Monday, November 15, 2010

The haul-out...

So in my last entry about the horrific nightmare that is winterization, I mentioned that I was having my boat hauled out by the marina.

Well Wednesday morning it happened. I was on "flex" as I live in the marina and wasn't too worried about when they'd get to me. I got up early just in case I ended up with one of the first slots and wandered up to the marina office and discovered that Misty would be hauled out at 10:15 a.m. I could live with that. I went back down to the boat to make coffee, have some cereal and get my camera ready. I'd never seen Misty out of the water before. The last time she'd been out of the water, about two years before, I had been away at school and hadn't really wanted much to do with the boat. (I feel guilty sitting in that same boat typing this now -- sorry, Misty!)

Anyway, 10:15 rolled around and coffee in hand, I stepped out to meet the yard guys, who wanted to know if I wanted to drive the boat over or be towed. I wanted to be towed. I wanted to take pictures. Plus I was super nervous. After asking very thorough questions about the location of my keel (fin) and the location of my stuffing box (just ahead of the wheel) and my knot meter (nooooo clue), the guys were ready to tow my boat over and haul her out.

Basically what happens, for the uninitiated, is that they tow the boat to a patch of water with concrete dock on three sides. A large sling apparatus can be driven onto the parallel sides of the dock and a sling can be pulled underneath the boat. Then the boat is lifted up and the slings are driven onto solid ground. I just did a short haul, so the boat stayed in the slings. If I'd been coming out for winter storage, they would have used blocks to brace the boat from the sides and stand her on her keel. But we'll talk more about that later.

I was actually surprised at the lack of barnacles. Sure, she was a little scummy, but not heavily covered in barnacles. This was a good sign.

The marina guys gave Misty a good and thorough power washing (have I mentioned I love this boatyard?) And changed the zinc for me. I'd offered to do the zinc myself, but you can't do any work on your boat when she's in the slings. Liability issue or something. Remember how I talked about winter storage? Putting the boat on blocks? Well whoever painted Misty last was very very lazy. That square block of lighter paint on the bottom? That's where the last boatyard we used didn't move the blocks to paint underneath them. Come spring I'll do the bottom painting myself. Yeesh.

In this picture, you can see the propeller clearly. The knob above the propeller on the shaft is the zinc. Zinc is what's called a "sacrificial." Basically, the zinc is there so that rust will eat the cheap piece of zinc and not the expensive-to-replace propeller. They unscrewed the old one and replaced the new. Zinc, in a boat heavily used, should be replaced once or twice a year. Three times is a little excessive. Twice is extra safe. Once is fine. Doing it less than once a year is not recommended. Of course we've never done that. Ahem.

Anyway, once she was all scrubbed and zinc'd, they dropped her back in the water and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

It's funny. I see the same guys sling boats in and out of the water without mishap every day. But when it's your boat? I don't think anyone could help but worry...


  1. Allie, you clearly haven't spent much time scrubbing the slime off Misty's bottom if you don't know where the knot-meter is.

    Since jumping into Middle River was the highlight of my week all summer long, I am intimately acquainted with the location of the pair of said devices on Mark's boat.


  2. Well since I don't race her, no, I don't scrub her weekly. Also, I don't have the boat in middle river. Your water is much nicer. I think I got in the water once in the spring? And used a brush a couple times from the dock...

  3. I suppose Middle River is clean in comparison to the Middle Branch. I think that I would hesitate before jumping in there as well. Unless it was in the "swimming area" on the south side of Fort McHenry. I'm sure that area is much cleaner. Heh.