Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Couldn't quite make it three! (B.O.A.T.)

BOAT = Break Out Another Thousand!

Okay, The Great Reef Aquarium Project has been temporarily suspended. Well, actually, I'm still waiting for additional stuff to arrive before I attempt to set it up - so it's just as well...

DH's company, like many, is on shut-down this week. This makes things a bit "challenging" for me - since I work from home most of the time. But thankfully many of my clients are also on shut-down, so things have been mercifully quiet (and I took the opportunity to burn a vacation day).

Anyhooo... Since Rog has all this Free Time, we decided this was a good opportunity to call the boatyard and see about arranging our off-season maintenance. G&J, the former owners, took fastidious care of the boat - but it had been at least 2-3 years since it's last bottom job. And, based on how quickly she'd grow a beard, we figured she's about due again.

No more DIY Bottom-Jobs for me, though (although it would be "relatively easy" to slap a coat of paint on her, while she's on the trailer). We decided it'd be best to just take her to a yard and get "everything" done in one fell swoop.

"How much do ya think this is gonna cost?" asks DH.

"Well, the last time I hauled (about 10 yrs ago), it was about $1,000 for haul, power-wash and bottom paint for a 32-footer. So I'm gonna guess it'll be right around $1,000."

"But our boat's only 26-feet."

(Answer: It's $1,100! That's *just* haul/power-wash/paint)

We're also getting some other work done. Boat has a couple of topside leaks around the chainplates - I think (hope!) they just need to be re-bedded. Outboard needs a basic service. And there are a couple of fiberglass/gelcoat repairs needed. One down near the waterline could prove to be problematic if water gets in it (Delamination??? Nooooo!!!). And the other is a scar she got when Rog ran aground and ended up colliding with another boat's anchor - the day we moved into our slip for the first time! ("Hi! I'm Nancy and this is Roger. We're your new neighbors!!")

So Rog got on the horn with San Francisco Boat Works yesterday. Seems they're running all kinds of Specials right now - which is a very good thing. It's definitely the off-season and they are particularly dead this week. So they were most happy to have us come up and drop her off today.

Well, as soon as Rog did the over-the-phone "handshake," he immediately went into Panic Mode. Ohmygawd-we've-got-to-prepare-the-boat-and-drop-the-mast-and-check-the-trailer-and-what-are-we-gonna-do-about-the-roller-furler-and-what-if-it's-this-or-what-if-it's-that-and-this-is-gonna-take-a-LOT-of-time-and-maybe-I'd-better-just-call-them-and-postpone-it-and-yayayayayaya............"

We went up to the storage-yard yesterday afternoon and started breaking stuff down (in cold, dismal, dreary rain!).

I have something of a fear of heights, so I stayed stuck to the ground. But Rog handed stuff down to me and I did what I could from below. He removed the boom and handed down the sail (I flaked it myself thankyouverymuch!); Stowed all the loose crap inside the boat securely; We dropped and secured the mast ("Whoa-Whoa-Whoa-Whoa-WAIT!!! You're gonna hit that other boat!! We need to pull the trailer forward!!!") (See, it helps to have someone on the ground!!!). Zip-tied all the standing rigging so it wouldn't rub the gelcoat; Bungeed everything else; And generally buttoned-her-down as best we could.

The roller-furler was a challenge though. See, we had to undo the forestay at the bow in order to drop the mast. We didn't want to remove the forestay from the top of the mast and we had to be careful not to bend the foil. Annnnd, with the forestay still attached to the mast, the roller furler extended beyond the base of the mast (and would have been flopping about madly and damaging the foil as we were hurtling down the highway). I suggested securing it as best we could (bungee-mania!)- until we could come home and Google it...

Found an Egg-zellent suggestion online (Gotta love the intertubes!). You take a boat hook, extend it fully and bungee it securely to the base of the mast - so that it becomes an "extension." You then bungee the bottom of the forestay and roller-furler to the boat-hook extension. Worked like a charm! No flopping around. No bent foil. Yay!

Not the greatest shot, but you can almost see the boat hook lashed near the bottom. R/F is inside the bag.

So as Rog was puttering around on and in the boat, I wanted to check-out how "secure" the boat was - on the trailer. Well, as Rog trundled about, the bow of the boat kept bouncing up and down and I discovered I could actually stick my fingers under the fwd (bow) support on the trailer. Not Good! The center of gravity was waaaaay too far back and yes, we now have a Super-Beefy-Manly Winch on the trailer, but I still didn't feel too warm-n-fuzzy about the 30 mile freeway trip. I decided to keep my mouth shut about it yesterday (Rog was still pretty wound-up about what-all needed to be done)...

See, the last time we pulled her out onto the trailer, her ballast tank was full. We'd cinched her up and pulled her out, but the weight of the ballast pulled her back about half-a-foot. We didn't bother fixing it since we were just moving her across the street to the dry-storage yard.

This morning, we went up (In the sunshine! But it was still cold) to secure the roller-furler and get ready to take off. Once we were hitched up, I pointed out the whole "center of gravity" issue and suggested that we plunk her in at the launch ramp, and cinch her up tighter to the trailer. So we did - and all was MUCH better.

All secure now!

Then we drove up to The City. The drive up was rather uneventful (Yay!). Even exiting the freeway and heading to the yard wasn't *too* terribly awful (in spite of all the construction on Mariposa St). I'd called ahead to the yard to inquire about the best way "in" to the yard. See, most boats come by water and get scooped out by a Travelift. We were trailering in and I didn't recall an open gate on the street. I did remember an open gate over by The Ramp, an adjoining (WAY COOL) restaurant. The office gal suggested that the "come in thru The Ramp's parking lot" way would be the preferred entry.

So in we went!

Well, into the parking lot anyway.

Once we pulled all the way into the lot, it became painfully clear that there was NO WAY we could make the (sharp, narrow) turn into the boatyard (Ooooops!) And once we were in the parking lot, there was NO WAY to turn around (Double Oooooops!). Begin Panic-Mode: "Oh sh*t, NOW what are we gonna do?!!"

I know Rog is damn good with maneuvering the boat and trailer. We had *quite* the dramatic Fun-Time the day we drove her up from SoCal (an all-day drive) and arrived at a dry-storage facility that had NO (and I do mean ZERO) turning room. We got good-and-stuck that day, but managed to get out of it (by unhitching the boat and backing the truck - from a completely different angle, then re-hitching it to get out of a seemingly impossible situation).

But I digress (Surprise!!!). Anyway, I was all prepared to have Rog back-out onto the street - with me blocking traffic. Luckily, a boatyard worker appeared and offered his assistance. He started by moving a dumpster and attempting to open the gate further, but then a second worker appeared who said he could bring her in using his forklift. No, he didn't hoist her up! He had a ball on one of the forklift fork thingies and he did a stupendous job of maneuvering her in.

Forklift got her in!

We got all checked in, and left our Laundry List of things to do. We then had free lunch at The Ramp (did I mention that it's an awesome joint?!). While we were eating, they put her up on the Travelift and I got a few good shots. Then we met with the yard manager to discuss what-all we want done. We still don't have the "full" estimate, but I'm guessing (hoping) it won't go much past $2,000.

The Ramp

She'll be in the yard for about a week............

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