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Every boat owner has to deal

with the Boat Yard Blues. Charter boats such as mine or any “working” boat usually go every year or two. It’s never fun. When you are a boat owner,  always feels good to get your boat fixed up. There is always a sense of accomplishment when you’re done. It doesn’t matter what you’re in there for. It could be as simple as putting a fresh coat of bottom paint on, Maybe painting the sides. You know when you’re done, the boat is better than when you hauled her out. But it’s still not fun.

I Usually haul out in the fall.

That’s when business is traditionally slower. Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling a little vibration in the last few months. I didn’t know what was causing it. Back in the fall, I did hit a fairly large piece of net. The boat was going full speed so I thought that might have “tweaked” the prop out of shape just a little. I also picked up a piece of rope last month. Normally, I get in and cut it out myself, but there was a diver on the dock working on another boat, so I let him do it for $20. He discovered that the Port cutlass bearing was bad.

The Cutlass bearing

is the bearing in the strut, (support) that hold the shaft under the boat. When it is bad, you can move the shaft and it causes vibration. Vibration on a boat is never good. The more vibration you have and the longer you have it, the more other problems it will cause.

I had a small window of 3 days

that I was not booked, so rather than wait until July, which is the next time I would have a gap in charters, I decided to haul out and fix it. Lucky for me, the boatyard I go to, 3D boatyard on Stock Island was willing to work with me over the weekend. They waited for me to get there on Friday after my full day charter and hauled me out at 4:30. I arranged with the propeller shop, Prop Doc,  to replace the cutlass bearings and check the Propellers over the weekend. Again, I appreciate his working with me during the small window I had to work with.

Southbound in the boat yard and ready to go back in the water in Key West Florda

While the boat was out of the water,

naturally, I wanted to get as much as possible done while I could. The bottom looked good. There was not a lot of growth, but I had it pressure washed anyway. On Saturday, with the help of my 1st mate, Ben, we put a fresh coat of bottom paint on the hull and changed the zincs.

I didn’t get everything I wanted done,

but with a boat, you never do. There is an old adage, “Houses and boats are never done” and it’s true. But considering how much time I had to work with, I was satisfied with what we accomplished. We got the cutlass bearings replaced, The props trued up, the zincs replaced and the bottom painted. Not bad for a weekend in the boatyard.

The Southbound was the last boat hauled out on Friday

and the first boat splashed on Monday. We were back at Charter Boat Row by 10 am and ready for fish on Tuesday.

Last year, I replaced the deck and cabin interior.

It took 7 weeks and a whole lot of $$. This year I was only “on the hard” for 2 full days, so I guess you could say I only had a mild case of the Boat Yard Blues. This year was a lot less $$. Still not cheap, but then again, I’ve always said the only thing cheap on a charter boat is the usually the owner. But all things considered, money well spent.  But it still wasn’t fun. Never is. Whether you are there for 2 days or 2 months, it’s still the Boat Yard Blues.