Boatyard Living

Although Portland, ME is a great city, we have been here way too long. We waited a week to be hauled out in a very rolly mooring field frequented by cruise ships, ferries, and many fishing boats going full speed about 20 feet from our boat. We’ve now been on “the hard” for a full week and the projects seem to have just started. A boat yard is an industrial place where fishing boats are hauled out and salty fishermen are working hard on their boats. We’ve made friends with a couple, and learned a lot about their world. This is a picture of our next door neighbor.


We’ve also learned new words like “lobstah”, “beah”, “dinah”, and “wicked pissah”. The boat is on stilts and we are about 10 feet in the air. We are constantly watching the kids to make sure they don’t fall off the boat (much scarier on land than in the water!). When the kids want to get off the boat we are watching them to make sure they aren’t playing near the gross water nearby (we are located right next door to a lobster cannery), they aren’t playing with chips of paint, in oil puddles, or with a rusty bar. They did make friends with our next door neighbor’s kids.


We have become used to the gross smell of the cannery and it will be a welcome treat when we can go outside on the trampoline and watch the stars without having to plug our noses!

We broke down and decided to rent a car to get the kids out of dodge during the day. It felt so foreign to be behind the wheel again. It was much needed as we had many errands to run getting items for the boat, taking a shower (about half a mile down the road at the “good” boat yard location), entertaining the kids, etc. Pat and I have had to take turns working on the boat and taking care of the kids. Here is a list of projects we’ve been working on:

– Replace plumbing in heads (thank goodness! The smell was KILLING me!)
– Replace toilet seats
– Build a floorboard for the heads

– Glue headboard strip in 2 cabins
– Sand the hull and scrape looking for bubbles in the bottom coat
– Bring rudders down for inspection and repair
– Sand rudders and keel where needing repair
– Inspect stanchions for leaks and remove putty previous owner put on them
– Install battery insulators
– Remove VHF and send to manufacturer to get a new MMSI
– Replace helm chair that cracked in half on our crossing (rotten wood inside)
– Replace speakers
– Replace deck shower
– Reinstall life raft after being serviced
– Clean & Buff boat (don’t get me started on how long it took us to prep for this – apparently it’s more complicated than meets the eye).

Pat polishing the boat – harder than it looks!

– Try to figure out where the anchor light wiring is in the mast! Ugh, still no solution on this one.

An inside look up the mast.

– Install solenoid on LPG tanks
– Waiting for a rigging/mast inspector
– Waiting on an engine guy to look at our sail drive
– We will fix leaks in rudders, repair fiberglass damage on the keels, and then spot paint the areas on the hull that were bubbling.
– Replace broken valve on hot water heater
– Replace deck shower “mixer”
– Replace engine compartment latch
– Replace zincs on hull
– Take advantage of having a car to get items like toilet paper that can be flushed in our new toilets (yay!), get 3M hooks to hang decorations in kids cabins, get waste baskets, laundry tubs, shower caddy, etc, etc.

So, we’ve been busy. We are really looking forward to being back in the water with all of these items checked off the list – hopefully late next week if we’re lucky. Although it is taxing, it is nice to be using our bodies everyday. We felt this the first day we were on the boat. Everything you do is physical – it really makes you feel alive. I used to sit at my desk for 8 hours a day and would be too tired to exercise in the evenings. Now, being physical is just a part of life. If we’re not working hard on the boat, using our core to balance ourselves in the water and trim/put sails up, we’re playing hard on the beach or walking a mile to get groceries, dinner, or sightsee. Feeling sore at the end of the day is a reminder that we’ve lived.

Taking a break for a little beach time.
The boys trying out their new boogie boards.
Tucker, our new friend at the boatyard.
Happy that the boat is finally hauled out!
The kids with Tucker.
The kids actually excited to start boat schooling!


One thought on “Boatyard Living”

  1. Wow!!!! That chore list is overwhelming. I will not whine about mowing the yard!!!

    Physically, you are much stronger than I am!!!

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