11/29/2011 – A little help from our friends

It’s not often that Lulu and I hire someone to do any work for us. Matter of fact I can count the times we have without using any fingers at all. But, we decided to bite the bullet this time.

The Cetol on our caprails and the side trim was looking pretty funky. The rest of the wood looked good enough to just scuff it up and re-apply a coat but the caprails, bowsprit and side trim really needed to be stripped. YUCK! After watching a fellow boater have some local guys do his woodwork we decided to take that route as well.

We hired Luis and his helper Pelé to strip and sand these areas. They worked at it more or less steadily for 4 days, just finishing up today. Was it a bargain? Depends on what you compare it to. We ended up paying $3500 pesos (~$254.00 US) for the job. We provided everything except the scrapers: heat gun, extension cords, masking tape, sandpaper, and sander. Considering the hours they worked and the fact that Luis was gone a lot of the time and only Pelé was working, I figure we paid them about $7.81 (US) per hour. Probably a pretty decent wage down here. So, it certainly wasn’t a steal but at least it wasn’t a rip-off nor as much as we’d have to pay in the States. Was it easy? It was for us, can’t speak for Luis and Pelé. Would we do it again. More than likely.



We’ve decided to take the path of least resistance strategy for teak care this time around. Basically you just leave it alone. Give it an occasional scrubbing and maybe wipe on a little oil from time to time to make ourselves feel better, but that’s it. Bare teak can take care of itself very well, being a naturally oily wood. It’ll turn gray like our decks (which have never had any finish on them) but, considering the lack of work involved, we can learn to love gray. That’s how the boat was when we bought her. We will still have to apply Cetol to the bowsprit since it’s Douglas fir and to the rudder cheeks since they’re something else which isn’t teak. We’ve also decided to keep the hatches and other inboard wood, be it teak or not, Cetoled. It doesn’t get near the wear that the caprails and rubrail get and the finish seems to be holding up very well.


About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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9 Responses to 11/29/2011 – A little help from our friends

  1. Steve… If you have ANY concerns about if it was a good deal or not, I'll mail you my last bill from our local marina. It isn't pretty. If I could pay someone 8 bucks an hour to do our teak/caulking… Well, I'd be cloud 9. 😛 Tate

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and find another way to accomplish a chore. Beings neither you or LuAnn wanted to do the job why not get someone to do it for you and you can sit back and watch. Does not sound like too much money for me. Around here you probably could not even get someone to look at anything for $7.00 an hour. Money well spent. Love, Mom

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nice to be able to "get to", as in having the resources to be able to afford to hire it done while cruising in the Sea of Cortez. Plus you added to the economy there. Well done. Andre`

  4. I don't know you guys, sounds a little lackadaisical to me. Then again it gives you more time to enjoy the area! I will have to drop by and check out your flags. They look great on the blog, but how do you do the insignia?

  5. RE: the flags… The insignia is printed on the fabric. The fabric is basically two flags wide and you get as much as you need to get the number of flags you want. Every 1/2 meter or s yields 2 flags.-Steve

  6. Jay, Lackadaisical? I prefer to agree with Andre's comment about us contributing to the local economy. Lord knows we would have LOVED to strip the wood ourselves but we just couldn't, in good conscience, do it. And letting the wood go natural? Well, again, we would have LOVED to apply coat after coat after coat of Cetol but cruising gurus Lin & Larry Pardey advise in favor of the natural look and who are we to question such experienced sailors? Wow! I'm feeling so darn good about us right now that I think we'll reward ourselves with a trip to the fish taco stand.-Steve

  7. Anonymous says:

    I find that often I not spend money on some things that I would enjoy so that I can choose when to spend that "saved" money on things that I really just don't want to do. Hell isn't that what retirement is supposed to be about? It seems to me that after reading blogs that keeping up a boat is way more work than a house! Thoughts?Seamore`

  8. Tate,You're right. Compared the Stateside costs, labor down here is an incredible bargain.Seamore,Not sure if boat maintenance is more than house maintenance but it's not much less, that's for sure. I suspect, however, that we boat bloggers write more about boat maintenance than house-owning bloggers do.-Steve

  9. From Dani: I TOTALLY agree with your idea of leaving the teak unvarnished! Our boat was varnished but it is now peeling off and looking cloudy. I can't wait to strip it all off over time and leave it natural. Our friend Tyler with SV Roannon has natural teak on his Hans Christian 33' and I actually think it feels nicer on the feet and hands. It is soft and doesn't seem to get as hot as varnished teak. Not to mention it isn't nearly as slick. And the biggest reason of all is its one less thing to keep up with. I'd rather uniform grey and soft natural teak wood that needs minimal maintenance, than constantly peeling varnished wood any day.

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