Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | October 25, 2011

Bottom Painting

N 18° 26.5′   W 64° 45.5′

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVI


Mar Azul's green skirt of sea growth is an embarrassment and becoming more difficult to eliminate


We checked into the BVI’s again yesterday to enjoy our favorite cruising grounds before moving on to St. Martin. It’s a gorgeous day here at White Bay. Bob is looking forward to a day of reading and I want to get in some kayak time. First we have to fix the fresh water pump that stopped working last night. I’m the observer & gofer this morning with a lot more to learn about boat systems. We have sort of a camping atmosphere aboard right now with no running water. Perhaps a preview of life in the boatyard.

We are counting down the days until we have the boat hauled and bottom painted. Having the boat hauled out of the water for repairs and maintenance is something I have dreaded since moving aboard.

It is getting harder and harder to keep the bottom clean, and Bob has declared it is is time for the paint to be replaced. Fresh bottom paint helps keep the hull free from sea growth and allows the boat to move through the water more efficiently. Some lifelong cruisers have advised us to scrape the boat ourselves every week and forget the expense of bottom painting. Somehow I don’t think that is going to work for us. It’s a huge task.

We decided to have the work done at Nanny Cay in the BVI’s. Besides offering a competitive price, we can live aboard while the boat is dry docked, which is not uncommon in this part of the world. That will make it easier for us with the dogs, and also less expensive than arranging accommodations and ground transportation ashore. They will allow us to work on the boat ourselves so we can tackle some minor exterior projects that are easier to reach from a ladder than a dinghy.

Life in the boatyard will be a new experience and with any luck will be short. We won’t be able to use all the boat’s systems, such as the generator and air conditioning, and won’t be able to run water out the drains – i.e. no dishwashing and no showers. Nanny Cay has a resort and marina next door to the boatyard that offers comforts like hot showers and on-site restaurants to offset the not-so-fun part of this experience. Bob thought that would be a priority and so the scales were tipped in favor of Nanny Cay. I think he is worried that after living in a boatyard for a week Bandit and I will be on the next plane back to the States.

We decided not to do the bottom painting ourselves (big sigh of relief) since it will be just as cost effective to have the pros do the work. If we paint ourselves we are charged a daily rate for boat storage. If we are aren’t speedy it could be more expensive. The only complication we have with the BVI location is the dogs. They have been cool here regarding having them aboard, but the boat has been at anchor in remote locations, not dry docked in a boatyard. We’ll see how that goes. Bob thinks I worry too much.

I’m hoping this won’t be bad but visions of living in a boatyard like the one we used back home keep popping into my head. There was only one yard in St. Pete that would let us do some of our own work and it was our choice for the last two haul-outs. It was functional but filthy. The single bathroom was beyond horrible; even the guys complained about it. But we could go home at night.

Our adventure at Nanny Cay begins on November 7th. The best case scenario will be 5 days in and out, good painting weather, calm dogs, even tempers, no hassles, and no divorces. 




  1. Don’t think about Nanny Cay, just enjoy your favorite part of the Caribbean!

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