Usually the following picture is not good news: a boat being hoisted out of the water….. But in this case, it’s a known necessity. Because every once a while the underwatership of a boat has get new antifouling (special paint to prevent a growth of algae under your boat). And a haul-out is always a good moment to see what the ship looks like in total (scratches from rocks, etc).
We made an appointment with Yacht Care Services in les Sables d’Olonne. They are one of the official partners of Lagoon, the French manufacturer of our boat, and therefore specialist in handling catamaran services. Wilfried, 1 of the 2 owners, explained the procedure: the haul-out of the boat would take place in a small harbor of Les Sables with a crane that can handle 62 tons. On the wharf, all the algae gets sprayed of the underwatership. A check then will show if more is needed than ‘just’ new antifouling (= primer + 2 layers of paint). For example, is further maintenance or repairs needed. And then the catamaran will go back in the water again.
A haul-out is quite exciting: you have to sail your boat into 2 slings underneath a big crane. Then you step of your ship and the crane hoists the boat out of the water. It is then placed on a trailer and in this case driven 300 meters to the wharf through the narrow French streets, while you walk behind your boat all this time!
When our catamaran was safely placed at the wharf, Gilles helped to spray of the algae. It turned out that the antifouling didn’t look that bad. That has also to do with the fact that we have installed ultra sonic antifouling at the bottom of the hulls. It’s a tool that prevents algae to attach to the boat. We were curious to find out if it this had worked, because it is quite a new tool. But it did!
The bad news was that we had some scratches on the boat, because of slightly hitting the bottom with peddles or stones (Scotland and also a few times in France, because of the tidal differences). Not severe ‘damage’, but to prevent the scratches from affecting the firmness of the wood in the long run, it needs to be repaired. And after that, the primer could be applied and the 2 layers of antifouling.
During the work on the boat, we were allowed to stay on the ship. It gave us an unique opportunity to see how this work is done. It is truly specialized work and requires. Our catamaran was placed at the wharf in between 5 other catamarans, who also needed work (new mast, new roof), so we were seated front row to see the work on all the other ships! This is what it looks like, being at a wharf:
We also did some trips with our e-bikes in the surroundings of les Sables d’Olonne, which is a charming city. And during the time of the maintenance on our ship, I also had my monthly 4 days of online training. To be sure we had a quiet and stable surroundings, we booked a hotel for those 4 days in Les Sables, so I could give the online training sessions. It’s always a pleasure to experience unlimited supply of warm water, just switch on the lights, etc. When you live on a ship, you are very much aware that water, electricity and gas are scarce resources. While if you live in a house, you turn on the tap without thinking about it!
Now all the work on our ship is finished and we are back in the water, being cruisers and yachties again! Good for another 2 years of sailing, protected from the underwater world!
We want to thank Wilfried and his team for their professional work and daily kind conversations with us, their Dutch guests on the wharf!