After three years of cruising, part of Tulum's upkeep and maintenance was to get her dents, dings and missing paint spots fixed by experts. Shelter Bay Marina was able to help with that and did a nice job.

After three years of constant cruising, Tulum had a few cosmetic challenges that needed to be fixed by experts.  Since I don’t have much of a background in perfect boat cosmetics, I called on an expert here at Shelter Bay Marina to bring in his crew and help out with this precision work.   Remember, this was done several months ago but I’m just now getting to the story. I like to learn and I like to do my own boat work when I have the knowledge, tools and parts to do the job right.  So, in hiring a professional crew to come on my boat and help with these cosmetic repairs, I also made a commitment to learn from those guys so I could do it in the future.  I learned how important the paint matching was to make fiberglass shine and I learned that I DIDN’T have the right tool set onboard to do the repair myself; but I promptly ordered a quality Dremel set from Uncle Amazon.  Yes, Tulum is for sale and we wanted her to look great, but I also think that these kind of cosmetic repairs MUST be done every once in awhile just to keep the boat up and looking decent.  So here’s some of the story in photos: 

As we went through some of the cosmetics to fix, we found simple things we had simply overlooked for a bit. This snap on the doghouse window cover was one of those things. And, as you can see, it needed to be taken off and power washed (which we did).
Hmm, what’s going on here? That’s ugly. And truthfully, it had been ugly for awhile. We had left the US with a bit of extra hole there from my stellar cutting but had it fiberglassed (fixed) quickly and correctly in Mexico.  But there was no way to paint match it, so they gave me gel coat to put on there. After three years, it doesn’t look great.  So after Jesus and his crew finished fixing the cosmetic work, they gave me their leftover (paint-matched) paint, which cleaned this up like magic.
Filling old work around the speaker.
Dents to fix.
Ughhh, needed professional help.
Knicks, scratches and bruises to the cockpit gelcoat and paint….fixed by a professional team and paint matched.
Opening door to the cockpit with all sorts of scratches.
Same door, fixed and paint matched right after painting.
Forward line locker. Over the course of several years, the screws had ripped out of the fiberglass from use, and it looked like this before it was fixed.  Even in this photo, fiberglass work has already started.
Same locker, work in progress.
Same locker, professionally done. Wow! Now all I had left to do was put the locker door back on.

My Take:  I don’t always do everything perfectly around the boat but love folks who can come onboard as experts and help with some of the detail sometimes, especially in trades I don’t have experience with.  Fiberglass, dremel work and paint-matching are not things I do that well, but I have much respect for those craftspeople who can do the work well.  I take every opportunity to watch and learn and I’m much more comfortable with Dremel work after seeing it be done for three days on the boat.  Plus, it was alot of “bang for the buck”, as the work quickly fixed some of Tulum’s cosmetic spots and made her shine in places that were a bit rough before the work.  

Tulum-5 is a functional, heavily built and timeless sailboat/motorsailer that’s in great shape but always a work in progress.  We continued to love and improve her as we go.


We continue waiting on promised engine work, delayed until early January through no fault of our own.  Frustrations come and go, but the care of our boat is always on our minds because she’s our home and we treat her like part of the family.

LF2SF is a website run and managed from a cruising sailboat, currently in Panama.  Got questions, comments etc?  Send them to us, we love our readers!

From the LF2SF Family, Happy Christmas Eve/Happy Holidays, I gotta go start the Green Egg now!

One Response

  1. She looks Beautiful. Merry Christmas to all of u. Hopefully 2023 brings promised mechanics

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