Although we had no illusions as to the amount of maintenance a boat like Sea Gem required, we were a bit unrealistic in our estimation of how much of the maintenance we'd be able to do ourselves (we thought we could do it all). A great example of this is how we (or rather, Eric) thought we would clean Sea Gem's bottom. On a smaller boat, perhaps it might make sense for us to attempt this ourselves, but on a 54-foot sailboat, it is much wiser to outsource this task to someone who owns a wetsuit and dive tanks.
Similarly, Eric and I also thought we'd be able to wax Sea Gem's hull. In fact, hull-waxing seemed like an ideal chore for the two of us to do together. I thoroughly enjoy the smell of wax (I spent a lot of time in ski lodges as a child) and Eric likes anything boat-related, so we were rather excited to get to work.
In theory, waxing a boat shouldn't take very long: you hop in a dinghy, paddle around the boat, wax on/wax off, and within an hour, your boat's hull is shiny and new. Well, what works in theory doesn't always translate to reality. As it turned out, both of us were unable to wax at the same time because one of us had to hold onto the boat to keep the dinghy we were standing in from floating away. Holding onto Sea Gem was my job, and while this may seem like a simple task, it wasn't. In addition to being physically exhausting, half of the time, there was simply nothing to grab onto except for the hull (a smooth, flat surface). And of course, with only one set of hands devoted to the task at hand, the wax on/wax off process was painstakingly slow. About an hour into our delightful adventure, we determined that, moving forward, it would be in our best interest to have someone else wax Sea Gem.
Defeated, we called in the professionals. It took them two days to complete the job, and the results were spectacular:
Although we seem to be outsourcing more maintenance then we had originally planned, we're OK with it. Sea Gem is an aging beauty and deserves to be pampered.