The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Getting High

The weather has been bad and I've been lying low.

Lying low means changing the engine oil, transmission oil and fuel filter.

It also means getting high - up the mast that is.

If you haven't read it before in a previous post (and I'll forgive you if you haven't), I'm on a mission to scrape all the paint off the mast and to leave it naked. This is the naked boat, so the "nakeder" the better.

bare aluminum mast
I'm like a bird crapping all over the deck. The glove lying on the deck looks ominous.
removing mast paint
Not sure if dry two-part paint is toxic, but why risk it.
I'm doing the job with a regular 1.5 inch stainless scraper. I tried a real paint scraper, but it's no good. And that's because I'm scraping bubbly paint rather than stripping adhering paint.

Now, you may ask, how do you get the paint to flake (bubble)? Simple: any bare patches are a like a conduit for water and salt to penetrate under the paint and cause it to separate from the aluminum. I'm also slicing gouges into the paint to speed up the process.

I scraped all the way to the second spreader yesterday morning. I figure I'll have the stick totally grey and naked in two years, at which time I can kiss mast maintenance goodbye! I could also kiss Jakatar goodbye and get a smaller boat. I'm hungering for a small boat, I tell you.

Bare aluminum mast
It's original, it's strong and it's going to outlive me and the next 5 owners.
Future hassles

I have to renew my VHF licence by taking a refresher course and writing an exam. Utter stupidity and expensive.

Jakatar is due for its 5-year legal boat inspection in early May, which means sailing to Nazaré for a haulout (more expenses).

That also means that nearly everything else expires: liferaft, flares, medical kit, 3 fire extinguishers, circulation tax and beacon lights tax.

Even I'm expiring, so to speak. I wouldn't be surprised if the authorities start taking my pulse at regular intervals to check whether I'm still alive!!

And speaking of boneheads, I ordered a hull anode (€90) from Mailspeed Marine in the UK and they erroneously sent me this monster, which is not even listed in their online shop. Crafty way to get rid of an "unsalable" piece of metal. It doesn't fit my bolts and weighs about 6 kg. I weighed it to make sure it's made of zinc and not magnesium. I sent them an email pointing out their mistake and they never even replied. Until now I was under the impression that all British people are honest.

That's it from Jakatarland, where the new motto is go now, go small, go naked. None of which applies to me, sadly enough.

"Give me the facts. Save your whims, desires and dreams for Santa Claus."  ~ Martello Mateus


  1. A 6 kilo zinc????? 90euros???? W.T.F!!???! Plus it wont fit. Wasn't Obelix saying "those Brits are crazy".?
    So... you use the TopClimber. Do you luv it? Is it the business? Should I get one? I can't depend on anyone anymore..... words from a solo-slave.
    And on that note.... I'm getting naked!... and going to bed. Been working to death and have been informed that now I'm a public servant! Salary cuts, bonus cuts... if I don't get out of here, I'll hang myself... hence the Top Climber! (just jiving)

    1. Yes, I love my TopClimber, it's the business...and should you get one? - only if you need it. You take the mast down every year, so you may never need it, ever.
      Don't talk to me about salary cuts, taxes and all that post-modern shit. We're the screwed generation stuck in quicksand!!! The Industrial Revolution evolved into the Corruption Revolution. The ship is sinking and everybody knows it.