Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why Do We Haul Out?

The expected "few days" grew into thirteen days on the hard, and we are finally back in the water, relaunched yesterday. The question remains: why do we haul out?

Part 1: Planned Activities
Hauling out is part of our annual Spring outfitting and trip preparation routine. RL visually checks the condition of the hull, bottom paint and running gear. Additionally our marine insurance company requested an out-of-the-water inspection by a certified marine surveyor this year , a once-every-five-year requirement. We anticipated a brief stay in the boatyard to accomplish a short project list beginning with power washing, scraping barnacles and bottom paint.

Bottom paint retards the growth of marine life such as barnacles, mussels, grasses, etc. No owner wants their boat to wear a hula skirt of waving green grass. This year a powerwash cleaning showed that only a waterline band of red would need fresh paint. 

Photo: hull before power washing
Zincs always need replacing when we haul out. These molded chunks of metal are sacrificial elements that reduce the corrosion on other metal components, important things like propellers, shafts, rudders and thru-hull fittings. (Click here for more information about zincs.) The before and after photos of the stern zinc gives evidence of their importance... only a tiny bit of that big chunk of metal remains on the lefthand bolt. 

Photo: the stern zinc has disappeared
Photo: a new stern zinc, installed
Photo: shaft zinc after one year of wear
Imagine what the propellers and shafts might look like without a zinc installed nearby. There are nine pencil-shaped zincs inside each of the Caterpillar engines which serve the same protective purpose, but these small units can be replaced while the boat is in the water.

The Ocean Pacific Travelift can hoist 100 tons, but it required just 36.7 tons of that capacity to move Rhapsody shoreside. It is impressive to track the slow, precise movement of that monster machine as Jeff transports boats, large and small, through the crowded boatyard and guides them into position. 

Photo: Rhapsody moves through the yard
Photo: a forest of metal stanchions wait to support the hull

Photo: adding wedges to block the keel

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