12th Haul Out


…And here we are again in another place altogether doing a thing we know how to do.


The big job this time around is the bottom. Wait…that’s always the big job!!! Hmm, I see something I don’t like on the bow down there.


This is Ray. He runs the yard at Eastport Yacht Center and drives the TravelLift. Not only is he very good at what he does, we get the feeling he really loves it.


After hauling out so many times, you kind of get used to the mechanics of the thing. Put the boat in the straps, haul her out, power-wash, and jack stands… Just like that, you got a great big project on your hands.

We mentioned last time that it’s been a while since we hauled her out of the water for the “full-meal-deal”, meaning replacing what sea-cocks need replacing, repairing the hull, and, of course, a new bottom-job.

Traditionally we scrub the bottom with a few griddle-bricks, clean her off with some 216, and slough as much Trinidad SR on her as we can afford, but this time we wanted to do it up right!


First order of business was the packing gland. We’ve had too much water coming in from around the prop shaft for quite some time now, and it’s given us more than a few bad moments. Rather than continue hurting ourselves on the engine trying to get to the packing nut and failing to move it once we’re there, we disassembled the exhaust system, pulled the cockpit drain hoses, and got right on in there.

A short time later…and I mean 4 minutes later, if that…the packing wrench turned the packing nut and we gave a coordinated cheer. (No high kicks, though.) Another incredibly small period of time later, we were looking at the whole ball of…flax.


The packing wrench is along the bottom of the picture. The miniature corkscrew embeds in the rings of PTFE-impregnated flax packing (square in shape, in case you can’t tell in the photo). Unfortunately, I (Dena) stabbed the packing in the middle rather than at one end of the ring, so it took a lot of wiggling and yanking before they slipped out of the packing nut’s recess, the one built to hold 3 rings.

See that there are only 2 rings? Yeah. That’s why we had so much water coming in. Yet another (hopefully the last…ha!) of the Previous Owner messes. Oh, This Fucking Guy!

On the other hand, the 3 rings of new packing slipped in without trouble and we looked at each other. After all those years, the problem was fixed. Celebrate!

Speaking of This Fucking Guy (TFG, from here on out), TFG was supposed to arrange for us to haul out first thing Monday morning so he could have his crew soda blast the bottom of our boat. On Sunday, we checked with the marina and they had us on the schedule for 11am. Hmm. I like sleeping in, but…

No blasting on Monday.


Tuesday came and went without blasting as well, so we took on some odd jobs around the old homestead.


Let’s see that hardware!

TFG got his crew out today, though the sky is wet along with everything else. Once the blasting is done (looks at watch), we’ll go back and keep working. More soon.




  1. …that is very true Tom!
    Mainsail, our trusted online resource from sailboatowners.com, recommends a drip-speed of 1 or 2 drips per minute. Our packing had officially “blown-out” and was coming in at a steady trickle. Now, that keeps the bilge nice and clean but it’s a big draw on electricity being as though we have a 9 amp bilge pump that would kick on at least 6 times a day… no bueno.

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