Pressure Washing a Sailboat in a Gale Warning, Really

scott washing laughalot

Before we left from our other home, we had planned on using this weekend down at the boat as a cleaning weekend. We were trying to beat the Spring breakers who were arriving soon, along with all the regulars for the summer. We were hoping to hit a slow time in between Spring break, snow birds, and regulars, and I think we managed to do that just fine. Of course, there was just one reason for that. GALE FORCE WINDS.

Temps that dropped down in the 40’s would generally keep most people away from a marina, but the winds were something else. Prior to this weekend it had been starting to get up in the 70’s so we thought winter was over. No such luck. When Deborah starting taking photos of me doing the pressure washing it was rather nice, but a little cool.

As the day went on, it got colder and colder and colder and the wind started blowing so hard that I turned on the weather radio to hear, “gale warning in effect” for the next two days. Oh well, this is when we were going to clean the boat. There were two tasks to complete today, a complete pressure wash, and removing all the vinyl lettering. A job that didn’t really seem all that hard when we left Auburn and arrived at the marina to a nice sunny, and rather warm day, but oh how things change.

Pressure Washing and a Little Wind

So, I started washing to boat from top to bottom, or as much of it as I could reach. I started off in shorts and a hat and put on more cloths as the day went on. Being able to pressure wash a boat in the slip is a great advantage to having to haul it out or use a scrub brush or something.

Each winter an unbelievable grind and gray matter clings to the fiberglass and finds a home that seems impenetrable. A pressure washer does a cleaning job like nothing else I can imagine. I would highly recommend one to anyone looking to clean anything that can withstand the power of a real, genuine gas powered, not available in California, pressure washer. They work great.

scott pressure washing

Time To Remove all Lettering

Deborah and I decided to re-christen our sailboat, named the s/v Laughalot, to the name of our company, motto, and a name we picked together about a year earlier, the s/v Island Zephyr. The first step of course would be to remove the lettering and measure for the new graphics.

scott removing letters

From some of the photos you can see that this was far harder than the washing and I think I had a headache for two days after I finished with the transom graphics. We are planning on putting the name along with the registration numbers at the bow, port and starboard sides, then a larger graphic in the back that has the name of the boat, home port (that would be Auburn, AL), and the website address. I will do another post with the actual graphic I have designed and hopefully we can get it made and put on the boat very quickly before someone gets upset with a boat that has no lettering. It won’t leave the slip at all so it shouldn’t be a problem.

scott removing transom letters

As you can see from this last photo, the winds are now blowing quite hard, I am now in long sleeves, and all sane individuals are inside and warm. The photo of the tow boat at the top should have been an indication, they were pulling over and stopping along the inter coastal waterway because it was to dangerous to move the barges. At least we are done. Cleaning and all this is just part of the fun of a sailboat. Everyone else around here will be doing this same thing when it is nice and warm outside and I will be done and up in the cockpit, watching.

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