Day 122, Year 4: The Real Primer Story
Date: Saturday, February 21, 2009
Weather: 84 degrees F (feels like 89); 65 % relative humidity
Location: Boat Lagoon Marina, Phuket Island

Windbird’s primer coats are completed and no one was more surprised than us. We contracted for four primer coats and thought that meant painting and then sanding four different times. But what it really means is two primer coats on one day, a week of sanding, and then two more primer coats. Windbird is a bit of a needy case and actually got eight coats of primer. We learned today that last Saturday she got four coats top and bottom. Yesterday she got four more on top and today four more on the
bottom. This was necessary because the gelcoat was so degraded that she needed a little more primer than normal. Now, if everything looks good once she is dried, the sanding will begin on Monday and by mid- to late next week the hull could be painted with the final coats. After sanding and before painting, everything will be cleaned, all tape and plastic will come off, and all new will go on. Oh says you can’t afford to have a speck of dust lurking anywhere, so he will be spending more time here
next week making sure everything is done right. They will do all three coats of AwlGrip on the hull all on one day. Oh says you work fast, leaving only twenty-five minutes between coats, so no one gets a break, not even to eat, until the job is done. Someone is spraying paint continuously until the job is done. Today was a perfect day for painting, albeit a little hot, but when I look at the weather for the week, precipitation is predicted. We are under a tent, but I’m hoping it is a dry day when the painting happens.

We had time to talk to Oh late this afternoon and learn something about his business and his life. He is the same age as our daughter Heather and has had Oh Services for seven years. For five years prior to that he worked for other people, starting out as a boat boy on one of the motor boats that take tourists out to the islands. He worked on bigger boats and had to do things like wear an oxygen mask while going down in huge diesel fuel tanks to clean them. While doing this, he watched other
people painting boats and decided that he would rather be doing that. He learned by reading the Jotun (the major paint company in this part of the world) and AwlGrip pamphlets on painting, asking questions, watching others work, and experimenting on his own. He says he is still learning and hopes that will continue learning until the day he dies. He proudly showed us his newest piece of equipment, an attachment to the air compressor. The air compressor is huge and looks brand new, but Oh said
he was having trouble getting some water and sometimes oil in the air even with the very expensive filtering system. He called the company and they said the newest technology to avoid this is a new air dryer. So Oh bought one and anytime the air compressor is running, the air dryer is working as well. Oh lives up near Yacht Haven and right now he has four different jobs going. He’s a painter but offers all kinds of yacht services. He has one other paint job going right now but says he will be
spending most of next week with Windbird when the final painting begins. We have full confidence in his crew but Oh is the one with most paint experience and it will be nice to have him here on the final coat paint days. The hull will be painted, then the cabin top and cockpit, and finally the last-certainly not all next week. But things are moving along quickly.

We spent time this afternoon trying to book a flight back to the US. Mark got so frustrated trying to do this online that we decided to walk over to a booking agency here in the Boat Lagoon. We found a woman who was very helpful and helped us figure out why we had not been able to do this online. We were trying to book a flight home in April with a return the end of November. This is more than six months and the tickets from Asian Air and China Air are only issued for six months. We also discovered
that Asiana Air tickets are a set price for a period of time and then they are readjusted. We cannot find out the actual cost of a flight in mid-April until mid-March. So we booked one flight with China Airlines on their one year plan and another with Asiana. This costs us nothing but assures that we have some way to get home. In mid-March when we find out the cost of the Asiana flight, we can decide whether to take that or go with China Air. Thank goodness there are agents who can help us
figure this out.

Our small tasks today started by taking the seized turnbuckles from our rigging over to one of the shops to get them freed up. We then worked on cleaning the turnbuckles for the standing rigging. Tomorrow Mark will work on cleaning the metal parts of Windbird below the waterline. He borrowed Oh’s grinder so he can clean the bronze shoe on the bottom of the skeg. We will also shine up the prop. Tomorrow night we will walk over to the Royal Phuket Marina to experience a bit of the Phuket International Blues Festival. We decided not to go to the festival this weekend in order to conserve funds, but there is “mini” version right next door tomorrow night so we will definitely migrate in that direction. We walked across the hall tonight and met our neighbors who will be going with us tomorrow night. Steve and Patti of Equis are from Sandusky, Ohio, and have come here by way of the Mediterranean. We look forward to getting to know them.

090221 Day 122 Boat Lagoon, Phuket, Thailand–Hull Gets Final Primer Coats