Final Sail and 2017 Haul-Out

I finished the sailing season with a series of solo day sails, as my mate was deeply involved in an art show for the past two weeks of the season. Now with holiday madness upon us, it’s time to haul and put Cay of Sea to bed for the season. Here’s a photo from one of my final days on the water.

One of those beautiful light, sky, and water moments.

As usual for haul-out time, I pumped all the water out of the bow tank and “shop-vaced” the water lines clear. I pumped antifreeze into the holding tank (which was empty except for that last half-gallon that you can’t get out), and left the head as-is this year.  Next spring will require a head rebuild anyway, so no need to disassemble now.

The next morning I warmed up the engine, then extracted the old oil. Removed the filter, installed new, and refilled with oil. Now we’re ready to motor across the creek for haul-out and winter storage. On the way over, I met the boatyard crew in the yard skiff – they were coming to get Cay of Sea, as today was the scheduled time to haul and they wanted to get it done! They turned around and followed me back to the travel lift slip, promptly lifting her out as I stood and watched.

Hanging in the slings.

I’m still happy with Hydrocoat anti-fouling paint. Second year on this application and there were very few barnacles. Lot’s of “muddy” soft growth, which is typical for this area, though. I scrubbed the bottom twice this year, so there was certainly less growth than if I had not done so, but I was still pleased with the shape she was in. I had maybe six or seven barnacles on the prop, and six or seven scattered elsewhere on the hull.

There are a of couple barnacles left on the prop after power washing. Not too bad. Hydrocoat stays on the prop through the year. I repainted the prop last spring.

Scotty is blasting the mud-growth off.

Soft growth before power washing.

Heading to her parking spot for the winter.

Shipwright Harbor, where I haul out each year, has changed ownership. The new owners are investing lots of money into the property and have re-landscaped, renovated the pool and deck area, cleared out all the storage (aka abandoned) boats, rebuilt piers, installed new pilings and aprons along the bulkhead. They’ve also changed practices for blocking and hauling, which seem much safer than before. I was never concerned with the safety elements before, but these changes make a lot of sense to me: now they block the boats much lower, keeping the center of gravity lower and less exposed to shifting in windy conditions. They also now place a plywood pad underneath each foot of each boat stand to keep the stand from sinking into the gravel through freeze and thaw cycles. Each boat now has a bow chock (never did before). Finally, the travel lift never moves without a spotter, and the boats aren’t parked as closely together as they used to be. All this seems like common-sense precaution and safety to me. I really appreciate it.

Blocked, chocked, and set for the winter.

I still have to finish altering the fit of her canvas cover, then install it. Another couple of posts on that forthcoming.

  1. Johadel said:

    Hauling out at the end of the season is such a sad time. I was always glad that we were able to keep our J’Lesca in the water year round in the southern bay. We didn’t sail much through the winter, but the days that we did get out were wonderful.

    I hope you and Ruth have a wonderful holiday season this year. We are looking forward to getting together with you next summer.

  2. Sadly, another season of boating on the Chesapeake Bay has passed. We were only able to boat a couple times this past summer due to my leg replacement late May. It was just too much risk of unbalance with getting on and off the boat. Hopefully, next summer all will be good! Happy Holidays, Rick!

    • Leg replacement? You have peeked my curiosity!

      • Yeah, bummer. A step collapsed on our motorhome and down I went. We’ve stayed around Maryland & Delaware for the summer/fall (we’re in Lewes DE now). We’re looking for a place to rent on MD Eastern Shore (maybe back to Kent Island) for next year to definitely get some boating in and start living life again. We have missed boating and the Chesapeake Bay! The motorhome, well it’s in storage pending litigation….. :-(

      • Hope you’ve made a good recovery. These things get in the way of living our lives the way we want to.

  3. Haul out? Never! Tuesday is supposed to be 10 knots and 57F. I’ve not found staying in to be anymore damaging–less in some ways–it’s cheaper and I get more use. Winter sailing is different, of course. You pick easy days and enjoy the quiet. The only thing that really puts a crimp on cruising, if you have good cabin heat, are the long nights. That, and I and I have always had boats powered by outboards–no winterizing, at least not the engine.

    The practices sound a lot like Herrington Harbor, which makes sense. I’ve hauled over there many times, but only for a week or two for painting. I always found them to be very professional.

    • With our shallow slip and winter low, low tides, there’s a real risk of taking damage as the boat bottoms out and leans into a finger pier. This has happened to me once before, and I had to remove, straighten, and reinstall a stanchion as a result.

      I’d have to winterize the engine anyway, or place a heater in the engine room if I were to stay in the water. Although it’s pricey, hauling out works best for me in this location.

  4. Hi, Rick. It’s been a long time since I last visited. Sometimes, life just gets in the way ;-)
    When does the sailing season start again (there I go, proving myself an ignorant landlubber – LOL)?
    I bet you can’t wait!
    At any rate, hope you enjoyed the holiday season.

    • Hey! Nice to hear from you.

      We’re in the clutches of winter at this point, although our January has been wildly variable – ranging from 10+ days in the teens and single digits (Fahrenheit) to yesterday and today with highs in the mid-50s. Water in the creek where we moor our boat has been mighty hard for most of the month, but has unfrozen in just the last couple of days. No sailing until April at least! Hope you’re doing well.

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