Towards getting afloat, from home

A few updates from late night chats and planning.

Mooring

We now have a mooring, a place to keep Vida afloat during the season. The process of getting a mooring is complicated by the lack of any clear, documented, standard process. Anyway we found one through the North West Venturers Yacht Club that we have joined. Sadly, a member’s husband died in the summer and so she did not need the mooring any more, so she has sold it to us.

It is a deep water mooring off the Gazelle Hotel which is between Beaumaris and Menai Bridge (opposite Bangor pier). We will check next time we visit when low tide is in the middle of the day but it does look like there should be all-tide access to the water. Gallows Point, where we are now also has all-tide access but at low tide it is a long walk across wet, soft shingle to get to the water. That wasn’t an attractive option if we arrive late at night. It should also be a bit more sheltered than the main deep water channel at Beaumaris.

We have now formally taken over the mooring with the Council, who we will pay an annual fee to. Whilst we will own the actual equipment we will be paying a local firm who maintain it. Currently it is in “winter” mode with the mooring ball and main chain ashore and a place keeper buoy there. We will get it fully lifted and inspected in the spring although the anchors etc are only about 3 years old.

Antifouling

In the post Balancing minimal viable vs no redos, I mentioned painting the bottom with antifouling paint as a job that needs doing. We have a bunch of work to do before it is time for that, but we have been doing some thinking.

Antifouling paint is one of the worst environmental impacts of boats. While not as toxic as it used to be (in the past TBT paint was a poison painted on to stop growth). However, most paints now use copper (in various ways) to prevent growth and it also has negative effects on marine life.

Again, Sailing SV Delos have done some experimenting with this and have a helpful video explaining what they have found.

Beyond this, something that Delos didn’t explore is the environmental impact of removing old antifouling paint and having it get washed into the sea. The RYA (Royal Yachting Association) as some useful guidance.

We have read a few reviews of Seacoat Sea-Speed V10X, the environmental credentials seem great. However, it will be a challenge. The only UK applicators are in Southampton, Plymouth and Aberdeen. DIY application doesn’t seem to be recommended (although Delos did it themselves). Until we live-aboard I doubt we will be moving enough (although maybe tide speeds and movement in the Menai Strait rather than a marina will help).

Our hull has been epoxied (creates a barrier coat to protect the GRP hull from osmosis) and not all that long ago. So hopefully we could remove the existing copper based paint fairly easily and not need to go all the way back to the gelcoat and multiple primer coats. But the application is going to be the challenge (we have no good experience of airless spraying and my painting skills have long been mocked).

It also looks like the Ultra-sonic system to discourage growth needs to go with the Seacoat and at a quick glance that could be over £1,000

So more work to be done, but at least there is hope that better solutions are on the way, in the meantime at least the mooring is in an area of fast tidal flow and not many boats so concentrations to poison the local marine life should be low.

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