Hiva Oa,  Marquesas

Bob’s Derriere

Bob is having a bottom-job. The antifouling has been needing some attention since this time last year so we decided to haul out and re-do it while we’re here in the Marquesas Islands cowering from the tropical depressions and cyclones that are spinning away to our South West. Tahiti has had a couple of blows and has experienced flooding and 50-knot winds. A few weeks ago the islands in the North-Western Tuamotus – where we hope to be in about 6 weeks – had a 50-knot blow. Here the conditions have been generally light winds, the odd shower and hot hot hot. We have a thermometer in our cabin which goes up to 32 celcius and it’s regularly stuck there for long periods, which means the actual temperature is well over that. I’m looking at it now. It’s stuck there and it’s 8pm, 2 hours after dark.

Mind you we are in a boatyard so that doesn’t help. We’ve mosquito and no-no-proofed our boat by sewing mosquito netting into appropriate shapes to fit each of the main hatches and the companionway hatch. They work beautifully but they do tend to restrict the air flow a little and it’s sweltering as a result.

It’s been a little frustrating. I spent the best part of two years in a yard in Bermuda with Bob doing an extensive job on the bottom. Unfortunately one of the batches of polyester resin that I used for the fairing was no good so the epoxy paint that went over it has peeled off in a couple of sections. It’s taken us a week of work to sort out those sections but we finally got the first bit of anti-fouling on today. One and a half coats before we ran out of paint, and not good coats at that. 2 ½ gallons. Should have been plenty. Note to self – don’t buy anti-fouling paint in Panama even if it is a good deal. And don’t buy paint rollers in Galapagos. Fortunately they’ve got some paint for sale here and hopefully I can get a couple of half-decent rollers from the hardware shop in town. I’ve been gently suggesting to Sarah that we should paint one side of the boat in the most garish anti-fouling we can find and leave the other as it is, but she’s not going for it despite my assurances. I saw a boat in St. Maarten that was painted orange on one side and purple on the other. The mast was candy-striped orange and purple. It looked phenomenal. Sarah prophetically pointed out that our bottom would likely not be painted with the care and attention necessary to effectively convey such a bold artistic statement while maintaining the decorum appropriate for such a grand old lady as Bob. I was forced to concede that she may have a point.

Following what I hope will be a successful and un-dramatic re-launching in two or three days time we plan to continue our exploration of the Marquesas Islands while keeping a close eye on the weather. The cyclone season started a bit late this year and I’m concerned that it might carry on a little after it should have officially ended. Once it’s safe to do so we’re keen to get back to sea and make the most of the little time we have to explore the islands between here and New Zealand. I am looking forward to the Kingdom of Tonga and the Fiji Islands in particular. There’s so much to see over the next South Pacific sailing season and so little time in which to do so!

Hauling out at the slip. It’s a steep slip as you can see, but the yard has some pretty nice, fancy equipment to do the job and we had no problems at all.



Just after the haul-out, before power-washing.



‘Before’shot, showing primed patches where the previous epoxy coats had fallen off as well as the yet-again-raised waterline (the grey above the blue). I think the design waterline is a good 5 or 6 inches lower than our actual waterline due to all the stuff we have on board for cruising, our big heavy old engine, 320kg of water etc. etc.



First coat of bottom paint. I thought 12 litres would be plenty to do both sides twice. I was wrong. We’re not too upset though – red was the only colour available in Panama but it would have had Bob looking like a French flag – wholly unacceptable.


The finished product! We had to buy another 5 litres of bottom paint in order to give the starboard side a second coat. Since the port side (this side) had already had two coats of red, Sarah decided to do a bit of an experiment to see which paint is better, by painting a part of the keel as a chequerboard. It looks pretty cool too I think. Results pending………..


  • Vicky Hamshere

    Fascinating photos! What is the graphic on the side of the port stern? Love the checkerboard…looks like a labour of love 😍
    Cheers! Vicky

  • Brooksie Snr

    Beautiful job, you two, although I am very disappointed that the Pettit did not hold out as it might have. That said, in the absence of any other comment other than about the paint, I take it that all else is good with BoB. Lovely to see the name tally on the stern is still good. Will write e-mail to you, but ……..vatch owt for de vather!

  • Marcell

    Hello Bob,

    I am sorry to hear about Panama. I am business technician consultant for Protective Coatings, I provide professional application and advisory for marine protective coatings. Most cases people buy stolen antifouling which is very old and usually doesn’t work. Other cases, is the surface preparation (80% of cases) they don’t listen or doesn’t want to invest and thinking passing a couple of rolling will be fine, the answer is NO, you need to prepare the surface correctly according to SSPC or NACE standards.
    The brand I usually work is International Paint – Akzo Nobel and Corrotech High Performance – Pintuco. For your case in order to provide a good maintenance is: Surface preparation, an epoxy coating one coat(between 1 or 2 mils of thickness) and Antifouling (between 9 to 12 mils of thickness)
    If you come to Panama, you can contact me, I am in phase of negotiation with Coronado Marina in Panama West, they have a shipyard in order to provide maintenance.
    My whatsapp is +507-6780-6080

    Have a good day

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