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For the past eleven days our yacht has sat in the boatyard. I spent every day overseeing myriad projects our boat contractor had to perform. One day as I watched, a friend of ours who works and lives aboard at the marina, Renee, came up to me. She said, “Isn’t it exciting when you get your boat pulled?” The answer, of course, is that yes, it is exciting.

 

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I’ve listed what we were going to have done before but, briefly, our boat needed a bottom job, a bow thruster installed, the paint retouched and the entire hull compounded and waxed, the cap rail needed to be caulked where it met the hull, the zincs needed to be replaced, our Max Prop needed to be put back on, the engine and generator exhaust fittings needed to be removed and rechromed, the entire transom needed to be repainted, and the name and the hailing port redone; the name remained the same, the hailing port was changed.

That is quite a spruce up. And, it’s very exciting watching this work being done.

Here’s how it went down…

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Monday a week ago, bright and early, my guy and me awoke, went to breakfast, and then went to move the boat over to the shipyard. We went early to avoid the wind; we had to have the boat at the yard at 8:00 AM…we were the first scheduled lift. The boat sat in the lift slip at 7:30. I think both of us were a bit apprehensive about the boat coming out of the water. This was the first time we’d seen the hull out of the water as we were not present at the survey. We hoped there wouldn’t be any surprises.

As the boat was lifted me and Captain Husband strained to visually inspect the hull for…well, anything. We saw nothing untoward. As the yard hands hydroblasted the hull I, personally, was pretty amazed at the condition of the bottom.

Virtually all of the first day was taken up with the yard hands sanding the old bottom off, and then vacuuming up the paint dust. We called these particular yard hands the Blue Man Group…NOT to be confused with the Blue Man Group.  

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Later on, Docking by Control spotted the initial location of the bow thruster, electing not to actually drill the huge tunnel hole until the next day.  We opted for a Side-Power SE 100/185 T bow thruster unit.  It’s advertised as the strongest 8″ tunnel bow thruster on the market.

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On Tuesday, the yard hands put the first of two coats of bottom paint on and continued cleaning the shaft strut, shaft, shaft spurs, and the fixed prop.

The painter decided to wax/compound the boat first in order to see all of the areas that needed to be retouched more clearly. We were somewhat blown away at how the boat looked after it was compounded…almost like new. The name was peeled off and the entire transom sanded down, faired, and primed. This process continued until last Saturday morning…until all the paint was touched up before he caulked the cap rail and waxed the entire boat. Our yacht looks like a brand new boat…literally. Last Friday, before the final waxing, Dockside Graphics  reapplied the name and hailing port to the transom, also adding a small Tayana 52 decal to the boom. It looks great.

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And, so it went…

On Wednesday, the huge 8″ holes were drilled to accept the thruster tunnel. Over the next couple of days the entire thruster system was installed. Any misgivings I had about cutting up our yacht was dismissed upon observing the professionalism Docking by Control exhibited while they worked. Slowly but methodically they did their thing. Docking by Control had the entire installation professionally filmed for a YouTube video advertisement.

The paint touch up and the bow thruster were the big items on this out haul. However, the installation of the Max Prop was also a biggie for us; research said that the boat’s prop walk would be greatly diminished with this feathering propeller back on. Prop walk occurs on all boats, some more than others. For our yacht, prop walk was a huge factor in backing the boat up, with huge torque wanting to turn the boat to port. The bow thruster has eliminated the stress of backing our boat up and that is the absolute reason for getting it in the first place.  However, not  having to contend with strong prop walk is a plus, bow thruster or not.

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As a brief history, as best we can tell, there were two propellers that came with the boat: a Max Prop feathering propeller and a fixed pitch one. For whatever reason, the previous owner had the Max Prop taken off and the fixed propeller put on. We wanted the Max Prop put back on and part of the work to be done on this haul out was to make that happen. So far, that hasn’t been an easy install.

When the yard mechanic finally got around to installing the Max Prop virtually the first thing he noticed was that the unique main nut that holds the prop on was missing. It was a special thread nut. After a call to the manufacturer, PYI, a nut was fabricated and overnighted to us, arriving this past Monday morning. We were a go…kind of. It turns out that even though this nut was specially made by the manufacturer it wasn’t machined quite right. The fix? A sixteenth or so of the face of the nut had to be machined off.

That was done yesterday morning and by mid afternoon the yard mechanics set the pitch, filled the mechanism full of grease, and completed the assembly. As soon as they walked away the prop and the shaft spurs were coated with Prop Speed, an anti-fouling coating.  Prop Speed is quite unique in that it doesn’t work by being poisonous but by being so slick nothing can or will grow on it.

In the meantime (actually this past Tuesday) another issue popped up.

There were two yard mechanics working on getting the Max Prop back on. Yesterday, one of them noticed one of the cutlass bearings for the prop shaft was turning in its seat. That is most definitely not supposed to happen…it was a great catch by the yard mechanics. On our boat there are two cutlass bearings: one where the shaft exits the hull, and one where the shaft goes through the shaft strut. The strut cutlass bearing was fine, the one where the shaft exited the hull, however, was frozen to the shaft and spun in its fiberglass seat.

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The fix for this: replace both cutlass bearings. By the end of the day yesterday, the shaft was disconnected from the transmission, removed, the old forward cutlass bearing cut off the shaft, the new bearings, fore and aft installed…and the whole system put back together.

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The result of this was new cutlass bearings and another day of yard and mechanic charges. The cost? No frigging idea…not cheap for sure.

Once the prop was installed the only thing left to do was for the swim ladder and fittings to be put back on the transom. A temporary engine exhaust fitting was used in place of the original. The reason for the temporary fitting was that the engine and generator exhaust fittings have been sent out to be rechromed.

Launch was set for this morning at 8:30…

We got to the yard about 8:00 and found the boat already sitting in the crane slings. One of the guys from the Blue Man Group sanded the very bottom of our keel and applied bottom paint. The boat was then taken to the haul out slip and lowered into the water…splashed, as they say.

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I was anxious as we started the engine and cast off even though we had two additional hands to assist in our docking. The reason was that not only did I have a bow thruster to instantly adapt to but also a new prop. The effects of the new prop were instantly noticeable…more power and speed.

When we got to our slip, I slowed and backed her right in stern to. The bow thruster absolutely did its job and made the entire docking a breeze. For what it cost it should have.

So, now the boat is back in its slip looking all nice and pretty.

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One Comment

  1. Ah, the saga of boat maintenance. You’ll be glad you did all this, especially the bow thruster. Best investment ever!


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