Haul Out!

The Most Fun You Can Have with a Boat Out of Water!

You might think that hauling the boat out to repaint the hull, change all the zincs would be a lot of work and not much fun. Well, it is a lot of work but it was actually a lot of fun!

In May of 2018 we hauled the boat for the first time. Not the first time for the boat obviously but the first time for us. We had no idea how to do a haul out and were pretty anxious about it but all the good people at the Ocean Pacific yard reassured us patiently that all would turn out “just fine”. When the big day came, the weather was fine and we re-positioned the boat over to the dock near the yard. Recall that we had at that point only docked the boat a handful of times as we spend most of our time on anchor so, this in itself was a bit of a stressful procedure. However, it went off “just fine” and the big crane came out to get us. Fortunately, Steve and Ilene had showed us in Anacortes where the lifting straps should be positioned so that was easy. A quick pressure-washing (2 hours actually!) and up to the blocks in the yard and away we go!

You pay by the day to stay in the yard when you haul out so there’s no time to waste. We immediately started scraping off anything that the pressure washing missed and then sanding the entire hull down with 80 grit. We also had a corroded galvanized shackle on the bobstay which came off with shockingly little effort with the hacksaw to be replaced with a shockingly expensive stainless steel shackle.

That evening, after the yard had closed, the last workers had locked the gate and gone home, we were left alone in the yard to enjoy our new “home on the hard”. We had a big metal staircase placed on the starboard and we climbed up made dinner and went to bed feeling pretty accomplished!

The next morning was a Saturday so the yard didn’t open until later. We however, were up early to get some work done before the hottest part of the day. At some point during haul out Trystan developed the habit of going over to the Starbucks for a morning coffee too. A nice coffee and the early morning sun obviously goes with sandpaper and primer. That morning we finished the sanding and primed everything. Yasmin was often found sleeping in the relative safe space of the wagon where we didn’t have to worry about her getting painted or getting in the way of the tractors and lifts. We also took off the old chain that restricts the swing of our rudder to keep it from snapping off in backing seas. Trystan had hoped to replace it with dyneema but it turned out to be too short a length to fit in diameter-appropriate splices, so we wound up putting on a nice, new length of chain with better shackles. It still rattles and freaks us out now and then ( it sounds like the engine is about to crump but its always just the chain!)

You might be asking “which part of this is fun?” Well, its actually all a lot more satisfying than it sounds but the real fun starts after the yard closes in the evening and we’re done working for the day. Jerome and Trystan got out their bikes and rode around the yard pretending to be Tie-fighters and using their bells as laser guns. Using giant tugs and smaller sail boats as cover and hiding places to ambush one another and trying not to pop their tires on the pieces of scrap metal lying around, it is after all a working boat yard! This was the first chance we had to use Trystan’s new folding bike that had been a birthday present in February.

The next day was Sunday and Mother’s Day. Maureen spent it sanding, washing and taping and we managed to get the first coat of saphire blue on the topsides.

Monday morning: coffee, sun and a light 320 grit sanding, acetone wash and a second coat of saphire blue. We were starting to notice that if we didn’t get the painting done in the early morning we had to wait until evening because during the day it was too hot and the paint would dry on the brush. It evolved into a system of one coat in the morning and one coat somewhere else in the evening (long drying times for this paint). We prepped the zinc posts to make sure that they would have good contact after reassembly, worked on some sensors and went for a bike ride. Jerome had a nasty spill on his bike when we were chasing very fast through some gravel out at the Tyee spit. Trystan felt pretty bad about it but kids fall off bikes and life goes on.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday brought more sunny morning coffees and more tie-fighter chases interspersed with a lot more taping sanding and painting. We also repacked the bronze seacocks, applied anhydrous lanolin to the prop (which seems to have worked well), checked lots of things washed lots of things and visited with our friends on Sea Bear who were hauled out beside us.

Friday morning at 0645 we put the boat back on the lift and relaunched! After a quick check inside the boat to make sure that the water was staying on the right side of the hull, the straps were removed and we started out for Gorge Harbour (Jerome’s choice!)

Yasmin and Jerome were exhausted and slept all the way there! That evening we went swimming at the outdoor pool and bought ice cream at the general store. We spent a couple of days on anchor letting the paint set before taking Finn anywhere near any docks and spent a good amount of time admiring our fresh new paint too!