17 June 2018
We made a quick trip back to Florida in early June. Stayed in Marathon for a week. It was nice to catch up with friends and being able to go to a real grocery store. We decided to leave the boat on the hard in Florida for the summer and drive home. We had hoped to find somewhere on the west coast of FL but everywhere we called either had no space or did not have a travel lift large enough for us. We finally got a spot at Indiantown marina on the Okeechobee Waterway on the east side so we had to turn around and head back up the east coast to Stuart. We had to wait a few days in Stuart for a railroad bridge across the waterway that was closed for repairs Once we got to Idiantown we had 2 days to get the boat ready to put away. We went to Stuart to get a rental car and were packed and ready to go on our scheduled haulout day. However, things did not go so well. When we tried to go into the travel lift our outrigger poles were touching so we had to go back in the slip and remove the poles. When we went back into the lift we barely fit with only inches to spare. It was a 50 ton lift and we weigh a little less than half of that so everything should have been ok. All went well with the lift out at first. As they were pressure washing the bottom the lift started making loud popping sounds, like a gunshot and the boat started to slowly drop. Luckily they were able to get us back over the water and lower us down. The only damage was 2 large scrapes to the side of the upper deck from the brackets that hold the straps getting sideways as the boat dropped. They said the hydraulic brakes were slipping and they could bleed them and try again but by that time our nerves were shot and we decided to try to come up with a plan B. Luckily we were able to find another place near Stuart that had a 125 ton travel lift and could handle boats up to 120 feet. We were able to haul out there the next day. So now we are back at home catching up on house chores and planning a few trips with the camper this summer. We will see how things go this summer and decide if we want to leave the boat on the hard in future years.