Abel's Boat Yard

October 24, 2000

Our haul-out was a wonderful success. In fact we liked it so much we plan to do it again when we return from our visit to the states in December. Actually, we underestimated the amount of paint that we would need once we cleaned the bottom of the boat down to the primer coat. We want to be sure that we have a sufficient amount of paint on the bottom to last for several years. To that end we have ordered seven more gallons and they should arrive in Guatemala about the same time that we return from our trip.

Abel’s yard uses a rail line for the haul-out. This was a new experience for us, and we (at least Jane) were a little nervous about how well it would go. In the past we have been hauled out by travel lifts in various marinas from Illinois to the Chesapeake. Inevitably a marina will need to have the boat brought back through a maze of turns through boats at the slip. At the haul-out slip the aft rigging must be removed and then the boat must be turned around so that the aft end can be pulled into the slip first. As the slings lift the boat out, it is impossible not to worry about whether the slings will hold that massive amount of weight.

At a rail line there is a huge carriage that goes down into the water to a point deep enough for a boat to pull right up between four stakes that will secure it to the carriage. The carriage is then brought up out of the water by cables connected to big drums. That is it! No bother, no worry. The second photo will show Satori on the way out. The Guatemalans swim out with their masks on, dive down under the boat and secure it to the rail.

We had agreed on the cost ahead of time. We were to pay $250 for the haul-out and the splash. We were also to pay $20/day for our time out of the water. The labor, if we chose to take advantage of it would be about $16.25 for each man/day, if we chose to take advantage of it. We did choose to have the Guatemalan workers clean the old ablative paint from the bottom down to the primer. We also had them polish the dark blue paint above the water line. The total was about 4.5 man/days of work. You can do the arithmetic and find that it should have been about $450 for the total. We were charged $386 for the whole thing. We stayed on board and ate most meals on board so we saved the extra cost of living off the boat. It was a very pleasant experience and we highly recommend it. The first photo shows Abel’s yard. This is definitely not the most elegant yard in the world – but who needs elegance when one is working in paint dust, sand blasting and fiber glass grinding?

The last photo will show our view from the yard. The bridge that you see in the background is the 90’ high bridge over the Rio. Our marina is just this side of the bridge and on the left in the photo.

We hope that your holidays are pleasant for all of you. We may not be in touch again until January, but you will all be in our hearts and our thoughts.

Jane and Sander