2012 Boat Yard – Day 1

2012 Boat Yard

Scheduled for haul out at 0900, we were underway 0830. Since the boat yard is just around the corner from the marina we were staying in, it was a short voyage. The engines wouldn’t even get warmed up – we thought. However, you know how it goes – right? Stuff happens – but not to us – so no worries.


On our way to the boat yard we passed by the USS IOWA – designated the “World’s Greatest Naval Ship”. This was the lead ship in the IOWA class battleships, is being restored, and is open to the public at Port Richmond. If you are in the area, get over to see it on a weekend before it moves on to its home port of Los Angeles in April.

Her success is certainly due – in part – to the service of these guns.

Rosie the Riveter

While you are over in Richmond, make a day of it and visit Rosie the Riveter National Park, right there at the Port of Richmond, too.

We Can Do It poster for Westinghouse, closely ...

Image via Wikipedia

As we approached the boat yard two sea going tugs were in the process of hooking on to a fuel barge. We hailed one of the barges to confirm our passing them. They responded quickly and politely to come along their starboard side. Just as we signed off, another voice hailed us on the radio. The captain of the other tugboat, that was alongside the barge, hailed us. Turns out we know him! (Is that a surprise, really?) Dave and his wife kept their pleasure boat at Salpare Marina in Portland, the same time we were there. We had a quick visit, let him get back to work, and continued on to the boat yard, where we waited a half hour for our turn. Really, the water front is a small world.

MV RANGER Splashes

How small, you ask? We were scheduled for haul out, right after MV RANGER was launched.

MV RANGER is a classic wooden Stephens motor yacht, that was built in Stockton, CA, in the 1960’s. And, MV RANGER belongs to friends we met at Ballena Isle Marina, in Alameda, four years ago. In fact, right after they were launched, we were hauled, and landed in the spot they vacated in the boat yard!  By the way, RANGER does not have a list.  The boat yard had her a bit off center in the slings.  She is still in the slings in the photo.

DESERT VENTURE on the Brand New Travel Lift

And there is our lovely girl, just out of the water. Always, my heart is in my throat and my breathing is sketchy. I know that air and land are not DV’s natural environment, and though the boat yard took every precaution, they do not love her like I do. All that said, they really did a marvelous job of hauling her and setting her down on the hard.

In fact, they have her blocked and braced like never before. This is great by me – especially after the earthquake a couple days ago, and our previous earthquake experience on the hard. Now the work begins.

Concerned for some time now, it was no surprise to see mostly barrier paint after the power wash – the bottom pain was gone. That pretty blue paint, for you non-boaters, is the barrier coat. It generally has two or more coats of anti-fouling paint on top (black on DV), that helps keep the growth of ocean critters to a minimum. Bottom paint is generally done every two years – but rarely would you find this much paint gone. There appears to be no harm done, but we knew we weren’t protected at the best level. That all changes this week.

Yucky Sea Strainer

Sea strainer before cleaning – see why it’is important to check your sea strainers? Gotta keep the water flowing freely, right?

First hours out of the water are busy for Bruce. He does as much work as he can to facilitate the yard work. He removed all the zinc anodes, the Electroguard shaft bands and brushes, drained and cleaned the sea strainers, and generally prepared the engine room and the hull for the yard to start their work first thing tomorrow. Besides the bottom job, the cutless bearings are being replaced. The work entailed means the rudders, propellers, and shafts will have to be pulled off the boat. [There is an “eeeekkkk” resonating deep within me at the thought of all this vital equipment being removed – especially since it has all been working perfectly.] However, that is one of the jobs this boat yard does regularly. In fact, the boat next to us has its new shaft laying on the ground and two gorgeous polished bronze propellers waiting to be installed. So, I am breathing deep.

Boat Yard Living

We are staying aboard. Right now we are the only ones on the hard staying on a boat. Our friends on MV RANGER are here, but at a dock. So there is us, our friends, and a live on-sight security guy. Oh. I think there are a couple dogs – I hope they know I am a friend when I take my night walk to the head – which is a portable potty until tomorrow when they get the on site restrooms back in service.

Boat yards – what can I say.

5 thoughts on “2012 Boat Yard – Day 1

  1. I love reading about all you do to keep your home ship-shape! She looks so beautiful in the top picture that it was a bit of a shock to see (and read) about how much she has been through to have worn away so many layers of protective paint!
    I’m sure if we did as much for our own home every year she’d be the toast of the town! Hugs and best wishes to you and the Captain!

  2. Angie, My cousin Captain George Dowell was the naval officer in charge of the Pascagoula shipyards when the Iowa was taken out of mothballs, refitted and put back to service. Mary Lou and I were invited to attend the ceremonies and met George Bush (senior), the Secretary of the Navy, and The Governor of Iowa. What an impressive occasion and the ship was monumental.

  3. Ahem! A knowledgeable mariner can only assume all that seaweed in the sea strainer got there on the run past the USS IOWA from the Richmond marina to the boat yard. After all they are designed to be cleaned out while the boat is in the water.

    Good success while on the hard!

    • Leave it to Peter. We probably found the seaweed on the voyage up the coast last fall. We haven’t gone anywhere but to the new marina, and the boat yard since our arrival in the bay – at least not by boat. Also, Captain cleans the sea strainers and vacuums out the water so that we aren’t dripping salt water while we are in the yard. And, that is the rest of the story.

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