10 November 2019

Week One of The Third Half - Grenada

What a week it has been as we embark on our third extended cruise: The Third Half. Aptly named since our second cruise was not intended to stop in Grenada, thus this voyage is a resumption of #2. Huh? No matter.

Captain Linda Perry Riera

Argon is finally back in her natural habitat happily swinging on the hook. This comes after several summer projects by the boatyard and intense attention over the past week as Bob and I spent very full days attending to just about every system and surface.

Argon happily back in the water after being hauled out since late April at Spice Island Marine Services, Prickly Bay, Grenada. Almost ready to set sail... but still no main sail or bimini (see blow).


The new custom carbon gooseneck looked terrific but was unfinished due to frustrating confusing and scant communications. Once we were here in person to triangulate messages, Ron from Driftwood was fantastic in working with us to do the final assembly, and fabricate custom bushings and gooseneck pin. The final assembly completed just hours before we splashed! One less important but frustrating aspect of this was the boatyard's shoddy (and expensive) paint job on the mast around the new gooseneck and some other touch-ups.

Boom remained on deck until the gooseneck was complete.

Ronny testing the fit of newly fabricated pin machined at a local shop the prior day.

Ronny and Ron from Driftwood carefully working on setting the bushing and testing the fit.

Gooseneck complete. Just need to wait 24 hours for epoxy on the bushings to cure.

Linda with Ronny and Ron from Driftwood. These guys did nice work!


Connect, Clean, Scrub, Put Away, and Clean Again

After mast was stepped, Bob connected wires for the anchor light, steaming light, windex light, deck light, tricolor light, and anemometer.

To do list for Wednesday.

Organized chaos below. We are actually making progress although it is difficult to tell.

Messy, dirty cockpit. But not for much longer.

Corrosion and Mold

Much time was spent last April cleaning surfaces with diluted vinegar and bagging up lines, clothes, and bedding that remained on board. Once a month during the scorching heat of the wet season, someone from the boatyard would open up Argon for some ventilation, inspect for leaks (were none) and change the desiccants. Argon's interior was generally in great condition and even smelled fine. There were just a few issues including minor corrosion on cabinet latches, light switches, shower and sink fixtures and guitar tuning knobs. There were a few areas of light mold on surfaces that was likely due getting missed from the April vinegar cleaning.

Several buckets of desiccant were placed throughout the cabin and changed each month over the summer to help keep the moisture levels down and decrease the risk of mold and mildew.

The interior surfaces and stored clothes / bedding were mostly in great conditions. A few casualties including this handbag that succumbed to mold and corrosion.

Before pic:  corroded bow light.

After pic:  Bow light after scrubbing away corrosion and replacing the bulb. Yes, it works!

Cleaning the depth / temperature transducer and speed paddle wheel.

Argon has two water tanks (one under the starboard settee and the other forward under the V berth) holding a total of 135 gallons. Fill caps are out on the deck to take in water from a hose but we can get direct access to the tanks down below through large caps. This allows us to reach in to scrub the tanks and rinse out some gunk. We also were able to clean the float gauge to get a semi-accurate reading of the tank gauges. Water is a precious commodity across all of the islands so we are always judicious with it's use. And at 0.15 USD / gallon the cost can really add up when trying to clean a dirty boat and flush and fill the water tanks.

Dinghy and Outboard

Tropical Canvas fabricated protective chaps for the dinghy which will protect the hypalon from UV damage. Brian and Slade also were kind enough to give me a lift to a nearby gas station to fill the gas can. SIMS did a tune up to the 6hp Tohatsu.

Slade from Tropical Canvas delivers the dinghy with her new chaps.

Dinghy bench seat had succumbed to the harsh UV last winter. We had forgotten to arrange for repairs of this over the summer.

Brian from Tropical Canvas quickly made a new bench seat cover. Our 9 foot AB aluminum V bottom is critical for land access while at anchor thus we aim to take good care of her!

Final Night on Land



After just over six months on the hard in a hurricane cradle and the mast down, Argon is ready to be back on the water with a newly painted bottom, varnished cap rails, and waxed hull and deck.

As soon as Argon was back in the water and secured in the lift bay with lines, we eagerly tested the engine. The 55hp Volvo diesel started up immediately with raw cooling water quickly spitting out the exhaust - wonderful! We soon motored out of the travel slip and tied up just on the other side of the cement wall so that the boatyard could continue launching other vessels and we could continue with preparations - most importantly getting the boom attached and sails on.

Bob adjusting the tension on the inner stay.
Inner 90% jib and 150% genoa (both with new UV shields) now rigged by Bob and I. Guys from Turbulence arrive to mount boom and rig the brand new Doyle main sail.

New Main Sail... Whoops!

At this point we feel so close to having Argon ready and can hardly wait to see the new main sail up, even if it is only a test hoist while tied up. Turbulence cut the new round battens right at the dock and installed them as it went up.

Boom is attached by the guys from Turbulence. Yes, it's hot and Bob needs a shower.

Smooth Antal rings to minimize friction on the reefing line.

New Harken cars to slide up the new track. This will facilitate hoisting and dropping greatly. However, one of the challenges is that bearings sometimes come loose, like on this car already. We will need to get some spare bearings and be sure to inspect the cars whenever the main is taken down off the track.

New Harken head car.

Argon tied up on the cement wall next to the travelift slip while her boom gets re-attached and main sail is rigged.

Although the new main glides up the smooth track and the sail looks beautiful, the luff is too long!

The cars along the luff get fed carefully on the track as the main is hoisted. She is beautiful. But... the luff is too long and cannot be tightened enough as the top car abuts against the top of the track. Down she comes for a modification in the sail loft.

Main sail back to Turbulence to reduce the luff length. This is done by cutting and re-sewing the head.

Take 2 with the adjusted new main sail.


Oooph! #@$%*&!! Even after reducing the luff length by 9cm, the top track car almost abuts against the track head. Too close to allow for any stretching. Down and back to the shop again for another adjustment. But it's Friday late afternoon by now... so this will continue next week.

Teak Cleaning

The teak cockpit sole and coamings are extremely practical as a non-skid surface. Raw teak can be left to weather naturally, but I like the warm tan of clean teak even though it comes with maintenance. In addition, the tropical conditions turned Argon's teak to a mottled grey with black mildew. So out came my preferred product: Snappy two part teak cleaner. It's a difficult job that has a bit of technique to it but I love the results.




Awaiting Main Sail, Improvising with Solar Power and Enjoying an Iceless Sundowner

After one night on the cement wall, we had to move on to the anchorage despite no bimini or main sail yet. We expect to have a re-re-cut sail within a few days. Rigging and hoisting at anchor may be a bit more tricky but we will aim for early morning before the easterlies kick up.

Tropical Canvas will finish our bimini within a few days (hopefully) so that we can have some shade in the cockpit and, even more importantly, mount three solar panels. In the meantime, we are sparse on electricity having to ration what we use carefully. One solar panel (135W) is generating good amperage from the dodger. We are continually adjusting the placement of two of the bimini panels (one 100W and one 50W) in the cockpit to catch some rays and not get blown away. We are generating just enough power to feel comfortable turning on the refrigerator (low setting only) but generally being even more judicious than usual about energy consumption.

Improvising with energy production while we await the new bimini.

Enjoying an evening cocktail (without ice!) at the end of week one of The Third Half. Feeling grateful.


  1. Teak looks nice. I will have to see if I can find Snappy two part here in Thailand. I face the same mold and corrosion problems having the push button locker doors etc. Interesting review.
    George Dream #5

    1. Hi George - Thank you for following our blog. I hope you can find the Snappy product. Important to wear gloves and use a stiff bristle brush. Really does a nice job. Btw... we saw the recent pic of your boat on the Tartan FB page - beautiful, shiny hull!
      Linda and Bob

  2. I just discovered my T4000 leaking water into the bildge because there is a slice or hole in the leather looking seal at the top of the rudder post beneath the quadrant. Tartan steering assembly drawing shows that this cover is an Edson but I can't find where Edson makes them. Jafemarine.com does and at the moment I am waiting guidance on the top and bottom diameter from Tartan. My transom is lower than normal because of the genset. It leaks in the marina but really leaks when motering.


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