A Quick Haul Out – За малко на сушата

Ivo says: "Everything will be OK"

Ivo says: „Everything will be OK“

What is a boatyard?

A boatyard is the most horrible place for the cruiser and his boat, no matter how good the facilities are. Dirty, stinky, dusty, itchy, hot places. No toilets on board, no more running water in the galley, ferocious noseeums and mosquitoes in the evening, noise from heavy machinery all day long, toxic dust, lots of mud, and the fear at night when it’s windy that the boat will „fall down“ from her props. Of course, she won’t fall down, but she shakes constantly and it feels as if there is a permanent earthquake going on. Add to this a Puertorican neighbor who got drunk and sang all night a very melancholic song, about a woman whom he used to love, but she left him. „Abandonaaaaaadooooooooooooooooo….“ Almost made me cry.

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Какво означава „сух док“?

„Сух док“ е най-ужасното място за крузъра и неговата лодка, независимо колко са добри съоръженията. Мръсно, смръдливо, прашно, горещо, място за поправки или склад на лодки. Не може да си ползваме тоалетните на борда, нито имаме течаща вода; кръвожадни комари ни нападат вечер, машини и инструменти бумтят по цели дни, токсичен прахуляк, кал навсякъде и нощем, когато духа силен вятър, се страхуваме лодката да не падне от степенките, на които се подпира. Разбира се, че няма да падне, но усещането е все едно има земетресение, непрестанно. Към всичко това добавете и съседа- порториканец, който се напи и цяла нощ пя една много меланхолична сърцераздирателна песен за жената, която обичал, обаче тя го напуснала. Почти се разплаках.

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Fata Morgana on the travel lift, Puerto del Rey, Fajardo

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After the small routine repair of a bathroom pipe turned into a disaster and a huge through hull fitting got busted creating a three-feet fountain inside the starboard hull, we hauled out Fata Morgana for a quick repair, as this kind of thing cannot be fixed while at anchor. We were lucky to be near marina Puerto del Rey in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, the biggest marina and haul-out facilities in the entire Caribbean region. It’s an impressive marina and boatyard with 1000 slips, 400 dry stack spaces on 50 acres of land, and with 165 ton haul out capability as well as a complete range of boat repair contractors on site.  They accommodated us immediately.

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След като малката рутинна смяна на тръба за тоалетната се превърна в бедствие и се отвори дупка на дънато на лодката, от където шурна един голям фонтан, се наложи да изкараме Фата Моргана от водата по спешност, тъй като подобна дупка не може да се поправи на котва. Имахме късмет, че бяхме близо до марина Пуерто дел Рей във Фахардо, Порто Рико- най-голямата марина в целият карибски регион. Марината разполага с 1000 места за лодки на вода и 400 на суша на площ 50 акра, както и с няколко крана с капацитет до 165 тона.

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„The Walk of Fame“ Marina Puerto del Ray, Fajardo

 

Fata Morgana was once again out of the water, on the hard. Ivo decided to use this opportunity and put yet another layer of fresh bottom paint on the hulls, which he sanded all the way to the gelcoat and painted with anti-fouling paint only six months ago in St Kitts. This time, after he fixed the through hull pipe-problem, he sanded only very superficially the hulls, and painted them. All this work took him two days, without being too much in a hurry.

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фата Моргана отново се оказа на сушата. Иво реши да използва момента и да мацне още един слой боя на корпусите, нищо, че само преди 6 месеца извадихме лодката, изстъргахме старата боя до дъно и сложихме нова. Този път, след като поправи дупката за тръбата, Иво изстърга само повърхностно корпусите и им сложи пресен слой боя. Цялата работа отне 2 дена, без да си дава много зор.

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Ivo sanding the hulls….again…

Why not drop anchor? And measure and mark the chain.

Why not drop anchor? And measure and mark the chain in the meantime.

We even had time to open a couple of coconuts under the shade of the boat and to meet new friends, who drove all the way from San Juan just to meet us. It was great spending time with Galina and Drago and share some stories. Great people.

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Дори ни остана време да отворим два кокосови ореха на сянка под лодката и да се запознаем с нови приятели- Галя и Драго от България, които дойдоха чак от Сан Хуан да ни видят. Беше ни много приятно да се запознаем и да обменим интересни истории и да пием по бира. Чудесни хора.

Драго и Галя

Драго и Галя

Coconut

Coconut

After a couple of days- an unpleasant weekend- we splashed on Monday at noon and came back in the Fajardo anchorage. The fear that the through hull problem is not well fixed and we would have to haul out again disappeared after a few hours (no water was coming in), and now everything is back to normal. Only, it’s a second day now we are trying to clean the boat in and outside.

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След два дена- неприятен уикенд- се завърнахме във водата в понеделник и обратно на котва в заливчето на Фахардо. Страхът, че дупката не е добре поправена и ще трябва пак да се връщаме на сушата се разсея след известно време и сега всичко си е по старому. Само дето вече 2 дена чистим лодката вътре и вън.

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Anchorage near Isleta Marina, Fajardo

Even though being in a boatyard is not much fun, we felt really lucky to be so close to the biggest marina with some of the best boat repair facilities in the region, in a town, where boat parts are easy to find and are not expensive. Plus, the manager at Puerto del Rey turned out to be a great guy, very understanding and helpful, who gave us quite a discount and thus became our next sponsor.

A big Thank You to Marina Puerto del Rey!

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И въпреки, че с лодка на сушата никак не е приятно, извадихме късмет, че този инцидент се случи толкова близо до марина с необходимите съоръжения, в район, където лесно се намират части за лодки и не са скъпи. Освен това, мениджърът на марината се оказа готин пич, много разбран и услужлив човек и даже ни направи солидна отстъпка от цената на услугата по изкарването, след като му обещахме да го добавим в списъка на нашите спонсори.

Хиляди благодарности, марина Пуерто дел Рей!

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Travel lifts, Puerto del Rey, Fajardo

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Shit Happens – Гадости Стават

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Life on a boat is not just beautiful sunsets and sailing romance, everyone will tell you this. Sometimes, often, shit happens. And usually, it’s something completely unexpected.

Yesterday Ivo decided to change one of the pipes for the toilet, not because it was broken or defective, but just because he decided it is a good idea to replace it.

Something got stuck. He took a hummer, one of his all-times favorite tools, and started banging away and the entire through hull fitting broke. A huge 2-inches gap on the bottom of the hull! We are in 20 feet of water, at anchor in Fajardo and there is this fountain inside the boat! We are sinking!

There is this joke: A boat is calling the German coastguard: „Help, we are sinking!“ The German coastguard replies; „And vat are you sinking about?“

Well, we are „sinking about“ how stupid to work on a through hull fitting while at anchor…

We plugged the hole with plastic bags, pumped out the water from the bilge, and we will be hauling out tomorrow afternoon in the nearest marina- Marina Puerto del Rey for emergency repairs.

Until then, we will be using Maya’s toilet…

Another lesson learned the hard way.

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Животът на яхта не е само прекрасни залези и романтика, всеки ще ви каже. Понякога- често- се случват големи гадости. И обикновено се случват напълно неочаквано.

Вчера Иво реши да смени една от тръбите на нашата тоалетна, не защото беше счупена или дефектна, а просто защото той реши, че е време да я смени.

Нещо запече. Иво взе един чук- негов любим инструмент- и започна да блъска и целият механизъм, който извежда септичната тръба извън корпуса на лодката се разби. Отвори се огромна 5-сантиметрова дупка на дъното на десният корпус. Намираме се на котва в 8 меттра вода във Фахардо, Порто Рико и си имаме фонтан вътре в лодката! Потъваме!

Разбира се, няма нищо по-глупаво от това да поправяш дупки и тръби които излизат извън корпуса на една лодка, когато си на котва.

Запушихме дупката с найлонови торвбички, изпомпахме водата от трюма и утре следобед кран ще извади Фата Моргана от водата в Марина дел Рей за спешна поправка.

До тогава- ще ползваме тоалетната на Мая…

Още един урок научен по трудният начин.

"Тоалетната на Мая.  МОЛЯ не влизайте, щото е мойта тоалетна"

„Тоалетната на Мая.
МОЛЯ не влизайте, щото е мойта тоалетна“

Because we always try to be positive (nothing is the end of the world, except the end of the world) here are a few positive thoughts:

The pipe and fitting were old, and after Ivo removed them it turned out they would break soon enough anyway. It is better that it happened in a place, where there is a marina and a travel lift ready to haul us out immediately. There are only a few travel lifts in the Caribbean that can haul out a catamaran 22-feet beam and over. If this had happened somewhere else we cold really sink.

The price of the haul out here is not too bad, and we can find all the parts needed for the repair, so after 1-2 days we should be back in the water.

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И понеже винаги се стараем да гледаме позитивно на нещата (понеже нищо не е краят на света, освен краят на света) ето и няколко позитивни мисли по темата:

Тръбата така или иначе беше стара и след като Иво я махна се оказа, че съвсем скоро е щяла да се счупи, както и цялото устройство, което беше ръждясало и клеясало. По-добре е че стана тук, където наблизо има марина с кран, готови да ни извадят от водата веднага. В Карибите има само 3 места с кран способен да вдига катамарани колкото нашият и това е едно от тези места. Ако нещо подобно се беше случило на друго място, наистина можеше да потънем.

Освен това цената на процедурата по изкарването тук не е висока, има всички необходими части за ремонта и след 1-2 дена би трябвало да сме обратно на вода.

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St. Kits Marine Works: Welcome to The Boatyard

SKMW boatyard

SKMW boatyard

Every once in a while a boat has to come out of the water for repairs or survey, for storage during hurricane season, or a quick bottom job. But finding the perfect haul out yard can be a pain in the stern. Ultimately, some of the most important factors that determine our choice of a boatyard are: convenient location, good facilities and equipment, a team of professionals, and reasonable prices. But does such a place exist? Yes, and we found it.

As we sailed from Florida through the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, and the Leeward Islands looking for a place to haul out our boat, a 38 feet catamaran, in order to sand and paint the hulls, we have finally found one boatyard that has it all: St Kitts Marine Works.

 St Kitts Marine Works

Located on the southwest lee shore of the island of St Kitts, a few miles from St Marten, Antigua and Guadeloupe, and not too far from the BVI and Puerto Rico, SKMW lies at the heart of the Caribbean region providing the perfect strategic location for many mariners cruising in this area who wish to store their vessels for short or long term periods or during the hurricane season, between the months of June and December. The recently expanded boatyard, a 30-acre field, has plenty of space for vessels big and small. Each boat hauled out for storage is carefully secured and grounded with specially dugout keel holes, custom-made for each vessel. So far none of the storms that hit the island, including hurricane Earl in 2010 had caused any damage to the boats there.

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The boatyard is also conveniently located near a small dark-sand beach, a place to escape the Caribbean summer heat and make new local friends, and directly under Brimstone Hill Fortress, one of the most important forts in the Caribbean and UNESCO World Heritage Site populated by vervet monkeys. The small historical town of Sandy Point is within a walking distance and the capital Basseterre where you can find all types of marine materials and services specializing in boat-building and repairs, is only a 15-minute bus ride away.

Fta Morgana in SKMW boatyard.  Brimstone Hill on the background

Fata Morgana in SKMW boatyard.
Brimstone Hill on the background

Another main reason to choose SKMW is the big travelift, one of only three in the entire Caribbean region that can handle up to 150-ton boats with beam up to 35 feet, perfect for catamarans. And even though our 8-ton boat with 22 feet beam is not huge at all she almost doesn’t fit in the small travelifts getting scratches on the sides. But the big one at SKMW barely touches her. Man, that machine is mighty! Fata looks like a toy in the hands of a gentle giant when he picks her up and out of the water.

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The SKMW boatyard also has a crane for removing masts as well as all sorts of other heavy equipment and machinery for boat works.

But the best part of St Kitts Marine Works boatyard is the people who work there, a dedicated team of professionals, engineers, top quality technicians, and first class operators. The owner and director, Regiwell Francis, an expert in salvage and heavy equipment, is also a hardworking, hands-on, extremely knowledgeable and capable person, who will do anything in his power to help and accommodate your needs. Reggie is a great guy and this matters a lot. There is also a very good mechanic, a metalworking team, as well as a few boat repair specialists working full time in SKMW, and if you need any materials or services not provided on location, they will find them for you.

Regiwel

Regiwell Francis

And last but not least, the prices here are unbeatable. The SKMW prices are probably comparable to those in the Dominican Republic, only there they don’t have the facilities and equipment, the space and the specialists available in St Kitts Marine Works. For more information on rates click here.

SKMW boatyard, also featured in Chris Doyle’s cruising guide, is so far our favorite haul out facility. We had a very positive experience there (even Evo who worked 12 hours per day for a week sanding and painting agrees). All our needs were met with enthusiasm and generosity. We would recommend it to everyone.

SKMW boatyard

SKMW boatyard

Reggie has very ambitious plans to build an 80 slips marina where the dock currently is. The project is already developed and is all a matter of time now.

You can contact Reggie or Bruce at the boatyard if you have any questions or to make arrangements at (869) 662-8930 e-mail bentels@hotmail.com; or visit their website for more information at www.SKMW.net; or you can simply pop-up at the dock there, like we did. We were very pleasantly surprised that we could clear customs right there, in the boatyard, as we arrived. Thanks to Reggie, the place is now an official port of entry to St Kitts and you don’t have to go to Basseterre to clear in nor pay any port fees or per day per person fees, only 35 EC$ (the equivalent of 12 U.S. dollars).

Evo, Maya, Viktor and Fata Morgana

Evo, Maya, Viktor and Fata Morgana

We are also every grateful and happy and extremely proud to announce that St Kitts Marine Works boatyard became our sponsor, supporting us and our journey.

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