Most years Bonita stays in the water and is painted on the beach between tides. However every few years she needs to be lifted out to tackle those jobs that cannot be done in the few hours before the tide comes back. She was last out of the water in the winter of 2012/13 and has sailed thousands of miles since then.
Bonita was lifted out in early March with a plan to put her back in the water after a month. This tight timetable has several advantages....
a) it minimises the time the planking is drying out while with luck giving enough fine days for applying paint.
b) it makes me get on with things to keep the work going, especially when new unsuspected problems are found
c) knowing she will soon be lifted back in, the yard have propped her up conveniently by the waters edge on the quayside. In this prominent position while working on the hull I get a constant stream of passing visitors admiring her shape, asking about her age and sometimes offering helpful advice.
The main thing that needed doing was to refasten the lower rudder pintle which had become loose. The picture below shows the job after the fitting had been bolted back through new oak plugs and painted with primer. Fortunately the work could be done without removing the rudder from the boat. Removing Bonita's rudder requires digging a four foot deep hole under the stern and dropping the rudder into it, so is not done very often.
The bottom rudder fitting
Other jobs done include sorting a leak around the echo sounder transducer, replacing corroded bronze bolts securing the log that supports the propeller shaft, refastening the forward mizzen shroud plates, and assorted other minor tasks.
At present we are in the grip of the 'Beast from the East'. There is a brisk north-east wind with a substantial wind chill, and flurries of snow which discourage any kind of outside work. For painting the hull and producing the glossy yacht-like finish that Bonita deserves, the weather can only get better.