Yes, crossing an ocean is a long endevour. It takes time to prepare your yacht for the journey, as well as time to prepare yourself mentally for what is to come. You are ready to eat all of your food, read all your books, and repair everything that breaks along the way! But, are you ready for what your boat will look like when you finally make landfall?
When you coastal sail, you will heel over as your sails fill and you move along, then you reach a destination and the yacht will come to rest in an upright position. The topsides remain out of the water and the bottom paint in the water.
When you are blue water sailing, you will be heeled over for days. Not only will you be sailing the whole way, but you will probably be on the same tack for most of the journey! When we left Bermuda, we were on starboard tack for the first 12 days. This meant that our topsides with no antifouling paint was submerged for almost two weeks straight.
The fouling growth formed on the old topsides paint, staining the white a hideous dark smear.
The stern overhang really grew some lovely slime, as this area of the boat was perpetually bathed by the stern wave.
Between being heeled over an average of 10 degrees for the entire trip, the constant following seas we had the whole way across, or surfing down our stern wave indefinitely; our stern definitely grew the most life on our voyage. It is interesting to note how well the antifouling worked, as the blue bottom paint is completely clear while the white topside paint above it is covered in layers of slime and growth.
When we hauled out in the Azores, we did not have the boat power washed, as we were going to be sanding the paint away shortly in preparation for the next project. The growth that is visible is untouched and undisturbed in its locations and intensity.
When you make it to the other side of the ocean, don't expect your topsides to look as pretty as you feel. You will have some scrubbing to do when you get there!