Live Free 2 Sail Fast

Thoughts on Hauling Out with Family

In getting ready to haul out our 51ft Sailboat for multiple upgrades, repairs and normal maintenance, I knew my wife would be in Japan the entire time and I still needed to maintain some semblance of a normal routine with my two young school aged girls. We looked very hard at hotels with kitchen near the boatyard and several Airbnb’s, but we would have paid over $1456 dollars total for 7 days. (the haulout turned into 11 days). This cost would have been on top of the food costs, haul out costs, subcontractor costs and every other costs. After talking to our friend and experience yacht broker from Yachtfinders/Windseakers, we just decided to stay on the boat while she was hauled out. This did present some challenges as we were not allowed to dump gray water (no dishes or our tank would fill up) and we didn’t coordinate our black water tank cleaning well, so we had to make sure it was cleaned while we were 16 feet up on the hard. We also had to adjust to the kids clearing the gap from boat to ladder and the boat vibrating in it’s scaffolding at night, but things went well. The boatyard had nice bathrooms and showers and seemed to go with the flow of having young children there in the late afternoons. However, the boatyard started work early, so we tried to be off the boat by 0700 and the kids often were back by 4pm.

If you haul your boat out and want to live on it (with or without kids) here’s some of the things you may experience:

Tulum 5, on the hard at Shelter Island Boatyard
We tried to position the ladder in several places close enough for the kids to get on the boat, but in the end, it worked but it was in the paint crew’s way.
Yep, there’s a pretty good distance between rain and ladder, I made sure our minds were in the game for this transition.
My 9-year old (Teragan’s) first time up the ladder. She wasn’t all that happy about this first time but took to it well and in the end, taught mom how to do it. (Yeah, it’s a long way down).
Your boat will probably have alot of scaffolding and bracing like ours. We got used to it and make it work.
Plan your haulout better than I did, so you DON’T have to get pumped in the middle of it. Hard to make this work with two little girls on the boat with tiny bladders. Just had to be done.

So in the end, if I can live on my cruising sailboat on the hard with two little kids while my wife is traveling on business, you can too. Note: Quincy the Great Dane was not with us, we kenneled her for this little adventure.

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