26 July 2011

How to Haul Out a Sailboat Under Human Power

This post is a recap of the haulout process for Biff's Wharam Catamaran and doesn't have anything to do with bicycle touring.  But you might enjoy it anyways.  My friend Kate took all the pictures during this process, so all the photo credits are hers.

scrape off the barnacles first.  or you will bleed more than if you don't.  you will still probably bleed during this process.

find a suitable spot with a gentle slope.

you can ferry supplies with kayaks and barrels and such.

this shows the gentle slope.  it will seem steep once you get going

just try rolling something heavy up the slope...

make some frames and pour some reinforced concrete slabs to serve as a ramp

gravel is probably cheapest if you can sift it locally from a creek and move it in a lancha

crack the whip on your concrete mixers

keep your help happy with good food and beverage.

trowel the surface of the concrete to make it as smooth as possible

take a break in the float chair

or float the chair on a barrel raft...

or go to the hotsprings for a dip

build a frame to hold beams underneath the hulls.  the flat beam is a better rolling surface than the curved hull.

slide the frame into place.

make good pulling points on the boat. 

once the frame is in place under the hull, strap it on!

Morale is still going well at this point...

tow straps and shackles make good cable attachment points

boat is lined up with concrete ramps, ready to pull

make the ramp sections light enough to carry around...

even a big boat can be easily moved in the water

watch out for bugs.  they can make the process miserable.

find a tree far enough back that you can pull the boat all the way up without resetting everything mid-pull

if the weather gets rough, the boat will bounce around, so go back and try again  if a storm comes!

get all your rollers lined up under the planks and over the concrete ramps

view of roller cart and ramp

tow the boat with a bridle.  tip: if you want to double up a long piece of cable without kinking it in the middle, wrap it around something big.

wide angle shot of pulling set-up.

pull the rudders off and unload the boat of all the weight possible

the key to the whole operation is a 10 ton chain hoist.  

with a long rope, you need to tension it before connecting it to the chain hoist

i discovered the fish had been drawing Mayan designs in the algae

but then i realized it was Jodi Foster all along...  have you seen contact?


this one was harder to decipher

if the tree is not in line with the centerline of the boat, you can deflect the pull point with an extra line.

boat on beam on rollers on cement.

some of the rollers that had hollow centers for axles crushed, so we added about 40 more  independent rollers, made from treated pine.

during the haul process, it helps to have people monitoring the rollers and using hammers to knock them straight if they catch on something. and to move

it's out

side view of the beam and rollers on level ground.

use blocks and sandbags to change the contour of the beam to match the ramps
jack the boat up and remove the rollers and frame.  then lower the boat on sandbags

dig out under the jack to remove it, after the sandbags settle.


the road out of punta caimanes

a last view of bedonkatron

the crew, post haul (Scott, Abby, Biff, Kate, me)
There you have it.


shawn and chris said...

Nice play-by-play. Where was this? I'm guessing Honduras coast, Pacific side? Are they just planning to leave it there, do they own the land? Very interesting, not quite the same when the boat has a full keel... Hope all's well!

Matt said...

This was in Lago Izabal,Guatemala, on the Caribbean side. They are renting the land until repairs are done. Yes, monohull is another story for another time.

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