Relief: 12-Ton Boat on a 12-Ton Crane

16 Jul

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That moment when your evil plan is finally realized: to infiltrate a boatyard as its General Manager, lay low for 14 months, doing your job diligently, until finally you can spring your trap and yes, get a free haul-out. They never saw it coming.

There was some doubt it was even possible, as my boat is on the fringes of what our crane can lift. Our crane, which is nearly 90 years old, but still passes inspections, can lift 12 tons at our pick spot. Sailboat Data lists my boat as weighing 23,000 pounds, which gives 1000 pounds of leeway, but I assumed this was an unladen weight, that is, unladen with twenty years’ worth of crap I’ve accumulated. I’m out of circumnavigation mode and I’ve purged a lot of junk, but there’s still all the gear and supplies for life aboard. I haven’t the foggiest idea how much the boat actually weighs.

To up my chances I drained the water tanks, drained the fuel tanks, took home five carloads of crap, and dropped all the ground tackle, which is three anchors and about 400 feet of chain.

In the end it was no problem, and the old girl took skyward, but as the moment neared it dawned on me just how expensive and time-consuming it would be if it didn’t work out: I would have had to pay another yard, across town, to haul my boat. The work I need to do will take about a week, only here in my own yard I can do parts of the job after work, and the other yard would be too far away to get to after work, limiting my work to weekends, which would mean three weeks in another yard, so thousands of dollars.
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The only slightly unpleasant surprise was the return of some blisters, about 50 of them, but mostly superficial. I did a major blister job and an epoxy bottom 15 years ago, and these blisters aren’t like the 1000 monsters we repaired in New Zealand. Here I’ve ground them out with a die grinder, and I’ll fill them with thickened epoxy, paint some barrier coat on them, and hope for the best:
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This article was syndicated from The Adventures of the Vessel Condesa

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