Phuket Update

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Eight weeks ago we arrived back in Phuket and seven weeks ago Quo Vadis was lifted out of the water at Boat Lagoon for her repaint.

During the week we had emptied her almost completely, using a container and a shed for storage, then moving ourselves, (with still a lot more of her contents) into an apartment overlooking the marina.

On the hardstand in are many boats in storage and others being worked on;


there are maybe 30 in the process of being painted at any time. Repaints are a big business in Boat Lagoon.

Our boat-builder/painter has a shed

The rig was removed and QV moved in out of the weather, work commenced immediately.
Being in the shed has meant no disruption by rain, unlike those boats in the yard, which in spite of having a tent over them, when it pours down as it frequently does, water still gets in.

Even her company was no distraction

and within a few days the deck gear was all removed, the hull sanded and the deck-teak ripped off, it was replaced with plastic wood and fibreglass.

Then there was the painstaking process of filling, sanding and fairing, more filling sanding and fairing, an unbelievably dusty process.

Meanwhile, down below, the old fridge and freezer cabinets were removed with little unneccessary damage, then the varnish work protected with gladwrap and the whole boat sealed to prevent (much) dust ingress…

Using the Awlgrip paint system, a thick primer was applied, it looked and set like mud, it was sanded back before the next undercoat was applied.

Remarkably soon, the preparations were complete and QV played ‘spooks’, covered in an enormous white sheet while the mirror-like glossy topcoat was applied to the hull.
Soon after, topcoat was applied to the cabin top and decks with large areas of painted ‘nonskid’, and finally, using masks and stencils,

the graphics and line were painted on both QV and little Minimus, the dinghy…

We realise that we’ve bucked the trend. Many boats, mostly fibreglass (plastic), come here to have teak decks laid or replaced. We’re a wooden boat, however, we came and had our teak ripped off; we now have fibreglass and plastic decks, -but are very happy with that!

This whole process has taken just 6 weeks and during the last week the deck-hardware has been largely refitted.

Meanwhile, it has been almost fulltime work for us, cleaning deck-gear, fittings, fastening and jobs to be done on the engine and the rig.
There’s only been one morning when because of dust I had no choice but to take a book to read by the pool and many cycle rides have had to be cancelled because of the pressure of work!

It appears that the repaint job is going to be completed within the estimated 2 month period, exactly; whereas it takes most boats out in the weather, on the hard, 4-6 months (some even more) to reach this stage.
We are also very happy with the quality of the work so far.

Unfortunately for us, of course there is a hitch!
Much as we’d like to, we’ll not be smugly slipping into the water at the end of this week and sailing away, the envy of all the others…we still have no refrigeration!

We thought we had the timing right, that we would be able to remove the old system and import a new one from the USA for it to be installed by the completion of the painting. It would have worked too, if the American suppliers had kept to the times they say they normally do…
Although we now have the mechanical parts of the system here and they can be fitted, we are still waiting in a queue to have vacuum panels made in California. The delivery date on them is uncertain, but is measurable in weeks; they then have to be fitted, teak cabinet surrounds rebuilt and of course the varnishing repairs to follow.
Although we expect to return to the water soon, we will be confined to the marina until that work is complete.

Living aboard will not be an option, so we’ll continue to rent our little apartment, but it’s not at all bad.
It’s a nice airy situation on the second floor, with a great outlook, and is a comfortable unit for 2, even with accompanying boat squabs and numerous boxes.
The cooking facilities are rudimentry, but adequate, given the good food available at the nearby hawker stalls. A large fridge and a small microwave if used creatively is enough to make breakfast and evening meals.
There are the swimming pools which we can use freely and gym facilities should you happen to feel that way inclined.
We have Satellite cable TV so enjoy BBC, CNN etc., also there is wireless internet available most of the time (and just sometimes we have to pay for it…)

But the real drawcard is the air conditioning. We’ve become very accustomed to it and life on the boat here in the marina would be difficult without it.
It is the wet season so it is a rare day when it doesn’t rain and it always does, every night.
The rain comes in squalls, usually torrential, and often with quite a lot of wind. However it usually passes quickly, but then when the sun comes out it is unbelievably hot and with 100% humidity, incredibly ‘sticky’. Any cloud cover is welcome for cooling and a passing rainstorm even better, but in these conditions, a boat in the marina must be kept shut up.
It’s a perfect breeding ground for mildew, mould and frayed tempers!

In spite of the accomodation not being cheap, we’ll keep it and enjoy it while we wait…


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