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We did it!  We painted the bottom of our Tiki 46, Peace, without expensive haul out at a marina.  We did it for free on the beach!  Here is how we did it:

We sailed to the tip of Cape Cod where there is an 11 foot tide following the full moon.  We studied the tide tables carefully and noticed that if we beached Peace one hour after high water, we could be sure of getting her off the beach with the following high tide.  So now we knew the "when" part and only needed to decide exactly 'where".  Weather made that decision so with a north wind we selected a protected shore from the mild wind and we did not mind a little rain for the scrubbing part of our work.  We saw a part of the beach the day before was free of rocks and had good sand and we lined up our visual reminders so we could see it at high water in the early hours of the morning.

Peace went on the fairly steep area at the top of the beach easily and I kept her in position using the engines so her bows were touching.  The water went down fast and the engines were off and our friend John James and I went over the bows climbing down to the beach using the bower anchor as a laddar.  Nev was still not too agile yet post knee surgeries over the past year.  We needed him on deck to hand us stuff anyway. 

John and I got wet to our waists using scrub brushes on the green and brown scum that had formed along the waterline where wavelets keep the topsides paint damp.  We decided to raise the antifoul to one inch above the chine to eliminate that cleaning chore once and for all.  So we scrubbed using BBQ pads and did not mind scratching the topsides paint a bit in the process because it would need to be sanded for antifoul to go there anyway.  We used 8 inch stainless steel sheet rock scrapers which are like huge putty knives and they really clean the hull from any growth.  A few barnacles were easily and cleanly shifted with just one sweep of the blades along with the thin layer of goo that forms on antifoul . We have painted Peace before a few times after hauling out at marinas so we removed a lot of the old black antifoul and saw mostly last time's red paint and a bit of the time before's blue paint.  In only a couple of places did we see the barrior coat of copper bot that was put on from new.  It is still in great shape.  Last thing before "quitting time" John and I dragged a big Fortress 37 anchor with all chain out the full 200 feet between the hulls and into what would soon be deep water.  This would help us keep Peace under control when we backed off the beach.  There was a side wind we worried about a little. 

To be honest, we were extremely tired after scraping the bottoms and cleaning off all the waterline scum, but the boat looked great and we got Peace off the beach easily, went to anchor, and rested all that afternoon and were grateful for the stormy weather next day so we could stay in bed and rest.

Next came painting and we selected a different beach this time because we had a wind shift.  Cape Cod is a high vacation area and the beaches are full of holiday makers from all over the country and the world so we wondered what folks would think of us doing our boat work right in the middle of their vacations...?  Well, they were amused and interested and came around with their kids and walking the dog and left their beach towels and kept us company.  One guy even took up a brush!  First we gave the boat a fresh water rinse and let her dry.  It was humid so we ended up wiping her down with an old shirt which even came clean in the wash!  John put the tape on quickly and neatly and I got out the rollers while he sanded where the waterline was being raised.  I used a dairy box as a seat while I crouched down to do the bottom and shifted the seat often as I went around the two hulls.  John used a brush along the water line but my roller did quite well there also because we used two inch tape.  We had dry paint before the water came back but we were totally exhausted by then.  We are not 26 anymore!  I am 70 and felt like 90!  But the boat looked great and that gave me a lift.

Next time Nev will have built a mini cradle shape so we can use a ten ton jack set on a ply stand on the sand and he can lift one bow and one stern and place it on blocks so we can get the very bottoms which were in the sand and could not be reached.  I think doing only one hull per day would be better at my age next time too.  And we will select less humid weather, warmer weather, and I will wear sneakers instead of clogs which allowed sand inside so I got sand burns on my feet as I worked.  Sneakers with sox will not let in much sand and will protect the feet from shells and glass on the beach which can cut and hurt a lot.

What does not hurt is the cost of doing boat work this way.  There was no marina fee.  We got our paint last year hoping to have done the work last year too, but family emergency and Nev's knee operations made that impossible.  This is less worry and I think it is easier on the boat too.  We could have used a garden sprayer for the fresh water rinse too.  We use ablative paint so we did not need to sand that.  We just use a pressure washer in the marina but the scrapers are enough for antifoul paint if you use ablative paint each time.  Not sanding meant we did not leave toxic sanding dust on the beach and did not need to use electric sanders on the wet beach either.

By the way, one coat of ablative antifoul for a Tiki 46 takes 2.5 gallons of paint.  Next time there will be no green scum to wash off so that will make the job lots easier.  Lemon juice cleans off any tannin stains from the lealves in the rivers we travel.  Rinse well after sponging on the lemon juice and bottled juice is cheap and good.  Makes good lemonade too with some sugar and lots of water. 

With any luck, we will never have another marina bill again.  We can do this yearly if we want.  Might even get two coats on  (that lasts more than 2 years) if we do one hull at a time in drying warm weather.  But one hull at a time, sneakers, and those sheetrock blades (like large butty knives) will make all the difference.  I am still strong enough for that.

Try it.  It works fine. 

Ann and Nev

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We used to use a similar method in Nahant with our Tiki 30. The picture associated with my account shows a new coat of anti-fouling we put on right before the next high tide.

Yeah, Bob.  I used to admire how you rolled your Tiki 30 across the beach and I sure did take a long time figuring out how to paint our Tiki 46 with the tides.  It really is so simple, I do not know way it took me so long to do it this way.  I guess we just think we must haul because that is what we did with the old monohull.  Well, big difference with a cat..... two hulls!  So it is stable on the beach!

hi Ann and New

I was about to do the same as you, but the required drying time should be important, it seems that overnight drying of the paint is important to grant a longer service time... as well as the drying before you apply the paint... how that paint will work in the long range? i have seen in Chaguaramas a boat professionally (??) bottom painted let a large blue mark in the water the morning after the launching. the opinion was that the guys didn't waited the required drying time , i am not sure it that was an ablative paint as well.



Hi Alex,

   I do not expect this paint to last as well as it would have with 24 hours drying time and maybe even a second coat with another 24 hours drying time.  I did get two years or even more from the paint I applied when using marina haul out and two coats well dried.  But that cost two or three thousand dollars just for the haul, so maybe my math will work out better using more frequent beach painting for free and only one coat per year.  Seems like two coats every other year equals one coat each year......? A yearly practice  of beach hauling using the tides at Cape Cod will not be too hard.  Antifoul paint is less than 100 dollars per gallon and annual inspection of the entire underwater structure from the other end of a paint brush is a good idea too.  My labor is free.  I sure can use the 2 or 3 thousand dollars savings!

   I remember with my old monohull, the boat was painted in the yard while sitting with poppits holding her up.  The travel lift came and lifted her up and she stayed for an extra few minutes in the slings while I painted the places the poppits covered after lightly sanding those seven little areas.  Then they launched the boat after only a few more minutes and those seven little areas did not look much different the next year at haul out time. That paint went right into the water and worked for a year until I hauled that old boat again.  Due to ice, boats up here either sail south like we do, or haul out for the winter.  I don't remember much in the way of problems with those patch areas.  But I will let you know, honestly, how this works.  Maybe I will have a problem and maybe not.  Maybe I will learn ways to overcome problems.  For 2 or 3 thousand savings, I am willing to try.  This is the way the commercial fish boats used to do it years ago.  Old charts often refer to the "careenage" and that is where boats painted using the tides like I did last week.  They just let a monohull lie down on the sand.  I remember seeing it thirty years ago here in Rhode Island. 

   All the best,  Ann and Nev

Yes Careenage should be a normal practice among us wharramists, and i have been making it couple of times to change the speed meter wheel from the depth sounder since it was impossible to do it by diving.

i was a novice in terms of ablative painting so i conducted a research of possible painting brand before leaving the US, and i ended up buying Pettit SR 40 in a whole seller for a reasonable price, was over $100 bucks though, i think more close to the $200 the gallon if i am recalling well. we had 2 gallons on board waiting for the right opportunity. we asked prices everywhere and after visiting many of the boatyards in the caribbean 3 or 4 spots were the less pricey ones: GEORGETOWN / Bahamas (about 500 +stay days) , Virgin Gorda /BVI , Luperon Rep. Dominicana(i would not recommend this place though since they have many problems in both marinas and wasn't that cheap after all, all controlled by the Marine department and paperwork), there is a careenage beach at the entrance. Grenada Marine/ Grenada looked really good as its competitive and easy to import any material from the US in an easy swift way.  and finally we chose to haul out in Chaguaramas/Trinidad after discard  Venezuela because theft / piracy fears.  Chaguaramas has only 2 yards that allows our wide boat: Powerboats and Peaks , we choose Peaks -they were pricier but could haul out with just 3 or 4 days  waiting time instead 2 weeks of Power boats. we payed around 700 dollars for a 10 days stay, we performed all the works and we felt really good there.

i was researching about the compatibility chart online for pettit, and decided to sand out ALL the painting, then start from the bare hull again, that required more work and more painting coats (primer and ablative paint) when we painted the hulls took 3/4 of a gallon per hull and coat , instead the 1 gallon for both hulls as stated  in the paint label (after making the maths) , so i decided to use both pettit cans i had for one hull which gave 3 layers plus a 4th layer at the water line and rudder and buy Jotun brand (is local made and 1/3 of the rest of brands if purchased directly from the Jotun branch in Chaguaramas) the results: after one year , both hulls looks and performed the same ..... if i can recall right Jotun was just 60 dollars the gallon , for the ones who want the accurate price i can "dive' into my ticket box.

i want to mention as well that the US , specially south of Florida was very hard to get an affordable yard and the ones who were available were very pricey and full of regulations, we were glad to buy all the materials to upgrade the boat while our long stay in Dinner Key Marina (at the mooring) . this proved to be a good place and country to buy materials, since ALL other countries/places were at least as double as much (including Chaguaramas) . Through  the internet you can find the best price, print the page and then go to West Marine and ask to match that price which they will be happy to do. so we got the best country prices , plus the free shipping (to their branch)  and good after sell services that West Marine has. WM dont have all the brands/materials we wanted so other retailers as  River Marine was also matching the prices with the advantage that we DID NOT payed the US taxes if the boat and buyer are foreigners. the downside was that River Marine was way longer than West Marine (at walking distance from dinner key). Hope this report helps other fellows in taking decisions...

Ahoy Ann, Nev, and Alex,

     I  have done this twice, both times up in Connecticut.  One aspect is that you are scraping debris into the environment, and if it includes copper and tin paint, it could result in Dept of Natural Resource activity.  The first time I was scouted by the authorities, but it was too shallow and an island, so there was no intervention.  The second time it was within a marina that had a nice shingle beach with a gentle slope.  Fortunately low tide was in the evening when they all went home.

     When the hulls are duly scraped I used a stiff brush, then wiped them down with towels and denatured alcohol to speed the drying process.  I used an ice chopper to scrape the hulls.

     One problem is if weather changes or if a sea builds up unexpectedly.  Otherwise, it is the way it has been done for centuries.

One of the old timer fishermen in Nahant told us he was sad to see our boat get sold because it used to be fun to watch us do things 'the old way'.  He said, "I'm gonna miss you guys. You're like the Amish!"

Hi Andy,

   What I saw getting scraped off our boat bottom was some shell and some goo that looked a lot like the typical slime you so often see even on top of rather fresh antifouling.  So I think our ablative does gradually wear away as it is designed to do while we sail along, and our scraping just prior to painting does not take much away at all.  The Coast Guard was right there aboard their big boat right in the middle of the Provincetown anchorage, so they had to have seen us and never came around.  I believe all boats in marina haul outs get pressure washed and that is all that is usually required if you plan to repaint after ablative antifoul has served its time and needs to be replaced.  Brushing our hulls likely is not needed.  They are quite fair still and the 8 inch sheet rock scraper is really quick and effective.  I will certainly honestly evaluate our success here, and we may need to select super drying weather next time (we had rather high humidity but a gentle breeze last week) 

   Having built the boat, we still like to take care of her ourselves even though we are old now.  We also like to be independent.  And we really do like keeping that high haul out cost away from our budget.  Last time we hauled, the total marina and crane charges equaled our insurance.  The crane was the biggest part of the bill.

   Now that Nev and I are back in action raising sails and heading south again in the autumn, we hope to see everyone and catch up on all the news.  We missed all our sailing friends very much this past year.

   Love,  Ann and Nev

You might use the wetsuit booties that work with scuba fins instead of sneakers and socks.  Buy on line.

We haul out at Pensacola shipyard. They have a travel lift wide enough and they charge us 495 dollars for haul out, blocking, and re-launch. So if you want to sand the boat or make it easy to do the bottom of the keel you should take a tour of the west coast of Florida. Consider a trip through the Keys and up.

Did you do any special ways with the ues of the travel lift?  495 isa good price.  But free is also good if the tide is high enough to give you time and our 11 footers work well at Cape Cod.  There was plenty of time and with the raised bottom paint level, there will only need to be the scraping and no more green slime on the topsides paint to clean off.  Nev is likely going to figure out a way to get the boat above the sand level.  The first ten years we did not feel the need to inspect the hulls so closely so hauling every other year or every third year was ok.  But now she is 11 and I like the idea of annual paint of one coat and close inspection when I do it.  So far, all looks wonderfully well, but if anything goes wrong, I want to get right after it and not wait for every other year haul outs.  Which yard did you use, Jeff?


And where are you now?  Did you go through at Panama?  Or will you come back to Bahamas?  Would love to see you all again!  Love,  Ann and Nev

The Marina is Pensacola shipyard in Florida.  Sue corrected me. Its $10 per foot, so $460. We made our boat 24.5 ft wide so the marina should be able to handle any Tiki 46. (25ft wide Travel lift bay).


Sue and I are in Saginaw, MI. We are going to Pensacola in October to put  some xynol cloth on our beams  and put some curved hardwood pads under the lashings. $75 per half hour for crane to lift off the masts and deck pod.


Would love to get together with you as well. Maybe we will go to the Abocos this year or next.......

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