Renovation

We’re sailing, I still see Beata waving from the shore, maybe she’s crying, but she will find balance, she’s a smart and strong girl, besides, somewhere deep inside she knows that my dreams are being fulfilled, or rather, that I’m making them come true .. ....I don’t think that it hit me yet that I finally managed to throw the mooring-rope… I always imagined this moment filling me with happiness and a sense of satisfaction, while now I feel anxious and like I just drank a glass whisky, I only pay careful attention not to hit any navigational buoys or the little Mexicans turning around in little boats. We’re passing by the heads of port in Ensenada ..., in about 11 months I will pass them again....
I found Luka, then named Katmandu, in Santa Barbara (CA). I searched for her for a long time, I thought I would find her in Florida, or Georgia ... The frequent hurricanes there provided the best chance of finding a solid yacht to repair. I wasn’t interested in yachts „on key” because this is usually a lie, supposedly new electronics, new but from ten years ago, or engine in great shape but needing repairs etc. I looked for a yacht where everything would need exchange or repair and therefore with adequate pricing, and later I would personally make sure that I have new elektronics and engine in an ideal shape etc... ...I fell in love with LUKA, then stupidly named Katmandu, at once ... She had everything I expected: 17 m long, 4.8 m wide, of 2 m plunge, 7t lead in keel, ketch, central cockpit and a fairing over the front part of the central cockpit, which would be very easy to enlarge and close.... Luka had to have a pilothouse ..., I spent many years fishing in Alaska, and somewhere over there, in the middle of a cold storm I came to the conclusion that the only weak side of most sail yachts is an open cockpit, in which it is very easy to lose the desire for sailing, especially when it’s cold, wet and the fear clenches the muscles in your buttocks hehe.... Luka has a solidly built pilothouse, which puts a roof over the cockpit, and even if we lost one of the large windows, we would still be in a better situation than if there was no addition, and shielded by nothing we would have the rain and wind in our eyes ... I finished the formalities of purchasing the yacht, and along with John, who for a small payment agreed to be my crew, we left the same day due north, headed for Point of Conception, and then to Port San Luis where Luka would be dragged onto the shore, ... It seemed to me that in three, four months of repairs we will return to the water and be ready to cruise .. Life corrected this however to two and a half years ... The boss of this little fisherman's port and marina shook his head, the way you would greet an unwelcome guest, and when he found out LUKA’s dimensions and weight, he stated that it’s the maximum that a self-propelled port crane, which looks like a rectangular spider on four long rusty legs could lift from the water.. The next day, with a broad smile, I handed him a bottle of whisky, at which point Marti became slightly perplexed, apparently he was not accustomed to bribes, but in the end he smiled and the day after we were „solid.” I was wandering if Luka would have bubbles, what the natives called blisters, which most yachts built after ’72 have, considering the energetic crisis of those years, and therefore the changes of the chemical make up of polyester resin...After lifting her from the water and cleaning the bottom with pressurized water I didn’t notice even one bubble .. I was in a great mood, at least until I started grinding the 20 layer of old anti-growth paint. From under the flat surface of the grinder little bubbles started to appear, one after another… It seemed that Luka didn’t have any large blisters, which like ulcers are filled with a stinking, sticky fluid, but it had an infinite amount of little ones, size 2-4 cm ... It didn’t make sense to grind anymore. I found out that a specialist with a needed machine can come to Port San Luis in two months, and that the removal of the blisters and the coating, along with the hotel and food for the specialist, would cost about $ 5000.00. I did not like this at all.
I made a few more calls and found out that I can buy the machine to do this work, produced in England, and sold by a certain firm in Florida, this machine was similar to a planning machine but it has a roller with two knives up front .. For only $ 2.5 k the next day the machine was already on its way to me from Florida (I then sold it to a friend with "blisters”). We took off Luka’s skin from the water line down, along with the ”ulcers” , then I drilled shallow blisters in the next coating of the plastic trunk. I rinsed them carefully with pressurized water, and then I let the trunk dry for almost all of next year, while I was busy with other things. After a year I looted the mini holes with epoxidation lute, and then I covered it with four bulky coatings of West System epoxidation resin. Now, in retrospect, I think that repairing THE LUKA was one of the most pleasurable times in my life, let's hope that sailing on her will prove just as pleasing ...
After two and a half years of intense work LUKA was ready to go any place on Earth, providing that there is more than 2 meters of water there... Later, from causes known only to the One who „looks down on us and dispenses the cards”, the cruise got delayed for about a year ..., but there was nothing very bad in this, because what has to sail will sail away, and what has to hang in the end will hang .. .. WE’RE SAILING