22 August 2017

Little Creek VA

Helena and I are now in Little Creek, Virginia, just outside of Norfolk. Before heading north into the Chesapeake, we have stopped to meet with Howdy Bailey, an experienced steel boat builder. Our goal with Joshua is to not only maintain her current excellent condition, but to improve her over time. The first project we want to tackle is a big one: peeling some of the many, many layers of bottom paint off, before painting the bottom again.

I'm pretty sure no one has ever REMOVED any of Petronella's bottom paint. Layers have only been added. After 40 years, that's a lot of paint. Naturally, over time some of the layers have lost their adhesion and have fallen off on their own, leaving a rather uneven surface. The previous owners did they best they could feathering the various patches, but the time has come to remove the unstable layers and get down to a smooth, stable surface. 

We don't want to go back to bare metal, because the bottom layers are coal tar — a very effective barrier coat, and one that would be hard to replace today. So the plan is to take off many, but not all the layers. This requires professionals with the equipment and know-how to do it properly, thus our meeting with Howdy.

We're having the boat short-hauled today so Howdy can see the bottom and give us an estimate. Pictures tomorrow!

But it's not just the bottom. We want him to give the same sort of treatment to the topsides. Take off unstable layers, and get down to a smooth, stable surface so that we can repaint Petronella in the original red Joshua color scheme. With all due respect to whoever painted P green, I can't wait to get her back to the 'right' color! 

I've seen some of Howdy's work, and the results are just spectacular. If he can make P look half as good as some of his other work, I will be very pleased.

Speaking of Joshua, McIntyre Adventure is building a new Joshua one-design class for the 2022 Golden Globe Race. So if you are interested in a new Joshua, they are taking orders! 

The new Joshua

Next Up: Real Boat Owners


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