After weeks of preparation, Frank was finally ready for an intensive period of maintenance and upgrades to PatiCat. He was a bit nervous since this was his first time to conduct a haulout for a large sailing vessel. Time is money at a boatyard since you are charged a per day fee (called a "layday") while your boat is sitting in the boatyard hard on the ground. Frank had to coordinate the purchase of equipment for the upgrades and maintenance, tools, and supplies. Then he needed to coordinate the hiring of contractors to assist with some of the upgrades which were beyond his experience or abilities/tools. Any of these items could have caused delays (i.e. more laydays) if they didn't arrive on time.
Maintenance tasks included cleaning off barnacles (if any), putting new anti-fouling paint on the bottom, engine maintenance, propellor maintenance, and waxing the underside and hulls of the boat to keep it clean. In addition, a host of new equipment installations including a new SSB radio, grounding system for the radio, a new antenna for the SSB, and new propellors for both engines.
Twenty minutes later saw us under the bridges and sailing at 8.5 knots down the Neuse. We had a great sail all the way to Adams Creek with winds increasing to 25 knots and a reef in both sails. We hit 9.5 knots by the time we were down there (and Paticat's bottom was not clean!). We laid anchor in Adams Creek, which was well shielded from the breeze and had a pleasant night.
We arrived around 9:00 AM at our assigned time. But, they had a number of boats being hauled (some due to the anticipated storm). Frank sent Karen and the girls home (we had brought one of the cars down to Beaufort before we left New Bern the day before) as one of the girls had a doctors appointment back in Raleigh later in the day. A few hours later, they finially hauled Paticat out of the water.
Here are some pictures of the haulout. Note the clouds from the storm building. They had some difficulty making sure the lifting straps were not interfering with the keels, rudders, or the saildrives for the propellors. Note the brown stains at the waterline from the yucky water in the Neuse. They moved us to the end of a row of catamarans, and put us on some blocks and some stands.
Without going into excessive details, we managed to accomplish nearly all of the objectives within the assigned week. With good help from contractors, the boatyard, and my friends from New Bern on Paradise, we managed to do all of the aforementioned tasks (there were a few other ambitious items on the list, but they didn't require being out of the water). The more technically difficult job was the SSB radio. Thank goodness my friends from Paradise helped with this. We also had a rigger help with the antenna installation (this involves cutting one of our shrouds into three peices and installing insulators between the longest middle peice and then wiring it to the radio). Frank went up the mast twice to take down and put up the shroud. Unfortunately, Frank was too occupied with the operation to remember to take pictures!
Here are some pictures of these wonderful Australian made propellors after they were installed. They have an excellent design for adjusting pitch - you can actually dive under and use a simple wrench and allen wrench to adjust them. Better than any other feathering prop Frank could find.