Monday, August 18, 2008

The Boats Still Alive

Well thanks to everyone who prayed for my boat, she survived the haul-out,although a more stressful day I couldn't imagine. I hurt my shoulder last night and even with demoral coursing through my system, I barely slept a wink worrying about today.

I was trying to aim for a high tide to make the job as easy as possible.
Unfortunately my boat mover couldnt get here till 10 am, three hours after the high tide. David hooked up my speedboat to the Lucky 7 and towed her around Mitchell Island to the ramp we were going to be using. We got there about an hour before the boat mover and had a hell of a time fighting the outgoing current to keep the boat from smashing against the rocks.There was a dock nearby, and we decided it would be safer to get the boat tied up to it while waiting for the mover to show up.

I was freaking out by the time he got there as the tide had dropped considerably from when we first arrived and I wasn't sure how the boat would handle the stress of being pulled up a large incline. We threw the bow line over to the shore and David pulled the front of the boat to the ramp. Paul and myself were hanging on to the stern line, playing it out slowly so the back end of the boat would line up with the trailer. The mover figured it was in the right postion and told us to drop the stern line which we did. Huge mistake! The current pulled the stern off course and we had no way to push the boat back in line. David jumped on the boat, climbed around to the back, fished the stern line out of the water and tried to throw it back to us on the dock. It was too far and we couldnt reach it even with a pike pole.

In frustration, I jumped in the water with all my clothes on and swam to the line. The current was unbelievelably strong and I couldn't get back to the dock. As hard as I swam, I couldnt move an inch forward. I yelled to Paul to grab the pike pole and extend it out so I could grab onto it and he pulled me in to the dock. That was too close of a call for me, I have a whole new respect for the river now. Thankfully all I got was soaking wet.

We finally got the boat straightend out and on the trailer. I said a prayer and held my breathe as his tires spun before getting a grip and slowly but surely out she came and all in one piece, thank god.

There was a scary moment when I thought it wouldn't fit under the bridge but it cleared that fine. Unfortunately we wern't so lucky with the shop. It turned out the boat was about 6 feet too tall to fit in. David grabbed the saws-all and cut off the fiberglass wheelhouse. I almost cried. That did the trick though and we got it in and on the stands.

Now the fun begins, the first order of the day is to scrap all the barnacles off before they rot and stink up the shop. Tommorrow it gets pressure washed to try and remove as much paint, rotten wood and debris as possible.I have some fiberglass and resin on order and a stack of cedar boards to pick up. In the meantime we will be covering the bottom with a tarp skirt and using heaters to dry out the bottom.

I had started to sand the floors, but it turned out to be way more of a job than I anticipated and didnt get finished in time. The worst of it is done, just need to go over it with finer sandpaper, clean up all the dust everywhere and get some varnish down before the wood dries out. I cant wait to see the finished product, the floors look so much better already.

I have a huge amount of work on my hands but the fact that she came out in one piece makes me think that this was meant to be. So many people told me she would never survive the move. I knew in my heart she would but all their naysaying got me nervous for sure. Im overwhelmed by the task facing me but plan to just go one day at a time and try not to think of the big picture. Set myself manageble goals and work on them one at a time. I cant wait to show you all the finished product. God give me strength to see this through.I cant wait to be back on the water, lulled to sleep by the waves.

The tarp came off the day before, was cool to see my boat again as its been undercover since a few days after I got it.

David leaving the marina with the Lucky 7 in tow

The boat finally loaded on the trailer

And finally up the ramp and in one piece still

Ooops, someone forgot to measure the space first, now what??

A little modification ( cutting off the bridge) and its fits like a glove

How scary is this? These are some of the holes in my boat just above the water line that we covered with doorskins last year. No wonder I always felt a draft in the winter!

As you can see I have my work cut out for me. Anyone want to come and learn how to how to refurbish a boat with me?

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