It’s summertime, so it must be time to haul Take Two. Last year we hauled out to replace the engines, but didn’t touch the bottom paint. It was two years ago when we blasted all the old paint off, refaired the bottom, and repainted it.
Two years is about the life expectancy for bottom paint, and Boot Key Harbor in Marathon, FL is about the worst growth conditions you can find. After sitting there for 5 months, our bottom growth was looking pretty wicked. The picture below is not one of Tanya’s homemade pizzas, although it does look tasty — it is the bottom of the kids’ Minifish sailboat after about a month in Boot Key Harbor.
There are five places I know of in Florida that can handle Take Two’s beam, and we’ve used three of them. Some we'd do again, some we wouldn't.
This time we decided to mix it up a little bit and try the boatyard in Spanish Wells. There are several advantages to this. First, it’s in the Bahamas, and so is a destination in itself — we wanted to swing through after leaving the Keys anyway. They use a lifting platform, which in theory is easier on the boat. A bottom job is cost-effective — materials are expensive, but labor is cheap. And they’ve got the good paint.
We rented a great house, only 100 yards from the boat yard, where we can be in vacation mode and I can still supervise the work on the boat. Take Two can be seen easily from the front porch, and it’s only a short walk to go check on things. We’re right on the waterfront, so there’s lots of activity to watch. Ferries, mail boats, tankers, and barges. Oh my!
When Take Two is in the water, the house has a dock where we can tie her up. Which is highly convenient when we have the necessities for seven people, plus almost the entirety of Tanya’s galley to transport between the boat and the house.
We’ve really enjoyed being here. We had stopped in Spanish Wells twice before, but it was only to drop off trash or buy eggs. This time we got a much better feel for the place.
As haulouts go, this was a winner. The previous occupants of the house were the owners of the previous boat on the lift and have been hauling out here for 10 years, so we are not the first to figure this out. I can’t say for sure that we’ll do this again next time, but our future haulout options have officially been increased.