Thursday, October 30, 2008

On the hard in Titusville

We arrived in Titusville, Florida on Sunday, October 18th. The wind was blowing about 20 knots, which made anchoring rather tricky.

Sunshine was bucking like a bronco and the wind was blowing us backward at about 4 knots as we let out the anchor. Phil was trying to balance on the bow as he monitored the chain coming out. I was at the helm, trying without much success to keep our backward motion to a minimum. The anchor caught suddenly and the boat jerked to a stop, nearly flipping Phil overboard.

We were glad when we got back inside the cabin and were able to settle in for the night.

By Monday morning, the wind had calmed and we dinghied ashore to Westland Marina, where we planned to have Sunshine hauled out of the water for a couple of weeks.

We checked in at the office and arranged the haul-out for Wednesday morning. Then, we took a short tour of Titusville in the car that our good friend Rich Tanner had kindly left for us to use. Rich, owner of a PDQ 36 named Feral Cat, had spent the summer at Titusville but headed south before we arrived.

In it's heyday, Titusville was home to most of the people who worked at nearby Cape Canaveral. NASA's diminished role in the last few years has taken a toll on this once flourishing town, but it still has the basic cruising necessities: a WalMart, a West Marine, and a boatyard with a lift to haul out our catamaran, and that allows you to remain on your boat and, most important, allows you to do your own work.

Marinas can make more money using their own employees to work on boats. As a result, do-it-yourself boatyards are becoming rare, and Westland Marina is one of the few remaining.

We were up early on Wednesday, getting ready for our haul-out. We motored Sunshine into the marina and tied up at the designated dock. When the traveling lift was in place, the dock workers pulled Sunshine into place. Slings were placed under the boat in front and back of her keel and she was hoisted up out of the water.

The travel lift carried Sunshine to an empty spot in the boatyard and lowered her so that she was resting on her keels, with two jacks in back to balance her 8,000 pounds.

We are able to live on board with most of the comforts of home, except for the head (bathroom). The bathhouse is a short walk away, so we are not suffering much.

We have been "on the hard," as they say, for a week and a half. Phil has completed sanding, priming and painting the bottom and I am working on buffing and waxing the hulls above the newly painted bottom.

We'll be out of the water for a few more days before we get "splashed," then plan to remain at anchor here at Titusville while we provision for our trip south, eventually winding up at West Palm Beach for Thanksgiving with family.

We are pleased with the results of our first major do-it-yourself project on Sunshine.


No comments: