Monthly Archives: February 2015

Puerto Vallarta–Carol and Lance’s Visit

Carol and Lance are friends of ours from Victoria, BC and fellow Hans Christian boat owners.  They have a 38′ MkII and are liveaboards, so they felt right at home staying aboard Apropos for a week at Paradise Village marina.  What started out as a request for them to bring us a few boat parts turned into a suite case ++ full of boat parts, special food requests, and some mail.  They even made a trip to Seattle and picked up a huge order I put in at Fisheries Supply.  Being in Mexico for 4 months makes you appreciate the selection (and price) of boating supplies in the US.  It will get even more difficult in the South Pacific, which is why I stocked up on more spare parts…..  Karen and I sorta went crazy with our requests though–peanut butter, cans of ravioli (for Jacintha), Cheerios, Snoqualmie Falls pancake mix, sewing machine needles, brackets for the SUP, more iPhone cables, an electric pump, spreader light bulbs, caulking, zincs, filters, tools, and more.

We spent the week enjoying the resort facilities–pools, yacht club & restaurants–and also accomplished a bunch of boat projects like finishing up some deck re-caulking, some work on Ian (Fleming wind vane), replacing spreader light bulbs, fixing a few leaks, canvas work, ratlines, etc.  We attended a “Paradise Village Welcoming Party” that had free food, drinks, and entertainment–part of which Carol and I were participants.  Carol volunteered herself and then me in some sort of dance contest where we made complete fools of ourselves dancing to 4 short songs of different genres (including disco and the song “What Does the Fox Say”)!  But we were well rewarded with the winning prizes of Para-sailing (for Carol), a bottle of Tequila (for me), and a Mexican blanket (note–the audience was the judge and we had some friends in the audience)!!

During the week Karen, Jacintha, and I also went to the South Pacific Puddle Jump kickoff party that was held at the Puerto Vallarta yacht club.  Andy from Latitude 38 Magazine (organizer of the Puddle Jump) presented a slide show and talked about what we can look forward to in French Polynesia.  We also participated in some fun games with other fellow “jumpers” and Jacintha won a prize for getting up in front of everybody and telling a story–something about fishing in Australia.  Each boat’s crew was interviewed for the Latitude 38 Magazine and a group photo was taken.  It was a fun evening spent with around 40 other cruisers, most of whom we will meet up with in French Polynesia and beyond.

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Carol Para-Sailing
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Karen and Carol, dinner at the Vallarta Yacht Club
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The Winning Form at Dance Contest!
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Carol, Lance, and Jim at the Cheeky Monkey
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Watermelon Paradise on the beach
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Malecon de Puerto Vallarta
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Shade Cloth for Sun Protection (we recently added the black cloth)
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Ratlines Completed (15 steps on port side)
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Puerto Vallarta–Amanda’s Visit

My 16 year-old daughter Amanda came for a visit during her mid-winter break from school, happy to leave the wet Pacific Northwest behind for a week.  We hadn’t seen her for 6 months so it was great spending time with her.

During her stay, we visited old town Puerto Vallarta, hung out in the pools at Paradise Village, tried boogie boarding and stand-up paddle boarding in the ocean surf, and did a bit of sailing.  Jacintha really enjoyed having her big sister around.  As connectivity via wifi is paramount to a 16 year old, we also hung out at Starbucks in Paradise Village ALOT!

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Beach in front of Paradise Village
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Los Muertos Beach in Puerto Vallarta
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Amanda and Jacintha at Los Muertos Beach
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Sailing north to Paradise Village near Puerto Vallarta
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Amanda getting some sun
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Jacintha Para-Sailing (not really)

 

 

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Teak Deck Re-Caulking

While at Marina Vallarta, we saw a lot of boat work being done to other boats on our dock, so I asked around and found someone who does teak deck work.  Apropos has all-teak decks and most of it is in good shape for a 33 year-old boat.  Built in Taiwan in 1982 when quality teak was in good supply and relatively inexpensive, the teak decks on Apropos still have plenty of thickness, thanks in part to not using a course bristle brush to scrub them.  Much of the teak caulking had been re-done during the refit in 2004 and is still in good condition, but all the panels on the coach-top still had the original caulk and showed signs of cracking with age.

I hired Misha, who makes a living taking care of large yachts for their owners, to re-caulk all the deck panels on the coach-top.  We agreed on an hourly rate (about 1/4th what it would cost back in Seattle) and he said he could start immediately.  He didn’t mind if I helped and I soon became an apprentice working alongside him for 3-1/2 days.  After removing deck hardware, deck boxes, the traveler, and anything else in the way, we began by removing the old caulk.  This is very labor intensive and involves using a utility knife to score both sides of the channel of caulk along the teak.  The channel is U-shaped and about 1/4″ deep, so a small amount of pressure is applied.  The caulking can then be removed using a handmade tool to help pull out the caulk.  Long strips can be removed by gently pulling on the caulk while using the tool to scape along the bottom of the channel.  The tool, similar to a reefing hook, was made from a flat screwdriver that was heated, bent, then shaped to a tapered point.  I ended up doing the majority of the caulk removal job while Misha followed with hand-sanding the channel to remove any leftover caulk for better adhesion of the new caulk, and masking the seams with blue 3M tape.  As I got more efficient, I would have another panel ready by the time Misha finished masking a panel http://blogs.asburyseminary.edu/blog/cialis-online.html.

There are 2 methods for re-caulking.  One is to mask only around the outside edge of the panel (where the fiberglass gel coat is), then apply the caulking (Teak Decking System SIS 440) to the channel and smooth it out with a putty knife.  After the caulking dries and cures in 48 hours, some of the excess caulking is cut away with a razor knife and then the entire panel is sanded until only the caulk in the channel remains.  The disadvantage of this method is that some of the teak gets sanded away.  The advantage is, as long as the teak is thick enough, it removes the ridges in old teak and leaves it nice and flat.  I decided to test this method on 3 of the small panels towards the bow.

The second method is what we ended up using on the majority of the teak panels.  It involves masking every seam so that only the channel is exposed, then applying the caulking and smoothing it with a putty knife.  After the caulking cures, the tape is carefully removed and the panel is sanded.  I did the masking of a few of the panels and realized how painstakingly a job it was, especially going around curves!  The extra time spent masking the teak in this method is about equal to the amount of time spent removing all the excess caulking in the other method.  But in the end, I believe masking every seam is the better approach.

After 3-1/2 days of hard labor and 22 tubes of caulk, the job was completed.  The coach-top panels are much smoother and the caulking came out great.   The final step was to re-bed all the hardware, deck boxes, and traveler back in place.

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Deck panel with old worn/cracked caulking
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Step 1: remove old caulking with knife and home-made tool (bent hook made from a screwdriver)
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Step 2: clean channels by sanding, then mask the teak around channels where the new caulk goes
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After re-caulking and sanding
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Alternate Method Step 2: apply caulk without masking the teak
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Starboard-Side Masking
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Port-Side
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Misha applying SIS 440 Caulking
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Starboard side deck re-caulking finished
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Puerto Vallarta–Mom and Dad’s Visit

It’s been awhile since our last blog update, but we’ve been keeping busy in Puerto Vallarta for the past 2 weeks.

My parents flew in for a 5-day visit, staying at the Westin resort which was a 15 minute walk from where we kept the boat at Marina Vallarta.  We spent most days relaxing at the Westin pool and most evenings at different restaurants along the marina.  It was their first visit to Mexico, but they didn’t really come to see the sights, just to relax and spend time with us before we leave for the South Pacific why not try this out.  Besides a bag full of boat parts, they brought with them some things from Pennsylvania–deer bologna/pepperoni thanks to my sister & brother-in-law, and my dad’s home-made sauer kraut.

We also completed some boat tasks during the past 2 weeks.  The biggest project was having the teak decks on the coach-top re-caulked (more details will be provided in a separate post).  I also did some work on the windvane and Karen finished some sewing projects.

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Dinner at Marina Vallarta
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Coffee at Starbucks
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Drinks and Dinner at Mama Rita’s
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