Haul out day...
07 October 2013 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Today was haul out day.
An early morning, excited to get going and get started on this phase of the job. Haul out was scheduled for 9:00 am, and I was up just before 6:00 am.
Got the remaining loose stuff off the deck of Karma, packed my bags for the time I would be ashore (hopefully not long), and cast off.
It was the first time I had Karma out on the water since last year, and motoring her around instead of little Minoosh was like driving a supertanker. I began to get a little nervous about docking this aircraft carrier...
Thankfully, slow and steady, and soon Karma was tied up at RAM Marina ready to be hauled out. Nobody was expectantly waiting there like the guys at DYC used to be, so I wandered around until I found someone I could do pantomine with. The crew came over and they wanted me to now back in. Great, my confidence at docking forwards would now be double challenged with a reverse twirl and twist docking.
But, I nailed it. Found out that in reverse, a Columbia 45 has a "slight" tendency to pull to starboard and with little headway, it makes the docking more of a challenge. Adjusting for this, and going slow, we were soon allowing the dock crew to lead Karma into the slings of the boat lift.
I was impressed that they had a guy go into the water to check where the slings would be best placed. Nobody would ever do that in the chilly waters of the Bedford Basin.
Haul out went smoothly, with me keeping a nervous eye on obvious issues. Things didn't look too bad to me, some ancient barnacles, small mussels in the throughhulls, and a lot of river slime covering the hull.
As soon as we had her up on the gravel part of the dockyard, and started to clean the hull with a pressure washer, we noted the blisters. About 20-30. Mostly around the size of the bottom of a coffee mug, and pretty much all of them on the starboard side.
Karen, the dock manager, was keen to pop them and show me how bad it was. I can't fault her; it's worldwide dockyard policy to extract as much money from the customer as possible.
I politely asked her to stop hacking away at my boat. I was being reminded of the times that I've taken cars in for safety inspections; the dodgy shops will always try to crush the exhaust system with vise-grips to show you how bad your muffler is. Of course, it's easy enough to crush a new muffler pipe with vise-grips, so all it shows is that you now definitely need a new tailpipe.
There were other issues as well; such as some evidence of cracking or something around the rudder skeg, and some mysterious lines around where the keel seats with the hull.
Anyway, the crew finished washing off the hull, and we agree that we would proceed with sandblasting and see what happens from there.
I ended the day, not so hopeful that this would be an quick job as I started.