Contrary to a couple of negative reviews on ‘Active Captain’, we have found this yard a good place to haul out. The stress of reversing the boat’s beamy stern into a narrow gap between 2 solid concrete piers is done away with here as they use a trailer rather than a sling and you just wait on the long pontoon and let them do the rest. Bliss.
Although we arrived at 0915 on Tuesday we didn’t get ashore until gone 1500 but we weren’t in a rush, as we hadn’t scheduled any work until the following day. We just had a coffee, then lunch and sat in the sunshine.
Once the crew had finished moving another 2 boats, they came to us with the larger trailer and in no time we were being carefully positioned between the 2 forks and the pads gently started lifting the Beyzano out of the water. Immediately we could see that the hull was amazingly clean and we were happily surprised, as with her having sat for 4 months in a marina we expected barnacles and weed everywhere. Compared to last year when she looked like she had had measles after the thousands of barnacles had been scraped off, she was pristine and that was before they pressure washed her off. Bit too vigorously for my liking, as a lot of the soft, top coat of antifouling paint was pretty much washed off with the spray but she was clean.
Last October I painted 2 coats of hard blue antifouling on followed by a final coat of soft darker blue, so we could see where the paint wore off most. This worked well and we still have big areas with all 3 coats on but the leading edges, especially the narrow bow, need 3 coats again as the yellow primer is showing through.
It was great to see how easy it was to lift up the boat on the trailer (well it looked easy from our point of view) and we would definitely go for this method again. Seemed much more gentle all round and no worries about the big slings damaging some of the fittings under the hull. We had our log (speed) paddle wheel completely squashed once and had to replace it.
They then moved her to a nearby slot in the DIY yard, a separate area from the storage yard next door and propped her up on stands. Water and electricity are included in the price but you pay $10 extra a day to be in the DIY yard to begin with. There isn’t a laundry but a 3-day turnaround pick up and drop off service can be arranged at the office.
We have neighbours around us and I met several more ‘Yard Rats’ on the shopping buses. I took it to get the antifouling paint from Island Waterworld just over the main road from the supermarket. They had a deal for boats hauled out and we got 20% off, a big saving on this outrageously priced paint. Liquid gold. It costs well over double the UK price, so if you have space and can keep the tins secure when you leave Europe buy loads!
The WiFi is fast in the bar area and the showers are wonderful. Hot water for a change, 3 showers and 3 big sinks and the whole room is lovely and clean with air-conditioning. I was given a key for the ladies room but the men’s is just open. A short walk along the road brings you to a couple of snack bars and a juice bar. Next door is a Volvo dealer with a weekly import of parts. Apparently a short cut to Willemstad can be found under the by-pass but we probably won’t get time to walk into town unless our work is delayed into next week, more than likely.
We usually have more than 170 tasks to complete when we do a big haul out but this time we only have 4 things, albeit quite major items, on our list and will try to work in the shade, either side of the boat or underneath. After that we are depending on Jack and his team to check our prop shaft alignment and fit the flexible coupling. The yard hire out stepladders for us to paint and polish the hull plus a forklift to help us get the generator out of the stern locker and down to the ground for cleaning and servicing.
It is already gone 1400 on Wednesday and nobody has turned up yet, so can’t really see us being launched again on Friday but never mind, Friday night is party night in the yard bar with the first drink on the house.
Now Thursday and Klaus from MRC Marine has begun working on our prop shaft and took a look at the engine for us. We have had the flexible coupling fitted to the shaft and the alignment checked. Rob also thought it about time the exhaust elbow was checked. Thank goodness we did, as the old one was almost completely sooted up solid, leaving just a tiny gap for the exhaust. The difference between that and our old one can be seen in the photos but a hole has been pushed through the soot to show where the gap should have been, so it was actually much worse.
Another issue compounded by the soot build up, is that the turbo was also seized, including the lever which allows the excess pressure to be dumped when it gets too much at high revs. Our turbo clearly hasn’t worked in years, possibly before we bought the boat but the mechanics have cleaned it out and it can be replaced. We now have to ensure we run the engine at 3000 rpm for about half an hour every time we use it. It may be that a previous owner, not having solar panels or a diesel generator, used to charge the batteries by running the engine in neutral at anchor. We often see charter boats doing that for hours a day. This ruins the engine, as it needs to work under load to blow the sooty deposits out before they solidify.
We are counting our lucky stars once again. How the engine continued to run, start without a hiccup and never give us any trouble I just can’t imagine. So grateful that Rob decided to get a new exhaust elbow this last trip to the UK and relieved that the engineers know their stuff.
So, we are in the yard until Tuesday morning and have the weekend to service the generator and finish the painting. I had painted the stern and first coat on the hull before 0830 this morning and will paint the patches on the hull again Friday morning when it is cooler to work. Despite that I still get the odd drip of sweat coming out of my rubber gloves and down my arm. Keep thinking it is starting to rain. Delightful.
The yard will be quiet over the weekend as they don’t haul, nor does the chandlery open. I’m organising a Mexican train dominoes session tomorrow as a bit of light relief from the boat work but our walk into town might have to wait until Tuesday afternoon when we clear out.