Yup, still white – Blanca 17jul2010

Topside sanding’s done, so I broke out the paint this weekend.  It was only about 95 degrees– why not?  I managed to get primer and 2 coats of Brightsides on the starboard side.  The port side and transom will have to wait a few weeks.

Here she is, taped and ready to go:

And here she is after a coat of primer:

And complete!

I think we’ll paint the boottop stripe bright red– the bottom paint will be black.  Stay tuned!

Pretty-ness – Blanca 22may2010

This weekend I decided to do some clean-up.  Perform a Pretty-ness on the boat.  Basically a motivational activity to keep my spirits up.

So I broke out the power-washer and went to town on the teak.  I can hear the collective gasp of all you old salts out there about destroying the precious teak!!  Don’t worry– I’ll probably never do this again.  And I can’t think of another way to scrape through 20+ years of pine-tree poo to actually get down to wood.

Here’s the results:




Hosiery – Blanca 15may2010

Now that the spring archaeology projects are out of the way (specifically, the Roper’s biennial haul and the much-touted Mount Vernon survey), I’ve gotten back to working on the Gypsy Blanca in earnest. 
This weekend was devoted to ripping out all the rotted hose that was connected to the deck scuppers.  Instead of draining over the side through thru-hull fittings at the waterline, all the rain from the deck was running into the bilge.  And of course, if she were in the water, the slightest roll or wave would wash into the thru-hulls and straight into the hull.

There are six large scuppers, two on each side of the house and two on the back deck.  They had 1 3/4″ inside diameter hose (hard to find) that had to be ordered.  There are also a couple smaller drains on the back deck that look to have been added later, since their hoses were in good shape.

So four original equipment sea-cocks had to be pried loose, cleaned and greased (they weren’t in too bad shape, I’m pleased to say).  Also, the remains of the ancient diaphragm pump that serviced the whole boat (with what seems to be miles of rotted rubber hose) had to be cut out and removed.  Finally, I could measure, cut and install the new hose.  All the bronze fittings were in fine shape.  Here’s a shot of one of hose fittings, connected the two scuppers on the “walk-around”.

Here’s a shot of the old sea-cock, all cleaned up with the new hose attached.  The “tee” is waiting for another fitting to attach a smaller hose from one of the smaller drains.

I also finished up the last bit of epoxy patching below the waterline.  Here’s some of the spots after the epoxy had cured–

And after sanding–


Farewell Gypsy – Blanca 08may2010

We have the title to the boat!  So Gypsy is officially no longer abandoned.  We’ve decided to rename her, against many complaints from the “locals”, who see this boat as a fixture of the marina– as Dave likes to say, he’s been here so long, he’s no longer a “regular,” he’s furniture– and the boat’s been here far longer.  She’ll soon be in the water, which will change the whole look of the boat-yard.

So what shall we name her?  In homage to her color, her various nick-names (“the Bow of Gibraltar” being my favorite), one of Dave’s favorite shouted quotes from Moby Dick, and Isabel’s Spanish heritage, the new name will be–   “Ballena Blanca”.  (“White Whale” in Spanish.)

Of course, we’ll follow the traditional denaming and christening ceremonies–  here’s the one I plan to use.  First, every vestige of the old name must be removed from the boat.  I’ve sanded the name off the transom, and donated the circa 1990, framed radio license to the marina “museum.”  I can’t find any other trace of her name, but I’ll keep looking to be sure.  Once that’s done, we’ll throw a party, and hold this ceremony (with thanks to the author, John Vigor):

“In the name of all who have sailed aboard this ship in the past, and in the name of all who may sail aboard her in the future, we invoke the ancient gods of the wind and the sea to favor us with their blessing today.

“Mighty Neptune, king of all that moves in or on the waves; and mighty Aeolus, guardian of the winds and all that blows before them:

“We offer you our thanks for the protection you have afforded this vessel in the past. We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter from tempest and storm and enjoyed safe passage to port.

“Now, wherefore, we submit this supplication, that the name whereby this vessel has hitherto been known, Gypsy, be struck and removed from your records.

“Further, we ask that when she is again presented for blessing with another name, she shall be recognized and shall be accorded once again the selfsame privileges she previously enjoyed.

“In return for which, we rededicate this vessel to your domain in full knowledge that she shall be subject as always to the immutable laws of the gods of the wind and the sea.

“In consequence whereof, and in good faith, we seal this pact with a libation offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea.”

Then we’ll pour or spray a bottle of good champagne over her bow, consigning her old name to history.

Later, when she’s ready for the water with fresh paint and new livery, we’ll perform the christening ceremony:

“I name this ship Ballena Blanca.  May she bring fair winds and good fortune to all who sail on her.”

And according to custom, break a bottle of bubbly on her bow.  I imagine I’ll intone the first ceremony, and Isabel will stand in for Queen Elizabeth for the second.

It’ll be quite a party!