Hauling Out in St. Maarten: Bottom Job & Thru Hull Replacement

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 3/12/2023 – 3/19/2023

Hi! Happy Sunday! Check out our latest YouTube video here.

Last Sunday, we worked on our haul-out to-do list and checked out a local bar. 

Monday morning, we pulled up our anchor and put out our fenders. The boat yard scheduled us for an 8 am haul out, and they were ready to spring into action the second we pulled up at 7:45. The haul-out slip was about 30ft wide, and Sabado is 26. We put on our headsets and slowly made our way in. Ray maneuvered us perfectly into the well, no lines or fenders were necessary, and the yard guys lined the travel lift straps up with our bulkheads, which we mark with painter’s tape when we haul out to make them easier for everyone involved to see. 

We gathered our things, jumped onto solid ground, and watched anxiously while they lifted our home out of the water.

We were immediately pleased with how the bottom looked. The yard guys even commented that it looked like we haul out every six months! This isn’t an ad for Micron 66, but maybe it should be! This is after two years in the water:

We are still having a fresh bottom job done while we’re out of the water, but we’ll definitely be using the same paint as last time! We filled out all the necessary paperwork and then walked over to Island Waterworld while Sabado was being power washed. We purchased all our paint (Micron 66 for the hulls, Propglide for the props, and Trilux 33 for the sail drives) and arranged for it to be delivered to the yard the following day. 

We returned to the boat once she was out of the straps, sprayed all ground contact points with bug repellent to keep any creepy crawlers from climbing aboard, and packed a bag to bring to our Airbnb. We ventured out for a date night at a strange little restaurant called Balls & Wine, where you could order different types of meatballs and “crown your balls” with a fried egg or “seat your balls” on some pasta or vegetables. 😂 

Tuesday morning, we walked to the boat. The yard had already started sanding the bottom, and the other contractors had coordinated their schedules so no one would be in anyone’s way. There wasn’t much for us to do, so we gathered up our laundry and lugged it over to the local laundromat. We quickly realized we needed a rental car. In this heat, besides the short walk from our Airbnb to the boatyard, we wouldn’t be able to do much else without a vehicle. The rental cars were reasonably priced, so we picked one up for the remainder of the week. 

Wednesday morning Peter Hoff, who specializes in Lagoon 42s, started working on replacing our thru hulls. He labeled and removed each one and eventually had an overflowing box of fittings.

To stay out of everyone’s way, Ray and I drove over to the French side of the island for lunch. We went to a fabulous wine and cheese shop, where they curated a nice spread for us. 

We took home a bottle of wine and watched TV in our PJs that evening.

By Thursday, Peter had removed all 25 (yes, 25!!!) thru hulls on Sabado and taken them to his shop. Upon inspection, he discovered many brass and some stainless fittings in pretty bad condition.

The pink color on the threads indicates dezincification, which is when the zinc dissolves out of the brass alloy, leaving it weak and brittle. He’ll replace all the brass and stainless with Groco bronze fittings for us, which should last 10+ years. 

The yard guys began painting the bottom so we’d be ready to go back in the water on Friday. 

As the day progressed, it became obvious that splashing on Friday would be rushing it. In addition to the insurance survey, thru hull replacement and bottom job, we had also arranged for some fiberglass polishing and teak resurfacing to be done- all standard, routine maintenance. Though it could be completed by Friday, the last scheduled splash was at 3:30 pm, and we didn’t want anyone to feel like they needed to rush through their work. We spoke to the owner of the yard, and he was very understanding; he waived the fee for the weekend stay and scheduled us to go back in the water Monday morning to ensure all our work could get done correctly without anyone having to race the clock. We thanked him, extended our stay at our Airbnb nearby, and headed out to explore for the afternoon. We had every intention of having lunch near the famous beach where the planes fly overhead, but when we pulled up, the entire place was flooded with tourists. I’m sure it’s a beautiful beach, and the planes are cool, but spending the afternoon shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of sweaty strangers wasn’t the experience I was looking for… We opted for a more secluded lunch and a margarita with a view instead. 

Friday morning, we returned our rental car and spent the afternoon with Sabado. Most of the contractors were finishing up, so we got a good look at everything that had been done. The hulls looked glossy, the thru-hulls looked shiny, and the bottom job was nearly complete. 😍 

Our baby was looking GOOD! 👏🏼 We’ve been impressed with Bobby’s Megayard and the contractors. Everyone has been very communicative and efficient, a stark contrast from our experience at our last haul-out facility…  

Yesterday they began the teak resurfacing process, which should be completed today. I’m posting this from our favorite breakfast spot that gives you a piece of KitKat with your coffee (only one, but Ray always lets me have his❤️), then we’ll walk back over to check on Sabado, but we’re on track to move back aboard our home tomorrow!

I hope you had a great week. ❤️

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