No one likes hauling out. Mostly because it means you are not sailing, and that is a terrible fate when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. Hauling out means fixing things, buying replacement parts, discovering nasty surprises, and living in a boat yard. None of those are my favorites. But what needs to be done needs to be done, and Papillon definitely needs a propeller shaft rejig and some centerboard work.
We got out of the marina on Monday morning, and made the short trip across the bay to the yard. As Erik heroically defied our massive prop-walk and started backing us into the slip, one of the guys from the yard ran over and started waving his arms. I pointed at us and the slip. More emphatic negative arm waving.
I turned to the cockpit. “He’s waving us away. Now he is making telephone gestures.”
Erik swore, and pulled forward again. As he circled, we tried the VHF. No luck. I found the phone number for the yard.
“Bonjour,” said Erik. “We have an appointment for an 8:30 haul-out… Yes, I know that is half an hour away. But we are scheduled as the first haul of the day – can’t we just pull in and wait? Great, thanks.”
We shared some choice words for the idiot who waved us off for no good reason, and tried again. Success. Backing a boat into a tiny slip is harder than it sounds. A boat isn’t like a car – you don’t just point and go. Wind, the shape of your keel and prop-walk all fight you. But Erik got us in like a champion.
And up we came. Unsurprisingly, Papillon had a decent beard of marine growth on the hull.
We’ve tried a number of antifouling paints over the past four years. It isn’t easy to find decent antifouling for an aluminum hull. Most biocide paint contains copper, which is a big no-no for us. TBT works, but (quite rightly) you can’t buy it in most countries because it has hideous side effects for the environment. In New Zealand, we switched to Vivid. As you can see, the marine growth scraped off with the lightest touch, leaving the paint behind. It looks like we finally have a winner!
So Papillon has a new home out of the water. And now the work begins.