21 December 2011 | Fonature Boat yard, Mazatlan
One of the first things I realized after purchasing Si Bon 2 years ago, was that although I had had plenty of experience sailing 20-30 foot boats, there was a huge difference in handling a 42 foot boat. The actual sailing part is pretty much the same on a larger boat, but docking is MUCH more challenging. I spent many hours practicing docking and even at one point hired a professional Captain to teach me a few things. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone should get to cocky when it comes to maneuvering a sailboat in tight quarters, sailboats do not turn the same as a power boat, especially in reverse. I now have about as much confidence as anyone should have in my docking abilities (not cocky, just confident).
Last week I checked out the travel lift that would be hauling Si Bon. The travel lift rolls out on two large concrete piers...not a dock, but rather piers which are about 10-15 feet above the water (pic). I would be steering Si Bon between the narrow piers and tossing lines to some dock workers above me. This was not something I was looking forward to doing singlehanded. Luckily for me one of my neighbors Ed volunteered to go with me and help with the lines. After waiting at a near by dock for the travel lift to drop another boat into the water, I steered Si Bon between the narrow piers and Ed and I tossed the lines up to the dock workers who tied her off. The operator of the massive travel lift was a young lady about the age of my daughters (pic), definitely not your average travel lift operator, she expertly ran the complicated piece of machinery with a remote control unit. As the operator began to ask me questions and look at some photos I had of Si Bon's prior haul out, she said "I have some inconvenient news for you, you need to go back out turn the boat around and back your boat in". This was not what I wanted to hear, but who wants to argue with a young lady in charge of a monster piece of equipment...not me. As I backed Si Bon out, turned her around and backed her back in between the narrow roll of pilings (pic), my confidence level rose a few more notches...still not cocky.....but getting there (I better be careful with that).