Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2015 haulout in Phuket

Once again, the boatyard blues.... We decided on the Phuket Premier Boatyard as our haulout location because it was the least expensive, could handle catamarans ,and the owner answered his emails promptly.  After clearing in at Ao Chalong, we grabbed a few supplies and headed north up the eastern coast of Phuket.  Phuket is a city and the name of the island its on.  It is joined to the mainland Thailand at the top by a causeway that is too low to the water to allow yachts to pass under it.  So a boat has to go all the way up and down the coast to get from one side to the other.  We could see the causeway from our anchorage spot just outside the boatyard.  We had to dodge hanging power lines near the entrance to the creek to get here.  We anchored outside for a couple of days to do a recon on the boatyard.

Below is YOLO all the way up the creek and waiting to be loaded onto the trailer to lift out.  You can see a couple of the guys in the water next to our hull.  They snorkeled under to see where to position the I-beams of the trailer so they wouldn't damage the shaft or propeller.  They took quite a while pondering where they wanted to position our boat.  Jason dinghied back out and brought in a schematic diagram showing where the lifting points were according to the builder so they could get a better idea.

YOLO at the slipway of Phuket Premier Boatyard.  Guys on shore are holding us in place with lines at all four corners.

They decided to change one of the supports on the trailer to better match the underside of YOLO and keep it level when pulling it out.  They wheeled in another I-beam with pads on it to sit at a different level.  One would go under the keel and one under the hull.  We've not been hauled out by a trailer before so this was interesting watching them make adjustments to keep our boat safe.
You can see the hydraulic hoses from the tractor to the trailer for lifting.
The yard workers are riding on the trailer as it gets backed into the water to go under YOLO.  These guys get wet at work a lot, but they don't seem to mind.  They just duck their heads under to check things are ok and then they lift the trailer with hydraulics.
The tractor gets down into the water to get the trailer all the way under YOLO.  Another tractor is then used to help pull this tractor back out and up the slipway.  That way, wet, slippery tires don't cause the boat to bounce and jiggle as it is being lifted out. 

Notice the Ford tractor pulling us out of the creek on the trailer.  One of the very few Fords we saw in this country.  The different levels of the trailer keep the boat level.
YOLO is up and out of the water.
Believe it or not, we'd just cleaned the hulls a couple of weeks earlier.  The dirty water in this part of the world is full of nutrients that encourage slime and barnacle growth.  They got around to powerwashing most of it off later.  From this view standing a ways off, you can't even see the black tire marks left from the fuel delivery boat from Penang.

They wanted to back us into a tight space just off the slipway as we weren't planning on being there long.  The boatyard has a storage yard about a mile away, but they didn't want to move us any further than necessary to let us get our work done.
You can see how dirty the 'white' bottom of the dinghy has gotten just from our forays to shore and back.  We tie the dinghy to the docks while we are onshore, but we lift it out of the water every night onto the davits like you see it here, so you can guess how dirty the water is.
They backed us up between a couple of palm trees, the rigging giving the palm fronds a bit of a thrashing on the way through.  They had only inches to spare with the trailer I-beams, but the driver knew what he was doing and got us settled in no time.
Squeezed between the palms to our final resting spot for the week and a half we were here.  They parked our friends on Merkava just in front of us when they got hauled out.
It took many men to wheel away the I-beam supports for the trailer once we were sitting on the supports.
 Dirty and dull, YOLO needs some TLC.  You can see we're missing the trampolines up front as they were in the sailmakers getting repaired.  The vinyl was tearing along most of the sides so they were getting a new covering and new grommets and new lacing to hold them in place.  It'll be much safer doing the foredeck work without the footing sliding around under me.
The boatyard guys hang out in the shade under a nearby yacht until the next boat comes in.  The boat in this picture needed sanding.  It was still there when we left.
Jason admiring the shiny waxed props just before we get splashed again.  New bottom paint looks good.
Ready to be lowered back into the creek after our hard work for 10 days.  The hulls got cleaned, polished, and waxed.  I traded the old batteries for the work from a local guy and I could actually see a shine again.  Geez, we really do have a white boat!
We still don't have the trampolines back in place when we get splashed.  I have to step carefully when dealing with the anchor and bridle.
The new bottom paint and the shiny prop just before we went back into the water.
This is the owner of the boatyard, Ditapong Boongsong.  He was always at the ready if we needed something and was a delight to deal with.
The creek we have to navigate in/out to get to the slipway.  The rocks on the far side and the bamboo stakes mark the edges.  It was a tight fit, but they got us in and out ok.
We didn't have enough tide to clear the bank at the mouth of the creek when we went back in and we ran aground.  Brand new bottom paint plowing through the muddy sand, yikes!  Luckily, the boatyard dinghy was able to push us off the sandbar and we headed back out to anchor.
The boatyard slip with the tractor and trailer parked for the day.
In Ao Chalong Bay, there is a shallow spot and this boat looks like it found it the unfortunate way and sunk.  Those brown things on the edge are big barrels that someone is trying to use as floatation to salvage the boat.  When we came back to Ao Chalong Bay after our haulout, the boat was gone.  That is the second boat we've seen aground on this shallow spot in the bay and we make sure we give it plenty of room when we anchor near here.
My cameras failed me in Thailand and I got no pictures of the Cruiser's Party and our fun times at Yacht Haven Marina.  We were in the marina for one night since the marina gave us free berthing for the night of the party.  We filled up with water, made a trip to the big town and stores with friends in their rental car and headed back down the coast to reprovision, to clear out and head for Sri Lanka.  It seems we never have enough time in Thailand to do all the fun things we want, but we're moving on anyway.

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