We Pulled Out So You Don’t Have To

We recently pulled the boat out for a day so we could replace a few instruments and take a look at the bottom. Chiron’s bottom paint is only five months old and we found more peeling paint than we expected for a fresh water boat. This means another pull out next year for a good cleaning and another coat of paint.

Here’s a short video of what we found.

Charles partially flipped up the rudder to inspect the joints. If a rudder on our Gemini catamaran is down it should flip up if you hit something or run aground. We can get into 18″ of water but we try to not to go shallower than about 3′.


The drive shaft looks okay.


We were initially concerned about the centerboards because we’ve heard about how they deteriorate on a Gemini. We found that the wood had delaminated a bit all in all not too badly so when we pull out again next year we’ll do something about them. We are considering replacing them or possibly glassing over them so we won’t have to worry about them again. We need to do some research because fiberglass might add too much weight for the system that raises and lowers them. Research!!!


Pulling out for the first time and seeing Chiron’s bottom was a little intimate, kind of like unexpectedly seeing someone in their underwear. It was strange to see our boat from this angle when we’re so used to seeing her floating at the marina.

So now you’ve seen what the underside looks like. We pulled out so you don’t have to.

14 thoughts on “We Pulled Out So You Don’t Have To

  1. We had Meander pulled out last month for the marine survey we had commissioned as a condition of our buying her. She looked good.

    I wish it could be the last time. I know it won’t be.


    1. How was your paint when you pulled out? Did you do a power wash since you had her out anyway? I think we have it better in rivers than in salt water.

      We’ve had Chiron since April and we were surprised at how the “new” coat of paint from last winter didn’t really hold up for five months. I thought for sure it would look great.

      I have been following your posts- it’s nice to see you and Pam’s updates! I often think of your head disaster.

      How is having a dog on board? Charles was telling me this evening about a catamaran couple he met who had a vet recommend a nutritious dog food that gives dogs a poop only about once every three days. We are wondering about a patch of astro turf on the deck. How are you doing with potty breaks?

      Good luck with Meander. I always enjoy your updates. .


  2. The centerboard looks pretty gnarly. I’m surprised the builder used unglassed plywood. Not even marine ply will stand up to that forever. The paint looks typical for a job that was done over a surface that wasn’t well prepared. If the previous owner had it done, he didn’t do a proper job of preparation.

    Lovely boat, though. I’ve enjoyed your blog – I never get that far up the Potomac, seeing that we live in Deale. It’s a very long trip from here, but looks like lots of great cruising.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have seen some pretty bad centerboards on the Gemini owner’s group. Some look like they’ve been eaten away by beavers! It’s a big topic of conversation when people get them replaced.
      The paint job… I don’t think Charles was expecting to find so many areas with missing paint. It’s only been five months! Scary to think what it’s going to look like next year for our pull out.

      Where are you in Deale? The new owner of our previous 32′ Dufour sailboat is looking at a marina in Deale because National Harbor is pretty pricey. Do you have marina recommendations for a 5’8″ draft?


      1. Our marina is Hansel’s Marina, but wouldn’t be deep enough for your friend with the Dufour. I’d recommend Shipwright Harbor, just across Rockhold Creek from us. I know the folks there (I haul out there every winter) and it’s a good marina, winter storage lot, and DYI boat yard. Costs less than Herrington Harbor North, but more than Hansel’s where I am. If we weren’t in Hansel’s I’d moor at Shipwright.


  3. Our inspector suggested the boat yard power wash the bottom before he inspected so we could see what would stick and what would come off. Since the seller left her on the hard every winter anyway, they had the bottom repainted every year of the ten years they had it. After the power wash, the coat applied last year looked very good.

    According to an article I read, there are at least three different types of bottom paint on the market. The softest of these are the ablatives, which keep the hull clean by gradually washing away with the movement of water past the boat. They reportedly make a lousy base coat for the other two types.

    So, if a) your previous coat was ablative, and b) wasn’t completely stripped before the next coat, and c) was topcoated with another type of paint, perhaps you have an incompatibility problem?

    Honey is good. Here at the Cambridge Municipal Yacht Basin, we get her out onto the nearby park lawns two or three times a day. This involves lifting her 50 pounds of doghood into and out of a companionway opening whose bottom is about four feet above our cabin sole, but it keeps us in shape.

    We do actually own a piece of astroturf for the purpose you have in mind, but haven’t trained her to it yet. When we finally start, I imagine I’ll end up with material for an entire series of posts. (Not that anyone would want to read about that subject over breakfast every morning for six mornings.)


  4. Charles and I will happily read about your nautical dog doo so we know what to expect. What are your plans for long term cruising? I wonder about dogs on those 19 day ocean crossings that you see videos about. Cats, not so much.

    Thanks for the information about the paint. I’ve checked in with the Gemini owner’s group and i’ll see what everyone says. Boaters are sure to offer their two and three and four cents about the current condition and what we should paint with next year. I think our seller may have had her out every winter, definitely last winter.


    1. Our long-term plans are to go as far from shore as Honey’s progress in marine toiletry will let us get.

      If she never adapts, though, we’ll stick to coastal cruising. That should get us as far as Key West, assuming other essential skills Pam and I need to acquire — like, uh, anchoring — are in place by November.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re meeting folks every day here. Many of them have experience with the ICW, and are telling us things that could be important to us on the way to Key West. One of our new contacts is the commander of the Cambridge Sail & Power Squadron. She invited us to a potluck dinner event tomorrow. Pam is making mango chicken.


      2. Meeting dock neighbors is great! Everyone we’ve met has been really friendly and you always have something to talk about.
        I recently got a tip about the ICW-ask about sailing through the Dismal Swamp at night. I heard that if the moon is full the experience can’t be beat.

        Do you have plans to go window shopping at the boat show? We have an appointment to see the new models in our line. The price tags are pretty far out of our budget but you can always dream.


      3. The Dismal Swamp sounds promising. I wonder if a boat with a five foot draft can pass through it. I’ll make a point to ask.

        We had wanted to attend the US Sailboat Show this year with a shopping list in hand to take advantage of show specials. But it’s taking us longer to get some basic things done on Meander than we expected, so our plans for it are very tentative right now.

        We’ll have to decide soon. If we decide in favor, perhaps we can arrange to meet you and Charles there for lunch 🙂


  5. There are a lot of great places for lunch in Annapolis! I’ll check our schedule for the dealer’s appointment time.
    There are so many things I would like to get at the boat show! Just take my money please. We are particularly interested in a set of bluetooth earbuds so we can do away with the hand signals and yelling while we’re pulling up the anchor with no windlass. They’re a little pricey on Amazon so we’ll see what we get when they’ve got the word marine attached to them.


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