Tuesday, April 1, 2014

High and Dry

Posted by Scot
Monashee on the hard.

The Rio Dulce is a hotspot for cruisers in the Northwest Caribbean.  Because it is 20 miles up a freshwater river, it is well protected from hurricanes.  Over 500 boats are stored here each summer during hurricane season.  Most of the owners take that opportunity to either head back home for the summer, or tour around Gauatemala.

This time of year, though, is cruising season.  This is when people return to their boats, and head out to explore Belize or Honduras.  That means the marinas and boating facilities around the Rio Dulce are relatively empty right now.  So, we decided to take advantage of that fact, and have Monashee hauled out of the water at one of the local marinas, to get some work done on her bottom.

After reviewing the list of things we wanted to attend to, we arranged to have our boat hauled as early in the day as possible.  That would give us a chance to get a good look at the bottom, and get started on some of the smaller jobs.  We manoeuvred out of our tight spot at Tortugal, and headed over to the Ram Marina, which is the most state of the art facility on the Rio Dulce.

After waiting on the fuel dock for a couple of hours, it was finally our turn to haul.  Ram is pretty careful about getting things just right.  Using lines on each corner of the boat, they slid Monashee in to the hauling bay.  Monashee is 20 feet, 1 inch in width.  Apparently they can haul boats up to 24 feet wide in their bay, but it still looked almost impossibly tight as we slid in.  Fortunately, everyone’s measurements were right, and we fit under the travel lift.

Getting the slings ready for our boat.
Sliding into place.
Will we fit?
Just made it!
Once we were in place, a diver underneath the boat ensured that the slings were in the proper position.  Then, Sara and I got off the boat, and up she went!  It is a bit terrifying to watch your house get lifted into the air, but everything went smoothly.

Monashee getting a lift.
Once we were out of the water, the travel lift slowly worked it’s way over to our portion of the boatyard, and she was gently set down on carefully placed supports.  After we were safe in our spot, we did a complete walk around of the boat.  The bottom is actually pretty clean, and it looks like we won’t need a huge amount of work to get it looking pristine again.  We will also take the opportunity to check all our through hulls.  At least one of them needs to be replaced, as it doesn’t close completely.  This is a priority issue, as you want to be able to close the valves that can potentially let water into your boat.

Heading out of the lifting bay into the boat yard.
Driving through the boatyard with an entourage, including some kids from another boat in the yard.
2014-03-28 17.13.32
Sitting in the yard - Monashee's home for the next couple of weeks.  Our dinghy is stored safely underneath.

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