Once Crystal Blue was safely on land, we sighed a huge sigh of relief. It had been painful to watch her laying so low in the surf, and at this point all we wanted to do was give her a good fresh water bath and to see what condition the engine was in.
While the M9 Marina workers got busy building stands to hold Crystal Blue, Danny and I ran into town to find a wet vac, a diesel can and some tools.
The Thai workers immediately began cutting and welding, and we were curious to see what they were going to come up with.
Our patch job had held up reasonably well, but seeing her completely out and lifted up, it was obvious that there were far more gouges, cracks and holes than we’d anticipated.
One of the arms on the haul out trailer had pushed against the hull where it was cracked, and left a massive dent and crack.
Her keel was so sad to look at, and we still needed to return to the beach where she washed up, and retrieve the 4800lbs of ballast. Our bill for loading her up with barrels, pulling her off the beach with the tug boat, towing her to M9 Marina, hauling her out and placing her on stands, was about $5000.
Her interior was filled with sand and the barrels used for floatation had left their mark too. The great thing about having holes in the hull, is that you can scoop that sand right out through the holes and onto the ground below! A large sheet of wood had been placed up against the ceiling to prevent more damage, but it was clear that all wood would need to be removed, cleaned, sanded and stained. What a mess.
Danny was drawn to the engine like a magnet since he’d been thinking about it all night and found it covered in mud and sand. He cleaned it all out, and poked around checking things out.
The following day we had to leave as a family for Malaysia for 3 days, to get our 90 day visas. Danny wouldn’t have time to pickle the engine, and didn’t want it to sit till we returned, so for 5000 baht ($150) a mechanic at M9 marina did the job for us…running diesel through the engine and was able to get it started. Gold star for Yanmar!!! What a champ!
We chatted with a gentleman by the name of Steve Stebbins with Oceanus Marine Services, asking advice on the best plan of attack on our new project, and he was so organized and reassuring, we instantly wanted to work with him. We told him that as a family we wanted to do as much of the work as possible, but knew that working on the boat in a marina in Thailand is illegal without a work permit, so the work we do had to be done back at our house. We also told him that we wanted to repair Crystal Blue according to Island Packet standards, and immediately got in contact will Bill Bolin, who has worked at Island Packet Yachts for 29 years, and signed up for the Island Packet Pedigree for $99. This would provide us with blueprints and tons of other info needed for a solid restoration. Bill was wonderful and told us to call anytime. We instantly felt so welcomed into the Island Packet family.
When we returned from Malaysia, we found Crystal Blue propped up on massive metal jungle gym!
Our immediate impression was that she was definitely not going anywhere!
We did worry that there were too many supports, which would make it difficult to work on the hulls. Note how bent the rudder post is!
Steve came up with a plan, and told us that Phase 1 would be to get everything out of the boat, including all wood, power washing the boat down, removing the sails, mast and rigging, and tenting the boat.
We immediately got to work…pulling the pick up close and began tossing things overboard. Aidan rinsed things off and placed them in the truck. It’s interesting taking someone else things out of a boat, realizing that these items were important to them. My heart ached once again for her previous owner.
Emma worked hard inside, gathering garbage, mud, sand and broken bits of stuff.
With aching backs, we knew that every load we removed, was one step closer to our end goal, so we continued on with smiles and good humor. It felt so good to be back working on a boat again – even if it was on land.
It was good to see that top side, Crystal Blue still looked great.
After two days of cleaning, she was looking so good inside.
Having her clean inside allowed us to see more clearly what damage there was.
I love her wood floor and want to make sure we restore that properly.
She was starting to look more alive every minute.
As each hour of work past, we felt more and more bonded with her, and could just imagine how fun she’ll be to explore with.
Steve brought a huge crane in and Aidan and Emma helped demast her – leaving her looking a bit naked.
By the following day, most of the wood had been stripped out of her,
and loaded into the pick up for us to work on at home.
Before leaving to head home I stood in her cockpit at the helm, with a big smile on my face. Progress… it’s a beautiful thing!