SCOOTS' Boatyard Adventure
14 May 2017 | Whangarei Town Basin Marina
SCOOTS and her crew recently returned to the Whangarei Town Basin Marina after spending three weeks "on the hard" at the Norsand Boatyard.
Rather than write about everything we did there, I made a video giving you a flavor of what our time there was like. After watching the video, you might have some questions. I'm going to guess at some of them, but if you have others, please feel free to ask.
Click below for our video:
Photo credits: Eric and Vandy Shrader, and our new friends, Tama and Carmen McGlinn
* Why did you have SCOOTS hauled out? She needed some repairs and improvements that were best done out of the water; we were going to drop her rudder to diagnose - and then fix - a "clunking" sound that had developed on our trip from Mexico to the Marquesas last year; and she desperately needed a new coat of marine critter-repelling bottom paint.
* What's the purpose of the big muddy hole? That's the "rudder hole." Because there isn't enough room underneath SCOOTS, while she's on the trailer, to remove her rudder, the boatyard guys back her rudder over the hole. Then, while Eric is inside SCOOTS' engine room releasing the rudder, the guys stand on a couple of two-by-fours straddling the hole and lower the rudder blade into the hole enough to allow the whole rudder structure to come out of the boat. The process was reversed when we left, only this time I did the re-attaching in the engine room (my small body fits into the space better than Eric's does).
* How is living on the hard different from living in the water? Well, for us it meant that our toilet (which uses saltwater to flush) didn't work; our fridge and freezer (which use saltwater to cool the compressor) didn't work; and we had to be very judicious with the amount of water that we ran down the sink drain. We used the toilet in the boatyard's main building; we froze four half-gallon bottles of water in the boatyard's freezer, then swapped two at a time into the fridge to use it as an ice box; we ran a hose from the sink drain into a 20 liter plastic jug under the boat, which we had to cart to a drain across the boatyard when it was full of dirty dishwater.
Of course, it also meant that anytime we came and went, we had to climb up or down a twelve-foot-tall ladder.
* What did you do while you were there? Lots and lots of projects. Here is a partial list of the things we got done while SCOOTS was on the hard...
...replaced two seacocks,
...diagnosed the rudder problem, had parts made, installed them,
...repaired the kayak with epoxy, sanded, varnished, sanded, varnished, sanded, varnished, ad nauseum,
...had the oldest portions of our standing rigging replaced,
...drove all over town looking for a place that would make new propane hoses and fittings for our tanks, had them made, installed them,
...disassembled our teak cockpit table, revarnished it, cleaned the metal fittings, reassembled it,
...had SCOOTS' bottom painted with new antifouling paint,
...removed the boom vang, had a new one made, reattached it to the boom,
...end-for-ended our anchor chain and re-marked it at 30-foot intervals,
...cleaned and scrubbed the anchor locker,
...had two coats of nonskid paint applied to our swim step
...replace the inlet hose for the toilet,
...changed the oil in our autopilots
In addition to all the projects on SCOOTS, Eric also wanted to repair and revarnish our kayak, which was showing some wear after three years and many miles. This turned out to be quite a frustrating undertaking, as the weather was windy and rainy for much of the time we were in the boatyard, making it very difficult for Eric to do what he needed to do. Fortunately, our friend, Rich, who was also spending time on his catamaran in the boatyard, just across the way from us, offered to let Eric use the space underneath his boat as a garage. This proved to be a perfect place for Eric to work on the kayak. Thank you, Rich!
Spending time in a boatyard is the flip side to spending time anchored off of white sand beaches; the inglorious underbelly of "livin' the life" of endless umbrella drinks that some people think we live all the time; a necessary endeavor to keep our floating, traveling house in safe, tip top condition.
Now, back in the Town Basin Marina, we - along with hundreds of other cruisers - are keeping an eye on the weather between us and our tropical destinations, waiting, and waiting, for a good weather window to head north, back to where it's WARM! The next window looks to be sometime late this week. If it's in fact a good window, we'll set sail for Fiji. If not, we'll wait some more.