Tahina was hauled out of the water at the Norsand Boatyard on last Thursday. They used a hydraulic lift which was sent under the water between our hulls. This was the first time we had lifted a catamaran this way. But, Norsand has done this many times, and had just lifted another St. Francis 50 two weeks earlier called “Sirius”.
Right after lifting us out of the water, they placed us on the ramp to clean the bottoms. We had many pounds of barnacles – especially on the keels – after spending 5 months in the shallow river waters during the southern summer here. Apparently this year had a higher growth rate than normal. You can see how bad it was in the slideshow below.
On Friday, the boatyard manager came by to look over our planned projects. Of particular interest was his inspection of our fiberglass issue underneath the boat, and the possible problem with our bows. The good news is that the bow problem is not an issue. Although there are a few hairline cracks in the gel at the bow, there is no sign they are serious and we examined inside the bows and found no evidence of cracks or water intrusion. The gel often cracks at these high-stress points on catamarans because it doesn’t flex as well. The fiberglass ribs, designed to break waves underneath the bridge, will need to be strengthened. We knew this work would need to be done and our boat builder has already agreed to assist with the costs. We have many other smaller projects to conduct during our stay at the boatyard – small repairs, maintenance, and installation of a few new items. More on this later.
On Saturday I went up the mast so we could take down our jib sail. We have a fixed steel halyard, so it’s best to detach it and attach another halyard to lower the sail down the furling track. We then unfurl the sail and lower it. While I was up there, I took a few photos of the scenery around us in the boatyard. We carefully folded up the sail, and rolled it compactly. Then wrapped a jib halyard around it and lowered it straight into our mini-van below the crossbeam at the front.
When I went up into the starboard bow to inspect things, I had to lower the washer/dryer unit to get into that area. We made a special base so I could unbolt it, tilt the washer, slide it back and lower it face down. This leaves a gap at the top wide enough for me to crawl in. However, the hard part is entering. This always makes people laugh to watch. Since I used to be a gymnast, what I do is go on top of the deck facing aft then lay down face-down looking into the hatch. Then I pull myself towards the bow facing the ceiling while hanging from the top. My feet end up in the air momentarily and then I hook them around the hatch edges. At this point, I can carefully set my back down on the top of the washer and work my way inside the chamber. With a little twist, I can then get myself behind the washer inside the bow. Whew! The reverse process is only slightly harder. I imagine it looks pretty weird from outside – seeing someone’s feet coming out of the hatch! 🙂 You can see a photo of me behind the washer in the slideshow below.
View full-sized slideshow
Also on the weekend, we started cleaning and polishing projects, Karen started work on mosquito netting for our door and windows without screens, did some shopping for boat supplies and parts, and we continued planning the various projects.