It’s a phrase that can strike a mixture of fear, stress and anxiety in even the most seasoned of yacht owners.
It’s the one to two weeks a year that your beautiful home on the water is lifted out of her element and perched precariously on her keel in a physics-defying stance. There she’ll sit on a bed of dirt and gravel, surrounded by other boats and yachts, in a storm of dust that carries a distinct smell of antifoul through the air.
But it’s not all bad, these boat yards.
The sound of grinders, welders and sanders carry with them a feeling of warmth and excitement that you can almost hear just as distinctly – a sense of hard work towards accomplishing dreams, a feeling of progress and satisfaction.
In that one or two weeks a year you will see boats completely transformed, and you see people inch closer to their next adventure.
But if you take the time to talk to the boat yard staff, they’ll also tell you of ruined hopes and dreams, of boats hauled out to find damage beyond repair or budgets. Some boats will then sit there for years until they become nothing more than scrap…
One such boat was hauled out and jet blasted with water only to find 27 holes in the hull – the barnacles that were blasted off were the only things keeping water out of the yacht! With no way to weld at that particular boat yard the yacht was caught in a limbo – unable to be fixed there, but unable relaunch without sinking. She still sits there, months later, her fate unknown…
If she’d been hauled more often, if her anodes had been changed so that electrolysis didn’t eat away her hull, if she’d had the proper love, maintenance, work and money that every yacht requires constantly then maybe she’d be okay…
So it’s a funny place, these boatyards.
A juxtaposition of hard work, dreams, highs and lows.
And now it’s mine and Kuna’s turn – after 12 months of yacht ownership, haulout week and all of the surprises that brings is now upon us as we prepare for our first big journey to places north and east!