Thursday, February 12, 2009
The Re-fit Begins
Last years Madeira Race was brutal both on Puma and the team that sailed her. Puma took a real pasting in the Western Approaches and rounding Ushant, so we knew in August last year that there would be much to do to Puma to get her back into pristine condition.
Work has now begin to get her ready for the forthcoming season which will see her hardened offshore race team compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race, eager to improve on last seasons results. Puma’s close knit team aim to maximise their chances of a Fastnet victory this year. Several of them descended upon Shamrock Quay to spend hours of painstaking work underneath her sanding the old antifoul off.
She is now as smooth as a baby’s bottom and ready for some fresh expoxy paint followed by new antifoul. Our fingers are now red raw after sanding all the internal woodwork ready for three coats of varnish. Puma will look and feel awesome once the refit is complete.
The conditions during the Madeira Race were so harsh that we have decided to take the precaution of adding new internal structural strengthening to Puma. We are ripping out the old forepeak bunk, adding longitudinal stringers and replacing the bunk with additional strength to make Puma stiffer and even more structurally sound.
One wave hit us so hard that the fairing had cracked on the underside of Puma where the keel joins the hull (see photograph). We have ground out all the laminate and filler in readiness to be re placed. Whilst this is only cosmetic it is extremely important in optimising the performance of Puma. The smoother the bottom the faster she will be!
Progress is well on schedule for the re launch on March 6th. There is still hours of painstaking work to do but it will be worth it. The preparation of our yachts is something we take immense pride in. It contributes greatly to our impeccable safety record and the consistent performance of our race teams.
All this before we have even begun on Jaguar Logic and Bongani. And you all thought that February was our quiet time!