Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fiberglass repair and more

Skeg and shell piece after sanding by Roberto
Roberto got right to work the next morning, Friday, arriving at the boatyard with a milk crate full of tools. Nan and I were waiting there to give him the second 1,000 pesos he had requested as a deposit. He thanked us and pulled out his rotary sander. We told him we would return later to see how it was going and pedaled away on our folding bikes.

When we returned, Roberto was at the entrance gate signing out with the security guard. He walked with us back to the boat and showed us how he had cleaned up all the ragged edges on the skeg shells and on the skeg itself. He told us he would be back on Saturday to begin the fiberglassing.

Roberto inserting permanent joining rods to hold shells to skeg
The photos show the progression of Roberto's fiberglass work on the skeg over the next few days. While we were at it, we also contracted with him to repair and paint the scars left by the removal of our old Aries windvane, as well as numerous hull scratches from past docking mishaps, for an additional 3,000 pesos.

This extra work required a trip over to Cancun the following Monday to visit a few different marine paint stores, but first we met Nazario at Nauticos Cancun, a marine supply store, to buy new zincs for the hull and propeller shaft. While we were
Fiberglass completed and three joining rods in place
there, I noticed that a gallon of Pettit bottom paint was priced at 4,350 pesos. I did the conversion, and it worked out to $362.00! Nazario said it was so expensive because it was so heavy to ship from the United States. (A gallon of water weighs a little over eight pounds, but a gallon of bottom paint weighs at least twice that because of all the growth-inhibiting metals it contains.) We had worked out the details with the boatyard to have them paint the bottom after Roberto finished, but I didn't expect the necessary three gallons to cost over a thousand dollars. Nazario suggested that we use Mexican bottom paint instead and drove us over to Nervion Pinturas, which seemed an appropriate name as the fumes inside the store were enough to cause nerve damage.

Finished sanding and ready for primer before bottom paint
We took three gallons of black Nervion bottom paint to the counter, along with three liters of solvent. Then Nazario went back and forth with the paint-mixing man in rapid Spanish to see about getting quarter-liters of touch-up paint, matched as closely as possible to the Awl Grip paint sample sheet I had brought along. Whispering Jesse's "Snow White" and "Royal Blue" were not easy matches, and it took several minutes for the man to mix close colors. Nan and I were getting headaches from the paint fumes by then and wondering why the large ventilation hood above the counter was not running at full blast.

Nazario and Nan under the ventilation hood at Nervion Pinturas
With a trunk full of very heavy paint, Nazario drove us to the ferry dock for the ride back to Isla Mujeres. We thanked him profusely for his help and offered him money to at least pay for his gas, but he would not take it. He is a very good man and we appreciate him tremendously.


Steely said...

It's always great when you find good skilled people to help you and do good work. You are lucky to find him. Glad everything worked out so well for you guys! Dave Q and Karen K

John Lichty said...

We would be nowhere without the help of our friends here on Isla Mujeres. We are lucky to know them. Nan and I hope to see you two here again next time. Take care!