Hauling Out

Before we left Grenada a few months ago, we were singing the boatyard blues, hauling out to fix a few things and get some fresh bottom paint on Mary Christine.

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We arrived early for our appointment, got all set up in the Travelift, then the rains started.

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Finally the rain stopped.

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Up, up and away!

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Transitioning out of the lift and straps…

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Not surprisingly, the yard still counted time against us even though no one was working on our boat yet. Our appointment to arrive was 11am and it took the guys literally all day to just get the boat placed in the yard, without any actual work commencing at all. By the time we were all secure, it was time for everyone to go home.

Yep, we’re on island time.

Peter and I returned the next day bright and early to make sure everything was getting done. We opted to have the yard crew do most of the work for our first haul out instead of trying to get it all done ourselves and taking up more yard time. We also had a laundry list of items we wanted to take care of while on the hard:

  • New bottom paint
  • New bootstripe
  • Repaint the stern
  • Recondition the prop
  • Take apart two seized thru-hulls
  • Replace a below-the-waterline t-fitting that connects the aft sink and cockpit drain
  • Repack the stuffing box
  • Remove the wind generator to diagnose motor issues

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The last time the bottom paint was done was before we bought the boat. The yard that painted it last did not do a very good job prepping the surface before painting because there was a lot of areas where the paint had started to separate and peel off around the water line. This wasn’t a terrible thing, but it sure did look bad and we were careful to make sure it was done better this time.

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What’s it like to climb up the ladder when your boat is on the hard? Crazy!

First off, the ladder is hardly secure. The first couple of times up and down was pretty nerve wracking. Once I reached the top, the view was incredible! I had a hard time believing the boat was stable. If even one of those jack stands failed, all the boats would go down like dominoes. Going inside the boat was even weirder. My body is so trained to adjust to the motion of the waves when I’m on the boat, yet everything was so still. It was kind of like how it feels to close your eyes and take a shower on land after being on a boat for a few hours. It’s a really strange sensation to be still when your mind tells you it shouldn’t be still.

I went down below to escape the scorching sun and make something to eat for lunch. Everything was already feeling dirty just from being in the yard. Dust from the ground and from all the sanding was getting dirt and green paint dust everywhere. A boat yard is NOT a place for anyone that has OCD tendencies. Everything gets filthy. Period.

After climbing up that ladder for the first time I was really thankful we didn’t even consider staying on the boat in the yard. It would have been WAY too hard with the dogs, with no way to take them potty. They couldn’t go up and down the ladder, and they couldn’t go potty on deck because we’d have to hose it off, which would run down the side of the boat into the yard. Instead, the dogs were happy in the little cottage we had rented back at Secret Harbor Marina. They had air conditioning, a bed to lay on, and lots of places to go for walks. A doggy vacation, really.

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Easy access to replace the zinc…

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Our boat looked like an Easter Egg while the paint near the waterline was properly sanded down and prepped for new paint to be applied.

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What a stud… working hard in the boat yard.

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Our propeller needed to be machined to correct the pitch. Remember when we lost our steering because the bolt came loose on our rudder post in Bimini, Bahamas? Well, when that happened, the edges of our prop hit the inside of our rudder and evenly bent the tips of all three blades. It didn’t noticeably affect our performance or speed so we waited until our next haul out to address this issue. Luckily, Spice Island Marine has an on-site independent contractor that could fix our prop! This was a huge relief since we had heard the only way to get your prop fixed in Grenada is to send it to Trinidad, or buy a new one. Nick at Technic had his guys make our prop good as new in a few days, just in time for us to splash.

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The whole process took about 5 days, which was faster than expected.


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The boys in the yard prepared the lift and straps with fresh plastic wrapping to help protect the new paint.

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So pretty!

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Easy does it.

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AND SHE FLOATS! A very exciting moment after we had messed with several areas that could cause serious flooding if not done properly.

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It felt SO good to be back on the water again… right where we belong :)


We are currently in the US Virgin Islands while Peter finishes taking classes to get his Captain’s License!


  1. Mark Roope says:

    It is always a bum clenching moment when your home gets lifted into an alien environment and each time we do it the feeling does not get any better. I wish our bottom looked as clean as your when we haul out.
    Good sailing my friends.

  2. scpitchford says:

    What a great series of photos on the boat maintenance. There is money in those shots. Pictorially, my favorite shot is the one of the bay packed tight with boats with their mast dominating the horizon. I said to myself, “Hmmm, they’re a lot of people out there enjoying the good life”. I’m really enjoying your photography style. My dogs are complaining though, they want to see more dog activity shots. They have never been in water deeper than their knees. What’s this swimming thing your dogs do?, my dogs keep asking.

    Happy trails,

    • Steve,
      Thank you so much for the compliments! I haven’t taken any classes or training for photography, I’m just learning as I go so it’s so nice to hear that you appreciate my work :)

      I agree, I definitely need more photos of Betsy and Gunner. In fact, I just got some great photos of Betsy and Peter swimming around the boat yesterday! Stay tuned, I promise I’ll get them posted at some point ;)

  3. Jeff says:

    Lots of changes, I was wondering, did you change the way your pages appear? The display and topic headers on my end have changed and it would be nice to know if it was on my end or a change you made, upgrade perhaps?
    I’m also wondering if you have ever considered using a power snorkel or hooka? I prefer snorkeling myself over scuba but sometimes you just really need the extra down time.


    • Hi Jeff,
      Yes! :) I’ve been making some changes to the site and I’ve been trying on new web design themes. I welcome any feedback!
      Regarding the hookah, yep! We have The Air Line hookah dive system and LOVE it! I just recently heard of the power snorkels, though we’ve never seen one in person. Based on their website I could make a lot of arguments in favor of The Air Line over the power snorkel. I’m happy to chat with you more about this if you’re interested. We also free dive quite a bit with just regular snorkels, masks and fins, and both Peter and I are PADI open water certified. We prefer snorkeling and free diving, but we agree there are times when it is definitely helpful to use the hookah to stay down longer. I haven’t written a dedicated post about The Air Line yet but check out our Products and Services page for a little more info: http://www.wherethecoconutsgrow.com/products-services/

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