I made it back to La Paz on Friday evening January 30 and was shocked to see the condition of Mirador's hull and bottom. I could hardly believe what I was seeing - she looked better than the day we first saw her, direct from the Caliber factory. The workers here at La Marina del Palmar, managed by Alejandro Abaroa, have done a fantastic job of repairing and improving Mirador. Everyone working here is very conscientious and spends a lot of time making sure they do the best possible work.
This is what Mirador looked like when I left her on November 22.
Here are some pictures of Mirador's port hull before any permanent repairs began:
This picture, and the next, were taken in Puerto Don Juan where we careened Mirador at low tide and made temporary repairs to the hull and bow. Dick from Corazon de Acero (white tee shirt) and Jim from Kula (red hat) are applying epoxy and glass mat to the cracks in Mirador's port hull. Lisa from Lady Galadriel and I are supervising.
You can see more pictures and read about the careening operation by going to Mirador on the beach in Puerto Don Juan
This is a close-up of the major series of cracks in the hull. The large round patch in the lower left corner was the deepest hole but still did not penetrate all the way thru Mirador's solid fiberglass hull. The white streaks are from Mirador laying on her side for nine hours on the rocky beach in Puerto Refugio during Hurricane Marty.
Here are the two major cracks in the port hull prior to the Don Juan temporary repair job.
The crack to the left is along the bulkhead that forms the forward wall of the icebox.
The crack to the right is along the bulkhead that separates the main cabin from the sleeping cabin. That bulkhead is also the attachment point for the main shrouds.
The thru hull fitting that is spitting water on the left is for the Isotherm water cooled refrigeration system.
Here is another picture of Mirador after the new paint and name was applied.
The Abaroa crew has made or will make the following repairs to Mirador:
- repair all damage to the port hull, bottom, and keel
- apply barrier coat to bottom
- apply three coats of Hemphill bottom paint
- apply three coats of Sterling LP hull paint
- apply boat name decal
- fabricate and attach substantial new bow roller system
- fabricate and attach new bobstay attachment plate on stem
- remove, straighten, polish the pulpit
- change entire holding tank and anchor locker arrangement
I will post pictures of the anchor rollers, bobstay attachment, and anchor locker arrangement in another Web page.
The Abaroa yard did all the hull and gel coat repairs, bottom paint, and the hull paint for less than half of the cost of just an LP paint job if done in San Diego.
I have been living on Mirador while making repairs and changes to the boat systems:
- install new Freedom 20 inverter/battery charger (Original Freedom 20 is 9 years old and the inverter doesn't work)
- install new refrigeration system (Original Isotherm is 9 years old and getting more problematic)
- install thru hull for another big bilge pump
- reinstall Maxprop
- remove corroded bolts on binacle compass mount, drill and tap new holes, remount compass
- install new shower hose on swim step (UV rays destroyed original hose)
- install windex on masthead (orginal blew off in 50 knot norther two years ago)
- replace propane valve and flame bar in Force 10 Bar-B-Que
- remove dodger and bimini so the canvas guy can put in all new UV resistant thread (old UV resistant thread dissolved in just two years of Mexican sunshine)
- get "out of the water" survey for Blue Water insurance
- mount dinghy wheels on new Portebote
- replace lifelines that broke during Hurricane Marty
- install all the software on new HP laptop (the 8-month old Gateway suffered water damage during Hurricane Marty)
Living on Mirador while on jackstands in the yard is OK but a little inconvenient. It is a real bother to get up during the middle of the night to visit the restroom. That requires leaving a nice warm bed to climb down an 8 foot ladder in a 15 knot north wind and walking 10 yards across the sandy yard while dodging jackstands and scaffolding. It is also very difficult to cook onboard since the dishes have to be carried down the ladder to be washed in the sink in the shop. I can't just let soapy greasy water run out the sink thru hull to collect under Mirador.
However, the yard is in a good location to live aboard. There are a dozen restaurants and taco stands within six blocks and there are three small stores within two blocks. All my friends are in either Marian La Paz or the virtual marina which are both only four blocks from here. The yard has a full time security guard and two wonderful watch dogs. The picture to the left is Dobo, a big but very gentle mutt.
I suspect Mirador will remain on jack stands until at least February 13 or 14. We are waiting for the 3/8" stainless steel plating that has to come from San Diego and will be used to fabricate the bobstay attachment and the fitting for connecting the anchor rode snubber to the bow. The specially ordered plate was to have arrived Thursday on the Abarora truck that makes a weekly run to San Diego for supplies (1200 miles). Yesterday, Feb. 7, Alejandro said he thought the plate would arrive on Tuesday the 9th.
We can't begin installation of the new anchor locker bulkheads until after the bobstay/anchor snubber plate is installed because the nuts for the thru bolts can only be accessed from inside the new chain locker.
The other big delay is the "missing" key for the Maxprop. I took the Maxprop back to the US distributor, PYI in Lynnwood Washington, who rebuilt the prop and made it look like new. They wrapped it carefully and sealed it tightly in a heavy cardboard box so I could carry it back down here. When I opened the box I found no key which really annoyed me. I had carefully given them the key which was in a sealed ziplock bag tapped to the prop. I made a point of telling them that the key was being returned to them so they could check the tolerances. They noted that on the repair ticket.
Now I have discovered that no shop in La Paz carries 5/16" stainless or bronze keys. I can find mild steel keys but they wouldn't last too long in the saltwater between the stainless prop shaft and the bronze Maxprop hub. Senor Don Jose Abaroa, Alejandro's father, told me he could have a new key fabricated. He took the prop hub with him on Thursday so I hope to see the new key early this week.
The original Abaroa boat yard is separated from this yard by a small restaurant and was established in 1898. The Abaroa family owns both yards, several large fishing boats, many smaller fishing charter boats, a 50 slip marina that suffered quite a bit of damage in Hurricane Marty, and a fair sized Marine Supply store about a block from both yards. This yard has a 60 Ton travel lift and the other yard has a 40 Ton travel lift and two rail lifts for really big boats. The two yards employ a total of about 40 workers.