Custom Yacht Services, Irvington, Virginia

Date: 16 November 2011

We went to Custom Yacht Services in Irvington, just off of the Rappahannock river for our hall out and bottom paint. I didn’t really want to do the bottom paint job in the 90+ degree summer heat and it is not that much more expensive to just have the yard do the entire bottom job. Usually a bottom paint job takes about 3 days, hall, power wash, scrape, sand, paint 2 coats, splash the boat back in the water.

When we haled I knew that we were in for a much more major job. Before we purchased the boat somebody did a really bad job on the bottom paint. They washed off the growth but didn’t sand at all. That was the red-paint layer. The bad job that they did had now come back to haunt us. Every year that we have been out there have been a few chunks of paint that have separated at the red layer. Usually they were the chunks above the water line. I would scrape them off and grown, “we really should sand the entire boat down to the red layer and fix the problem.” This year when they pulled us out of the water it was not just a few spots that the paint had peeled. About 1/3 of the bottom was red instead of blue. Huge swaths of the red-paint layer were off. Scraping and power washing took about an additional 1/3 off. That meant that the job that I had been avoiding for 5 years was now forced on us – and – that instead of me under the boat for days and days doing the work, the yard would be doing it. Ouch – that is expensive, but it had to be done – or they would splash us without doing anything and we would take the boat to a different yard, one that allows the customer to work on their own boat, and I would be grinding for 8 to 10 days in the 90+ heat.

I decided to just have them do all the work. I am glad that I did. They also found that we had electrolysis in some of the through-hull fittings. Those would have to come out and be replaced. In total we had 9 through-hulls pulled and replaced. I had them replace all the difficult to turn shutoff valves and replace every hose clamp below the water line. Also I had them pull bonding wires through the boat to bond all of the through-hulls. Hopefully the bonding will eliminate any future electrolysis.

They also replaced some hose that was not ABYC standard below the water line and replaced all of the hose on the starboard toilet. A new Y-Valve and a new deck-fitting for pump out on that side as the old one was frozen shut and had been that way for a while.

The bow-thruster was not working. After some inspection it was determined that the solenoid on it was the problem. This required ordering a new solenoid. That was Thursday. We were back in the water but now we where short a part. The part did not arrive until Monday. This proved to be very fortunate. We were back in the water and John Friday, the owner of the yard, would let us work on our boat.

We had a long list of stuff to repair.

I overhauled both of the toilets. Fixed the kitchen sink to get rid of a leek and make it drain properly. Fixed the port head shower discharge pump. Replaced a broken electrical plug in. Fixed 3 hatches so that they do not leek. Scrubbed the boat and got a years worth of gook, grime and mildew of of the deck. Cleaned all the running rigging. Finished putting the mainsail back on and rigged it so that it can be raised. Fixed the leaking stern wash down pump.

Monday came and the bow-thruster part went in and now it is working properly.

Overall I am really impressed with the quality, attention to detail, and all of the work that Custom Yacht Services, Irvington VA has done. This was not the quick three day job that I had hoped for, but all of the work was absolutely first rate and I feel well worth the price.

Come next year I will plan on returning to the Chesapeake Bay and Custom Yacht Services will be my choice for any major repairs.

John Friday, Owner
Custom Yacht Service, Irvington, Virginia