Yes, the most common question that I get from non-boaters when they learn that I have a boat is “how big is it”. I imagine that if I were to say “well, it’s about 100′ long”, they would not know any different than if I said that she’s 43′. Perhaps size is a relative question after all. And, I am beginning to wonder just how big Pandora actually is myself.
Let me explain.
So, what’s this discussion about how big Pandora is, have to do with anything? Actually, it has to do with how she seems to be growing nearly every day as I sand away on her bottom. When I get home after a few hours of sanding, in the awful heat, (Have I mentioned that it’s been really hot? Thought so.) ” Brenda asks “so, how much do you have left to go?”. For what seems like days, if not weeks now, my answer has been a steady “I am about three quarters done, I think?”.
So, how can I have about 3/4 left to go after days and weeks of sanding? I am not sure. Not sure at all. Perhaps it’s because Pandora is growing. Hmm…
Honestly, it does seem that the more I sand, and I have sanded a lot, I just don’t seem to be getting all that much closer to the end. I have been at this FOR EVER and there is still more to be sanded. Sure, I am making progress but a week later I think I am still about 3/4 of the way done. Having said that, the shady side, starboard, is done, mostly. Yippee!!! The sunny side, not so much… Besides, it’s hot on that side. Yes, a bit more near the waterline up toward the bow, but even the keel is completely done. However, there is still some left to do on the port aft quarter.
Pandora is getting bigger. A few weeks ago I took this shot of Pandora with my little BMW next to her. Pandora looks pretty big next to my BMW but not too big.However, a week later with about a quarter of the bottom remaining to be sanded, look how much bigger she looks next to our SAAB, a much larger car than the BMW. Hmm… I think that Pandora really IS getting bigger.What’s happening? The more I sand, the larger Pandora becomes. Hmm… Pandora IS growing. I hope that the folks in the yard don’t see this as they will likely get out a tape measure to see what’s going on. Of course, they will likely charge me more.
Setting aside the “magical expanding yacht, I am still clinging desperately to the belief that I can finish the sanding in a few days. Let it be so, please let it be so.
Along the way I also decided to pull the rudder and upgrade the bearings. There is a little play in them, making the rudder clunk in a seaway, so now I will install a new lower bearing with a waterproof seal along with fitting a bit snugger. The addition of a seal, along with the new bearing, should quiet things down and also keep out the small amount of water that seeps into the boat when she is full loaded, and these days she’s always fully loaded.
The stern looks odd without a rudder or a prop for that matter.
The rudder looks enormous out of the boat. The stock is 4″ in diameter. Pretty hefty. From top to bottom it’s over five feet tall and really heavy. Good thing it’s solidly built as if it were to fail that would be a very bad thing, yes bad. With all the things that remain to be done, and a few parts on back order, Pandora won’t be ready to head back to the “briny deep” for a few weeks. I HOPE she will splash by mid August. I’ll admit that it’s been nice being home for a while but I am getting a bit homesick for being underway.
Homesick? Essex is home. No, Pandora’s home. No wait…. I’ll take both, thank you very much. Besides, if I keep sanding long enough perhaps Pandora will grow to the size of our home. Yes, that’s the ticket. Keep sanding and before you know it…a mega yacht. “Only in your dreams Bob, snap out of it and get back to work, sanding.”
Actually, having Pandora in this yard, sanding and all, is a treat, in a sick sort of way, as it’s the most scenic boat yard I have ever seen. There’s even a steam train that serenaded me as I headed home the other day. Very nice and the train is way bigger than Pandora. For now at least and that’s good. I almost forgot, as soon as I finish sanding her I get to enjoy putting on four coats of primer and bottom paint. Oh boy…