Swift

The Ft. Lauderdale Haul-Out

We arrived at our haul out in Dania Beach (Just Catamarans at Harbourtown Boat Yard), and docked in a ridiculous spot. Matt somehow managed not to hit anything in howling 27 knot winds. A few hours later, we had to get out of this ridiculous spot and move into the lift basin, simply absurd! I mean, how do you extract a sardine from a tin of sardines and move it into another location in the tin without touching any other $$$ sardines?

Lagoon 380 sail catamaran being hauled
The haul out. Fred is driving the lift via remote control!
It’s always a bizarre experience to see your boat lifted out of the water, on two canvas straps, that are connected to the lift by a few small screws. And it’s not just our boat, but our home. James, the expert, went to work right away. 

When Matt replaced the seals a few months ago, he tried to finesse the props off, tried to use the right tools, spent hours looking up proper procedures, and ended up whacking them off with a hammer. The professionals don’t waste time with tools and just go straight to the violent 2 x 4 and hammer approach. Good times. Of course, James wasn’t a true professional. To receive 10 stars from us, he would have needed to strip off his shirt, put away a 12 pack, shoot up some heroin, and then put the 2x4 to work while chain-smoking. I’m disappointed.

The starboard side was fine. It started raining. The sun was getting lower. The port side, the troublemaker? James started draining the oil. "That’s surprising", he says. "There’s no water in the oil". All the calls, the scheduling, the battling past the bridges, the haul-out, the money? It’s all just been a good old fashioned lark. Did it fix itself somehow on the drive up? We have the oily water in a container to prove Matt isn’t mad. Don’t worry, we like a good laugh. 


Independence remained in the lift for the night, in preparation for an 8AM departure. We walked to Motel 6 in the rain. I stood in line while some lovely tourists were confused about the difference between a Ritz and a Motel 6. I enjoyed a hot shower and pizza delivery. Our neighbors experienced some interpersonal issues at 5AM. Hastings woke up, thought about barking at them, but then decided he didn’t want to get involved. At 7AM, the wafts of a joint confirmed the reason for the sudden blissful silence. 
Hastings had to sleep in our duffel bag because I was too lazy to carry his bed. He's a trooper!
Lagoon 380 sail catamaran being launched
Waiting to be re-launched
At 7:30AM, we walked back to the yard, floated Independence, and did more sardine can maneuvering in 24 knot winds. Matt is totally my hero. I'm simply blown away by his boat handling and complete lack of tears. Somehow, he keeps us all afloat and doesn't even stop to inject valium into his eyeballs. I don't know how!

We anchored in Hollywood Beach to recover....less than 24 hours after leaving Hollywood Beach!

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6 comments

  1. Well done Matt! If I had to do those kind of maneuvers, valium wouldn't be enough, even injected directly into the eyeballs.

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    1. We're coming after Shelley for her supply. Need to get stocked up!

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  2. I love happy endings, especially ones that involve dogs in a duffel bags!

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

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    1. Isn't he funny? Even at home, he'll shun our bed, his bed, and find some shoes to lay on.

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  3. You know what is funny about your story (now anyway)? That we did exactly the same after cruising the ICW for just a couple of months. We thought we had water in the oil, returned north in the cold fall for 6 hours to the closest yard that could haul us in Georgia (the mega yacht haulout yard Thunderbolt Marine), only to being told we didn't have water in the sail drive oil. They did replace the seals regardless. I think about a third of times we got hauled out those eight years, we didn't actually have to. We were just too worried and inexperienced about everything and didn't want to take any risks. Oh well... BTW, I have never slept through the night in any Motel 6. We have no idea what people do all night in those rooms, but it always involves a lot of noise. Better safe than sorry for Independence. I"m glad it was a short and painless experience!

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    1. I'd rather have no water in the drive than need a new one! We usually go overboard on risk aversion, but I'm OK with that! And what is it with Motel 6? La Quintas aren't really more expensive, but we usually have quiet neighbors!

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