Saturday, April 9, 2011

The four W's

It's time.

It's been 3 years since the last one.

I anticipate this like I anticipate a visit to the dentist, and like a visit to the dentist, we put it off as long as possible.  It's time for (cue 'Jaws' music)... the scary H-word...


This is where you have to put your pride and joy in the hands of others - where you must put your trust in others as they perform definitely non-boaty things to your partner/baby/home.

For us, this starts when we must partially de-rig the mizzenmast so that Eolian will fit into a Travelift, backwards.  Because of our size, if we pull in to the Travelift slip forwards, the forestay interferes with the rear crossbeam of the Travelift, meaning that the Travelift slings cannot be positioned far enough back to suround our center of gravity:  in other words, if they try to pick us up when we are facing into the slip, we will tip over backwards.  Not good.

So we know we will to backing into the Travelift slip, with all the fun that entails.  Now, apparently due to a Seattle municipal ordinance, all boat yards with haulout capabilities are required to be positioned so that they are exposed to crosswinds.  So we will be backing into the narrow Travelift slip in a crosswind.  Three years ago, it was a 20+ kt crosswind laced with rain and snow.  That event required 5+ yard personnel acting as live fenders because while backing upwind, when it was time to make a right angle turn into the slip, I was able to turn the stern, but the bow continued to point downwind, across the slip, flying from the stern like a flag flies from a flagpole.  I'd like to never have to do that again.

This brings us to the four W's which are required to be on your haulout planning list:
  • When
    Because of my work schedule, we will schedule for a Friday.  But which Friday?  It seems that we are always way early in the year (snow! last time).  In the past, the yards offered price incentives for these early slots, trying to keep their schedules full.  But not anymore.  This time I'd like to try it in warmer, and hopefully less stormy, weather.  So, April or May.  Depending, of course, on availability of yard space.  I need to call them.
  • Why
    Thankfully, we have no major maintenance items.  Just:
    • refreshing of the bottom paint, 
    • a thorough cleaning of the prop and retreatment with Barnacle Ban, 
    • changing the zinc without having to hold my breath in frigid water,
    • and buffing out the hull - much easier to do from scaffolding on shore than from a dinghy in the water
  • Where
    We will be using the Seaview East yard.  They are staffed with extremely experienced people, and are familiar with handling large boats.  In fact, we will be one of the smaller boats in the yard.  I cannot recommend Roland and his staff highly enough.
  • Wine
    Umm... Because it's required?  Life on the hard is, well, hard.   I needed a forth 'W' anyway.


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