooseneck is completely worn. A trip to the Machinist fixes this and as a result, a nice relationship is started on St. Thomas. Once the sails are up and the covers placed on for protection, we move on to the next project…the wind generator.
To be continued…