Annual Haul-Out Time
'Charbonneau' gets a lift.
'Charbonneau' goes for a
'Charbonneau' gets a
well-deserved bottom cleaning
After all that work --
they had to put her back in the water and turn her around.
Our wind generator wouldn't clear the travel lift after setting
Part of the care and feeding plan for ‘Charbonneau’ includes
hauling her out of the water for an annual inspection and bottom paint.
We dread that time each year when we have to stand by and watch
someone else lift our home out of the water with only two straps to keep
her safe. The thought of her
slipping out of the slings scares us to death.
But, the annual haul-out is a good idea. It gives us a chance to really look the boat over and inspect
the bottom for any blistering or damage from previous groundings (don’t
lie – everyone runs aground eventually!).
The haul-out starts with that
terrifying lift out of the water and ends with another terrifying trip on
the travel-lift when she’s lowered back into her natural element.
What happens between those two moments differs for each cruiser.
We choose to have our favorite boatyard, Deaton’s in Oriental
NC, do the bottom work while we focus on other tasks.
Below is a typical list of items that we have them do during
our annual haul-out:
Haul the boat
and power wash the bottom
& rudder for blisters, imperfections, or damage.
Ask the yard for advice and/or repair anything we find.
thru-hulls for barnacles and/or damage
for proper operation and connections
propeller for any damage
cutlass bearing by giving a good side-to-side shake of the prop shaft.
Excessive play indicates that it’s time for a new one.
prop zinc – we don’t even look at the old one.
We like to start the year with a new one.
bottom for a new coat of paint. Add
two more coats (note: we changed paints this year from Micron CSC to
Trinidad SR. The Micron did
great in cooler waters but performed poorly in the warmer climates)
Wash and wax
the hull above the waterline. It’s
much easier to wax when out of the water.
Cover our eyes
as she’s lifted and put back into the water (important step!)
Once she’s back in the water, we go through each system that uses a
water-pump and ensure that the pumps are primed.
Running our refrigeration or other systems with a dry pump could
quickly damage expensive equipment.
We work on several other projects during this time.
It makes good sense to give the entire boat a thorough inspection.
We do a lot of these inspections throughout the year, but we make
sure we do them again during the haul-out time.
We inspect all the rigging (standing and running) for signs of wear
or chafe. Turning the running
rigging and anchor rode end-for-end each year helps even out the wear.
The primary and generator engines get a good review from top to bottom.
We check each hose clamp, bolt, belt, and seal for any needed
attention. Now is also a good
time to flush the cooling systems and inspect the heat exchanger.
We also like to hire a mechanic for an hour, or so, to look over the
engines with us. Not only do
the engines get a second opinion, we usually learn something new about our
engines or maintenance. The
outboard motor gets a similar review.
Next, we move on to the boat's electrical systems.
Loose connections or corrosion cause more problems on a boat than
anything else. Taking the time
to check our batteries, electrical connections, and coat connections with
some corrosion preventative has helped reduce the number of unexpected
Any leftover time is spent doing cosmetic work, new equipment installations,
or repairs that we’ve scheduled for this time.
We like to wax the cabin top, clean & polish the stainless, touch
up the teak, etc. This year
we’re busy repairing our windlass motor that was damaged by salt water
getting into the connections and having a SSB radio installed.
By the time we finish, three or more weeks will have passed and
Janet and I spend all year taking good care of ‘Charbonneau.’
We make sure she is cleaned, polished, and that her mechanical
systems get regular attention. ‘Charbonneau’
is our home and we understand that proper maintenance will preserve her
beauty and, well, keep us afloat. There
are very few repairs or maintenance items that we won’t do ourselves.
Tackling these jobs ourselves has helped us become attuned to our
boat’s systems – and saved a little money along the way. The annual haul-out is just one part of our maintenance
plan. But, it is an important
to Summer 2001Adventures/Pictures]
Wes, from Deaton's Boat
Yard, runs the travel lift with 'Charbonneau' in the slings
Our friend, Aaron
Sherrill, helps with some cosmetic work -- polishing the swim
platform's stainless steel
Blaine draws the
short straw and spends the day scraping barnacles off the dinghy's
bottom -- what fun!
off her new bottom paint and freshly waxed hull before being put
back in the water