It's been two years and several thousand miles since we had the boat
Among the projects we hope to complete entail an out-of-water hull survey. This is to fulfill insurance requirements for our cruising policy for Mexico. We had an in-water survey done shortly after our return to San Diego that was required when we switched back to our lower cost Boat US insurance. Since we're heading back to Mexico and may be further south than 20 degrees north and intend to stay for more than 4 months, switching insurance carriers is necessary once again.
While the boat is out in the yard we'll have the bottom pressure washed and painted; the rudder dropped for inspection of the rudder post and for any signs of excessive play; pull the prop-shaft to insure it is true; check the cutlass bearing; align the engine to the prop-shaft; install a new pack-less shaft seal; and, put it all back together again and re-launch. I'll also wax the hull while it is out of the water and accessible.
It's now over a week and Citla is still in the yard, sans rudder. The survey
One note of interest, while the rudder was out we had a few days of unusually hot weather for San Diego, if this may have contributed to what we observed on the rudder is not certain. Apparently, the rudder was stored on its' side and when it came time to reinstall and paint it there were two areas where the foil had lost its shape and collapsed under the fiberglass. Both deformations were on the starboard side of the rudder; one towards the leading edge about 8" down from the top of the rudder and the other was on the bottom edge of the foil, covering an area of approximately 6" high by 10" long. It appeared that the underlying foam body may have had voids and in the heat the overlying fiberglass was drawn in, almost as if by a vacuum, leaving these hollow areas. The size of these deformations shouldn't perceptively effect the boats performance (the turbulence generated by the large three bladed prop is a greater contributor than the voids in the rudder foil). When the boat is hauled for hurricane season in Mexico, we'll strip the bottom paint off the affected rudder areas and fill these indentations with micro-fill and reshape the foil.
Since the relaunch from Driscoll's, ipe weather boards were installed on both port and starboard side decks to accommodate four 5-gallon diesel cans, each. These include stainless webbing anchors
Since the boat haul-out and concurrent survey, we have also secured our new cruising insurance policy through American Marine Insurance Services who served as the broker to our new Markel American Insurance Company policy. The new policy covers the boat from Point Conception, California to Acapulco, Mexico, not more than 200 miles from shore. It was one of the few brokers contacted that provided west coast coverage and proved to be less expensive than the coverage offered through Blue Water Yachts, the company we used previously.
It's unfortunate that Boat US doesn't offer a more expansive insurance rider for Mexico. What they do offer is four month coverage, no further south than Puerto Vallarta. I'm unfamiliar with their hurricane season limits, but I would guess the southern limit would be no further south than Punta Banda (south of Ensenada). Because of the limitations on both the duration and range of the coverage, we had to drop this insurance for our Mexico sailing. Every time insurance is changed, usually there is a requirement to provide a current boat survey, which adds another $300 to $400 to the change. With regard to boat insurance, all that remains is to secure Mexican liability insurance. This can be done on line and is relatively inexpensive insurance to carry.
All that remains is to replace our wet-cell batteries that we purchased in Cabo San Lucas, with new AGM house and starter batteries (two 4D house and one group 27 starter battery). We will also secure Mexican fishing licenses for ourselves and the crew here in San Diego at the Conapesca office on Fifth Avenue. Then it is a matter of provisioning the boat; reinstalling the Furuno GPS (new lithium battery installed); getting a new Mexican courtesy flag; topping off the water and fuel tanks; and, securing the extra diesel jugs on the side decks. We hope to depart the port of San Diego the first week of November, 2010.