9 April 2008
COUNTDOWN BEFORE THE LAUNCH
Last week’s sunny weather has enabled us to finish Tara’s careening.
With the help of a spray gun, we succeeded in applying the different coats of epoxy that will protect the bottom of the hull (the part that is immersed) as well as antifouling that we applied as a last coat and that will prevent micro organisms like seaweed and seashells to cling to the hull. Under Brittany’s sun, this new silver finery rejuvenates the whale. In their goings and comings, the men are bustling about.
Numerous parts of the machine, once they have been checked come back and are put together bit by bit. Specialized welders occupy the most secret corners of the boat so as to make some reparations or modifications. Electricians find their way in the jungle of electric cables that run in the bowels of the boat. Time is running and the countdown before the launch has started: Tara will be put back in the water in eight days. Tara will return in her element. All will not be finished; work on the deck will then be the priority. For the moment, we are wholly concentrated on the hull. The rudders, essential operating device, that enable us to steer the ship, are being fixed.
After having scrubbed them at high pressure, we were able to notice the weakness of some of the aluminium sheets damaged by some oxidation. The specificity of such steering devices is that they are adjustable. They are made of two dissociated blades that enable to reduce the draught so in order to navigate in rivers (like Peter BLAKE in Amazonia). Moreover, their structure is hollow and filled with oil that protects their mechanical parts.
We have resolved this problem with a product that reconstitutes the matter, requiring specific application times and great precision in the fitting.
Hervé Bourmaud, Tara’s captain