Prepping for the Big Haul-out!
31 January 2017 | Herrington Harbour South
Cold, Clear, Breezy
Well!...My employer now knows I intend to cruise (starting in less than 90 days). I have tendered my "notice" but no one has directly addressed me with the issue. Ought to be interesting? The good news is (although nice) we do not depend upon the salary from this company to live since we are debt free; the Admiral still owns/runs her own business; and I have a great government pension from my previous 30 year career. We are closing on the sale of our current home; closing on the new villa we will call home (with an equity surplus in the transition); and our current marina lease will end on 31 MAR. SO - on to musings about prepping the boat for the Big Haul-out and transition to cruising (with some vacation time in-between). PS ... We finally met with our fiberglass guy building our hard-top and have a commitment to finish by 11 FEB!
One Boatyard - Many Service Providers: Sounds good - right? We are fortunate to have access to a well established boatyard with mature infrastructure and lots of contractor options. Bad news is that "price fixing" is based on local competition - so labor rates do not vary more than $5 per hr across the board - no matter who does the work...and (of course) its all EXPENSIVE! We have saved our pennies and we are ready.
Getting Estimates: Most contractors won't come to your boat in the water for "out of water" jobs. I'm convinced its a business model. They tell you "well - we'll look at it once you're up on the hard and give you a quote." By that time - you are a boatyard "hostage" and its costing you money to keep it on the hard...and once they start work...you can't splash it until they are done! DIY (you say)?...I'd love to...but time is often worth more than your own money - in our case we have a very expensive vacation planned and we need someone else to do the work. OBTW - if the contractor doesn't have an affiliation with the yard...they can't work there!...so finding the more desperate single-proprietor tradesmen who need the work and do it cheaper (labor rate) are automatically pushed aside. It is what it is - and we are gonna pay for the things I just don't want to do like:
- Replace through-hulls/sea-cocks
- Bottom Job
- Compound/wax the hull
- Repair swim platform and rub-rail damage (teak)
- Pull/Service prop-shaft/rudder post
...at the same time we will have our insurance survey done and a rigging inspection (chain plates included). We have a budget of $13,000.00 to do all of this. Hopefully - we will stay within budget?
Haul-out Timing: We are hauling in mid April, then going on vacation for a month. Right about the time the other 1500 boats in the yard are itching to get back into the water for the spring season. More concerning is whether the contractors we will employ can complete the work in time for a June splash upon our return? We are optimistic!..but HEY...we are now "full time cruisers" and actually retired (so to speak)...so time can now be our friend.
The Live-Aboard Conundrum: Yes - we live aboard. When the boat comes out of the water, we have to live somewhere else (hotel)...an additional cost...THANK GOD FOR POINTS! We will get way with this one on points alone - BONUS!...hmmm...lodging while your boat in on the hard...another way to hemorrhage money!...BOAT - Break Out Another Thousand! The good news is that the Admiral has a plan (for her)!...she will be on business trips and closing on/moving into our new Villa in Florida while I tend to the BOAT business...then she goes with me on our overseas vacation...and WALLA...upon our return the boat is ready and we are back to normal again!...Yeah...as long as Murphy does not have a vote...but he ALWAYS DOES!
Regardless of the above musings - again...these are just little life's inconveniences on the path we choose to travel. They are truly "1st World Problems"...We LOVE it! Never a dull moment and always something to plan, manage or change.
Stay Tuned...Countdown to Haul-out is T-60 days!