Jul 11, 2008

And we see the bottom

Yesterday was the day we pulled the boat out of the water so we could take a look at the bottom. If we found any structural problems or nasty blisters in the paint it would have been a deal killer.

I previously filled you in on the problems we had in getting this boat out of the water. Due to this dang draught and the low lake levels we couldn't use the cranes, so our only choice was to rent a trailer and use one of the few (maybe even the only) ramp in the lake that could handle the job. Fortunately the marina we're in extended its ramp by fifteen or twenty feet last winter when the water was even lower than it is now, and we needed every inch of it.

A semi truck backed an enormous trailer all the way to the end of the ramp to get the trailer as deep in the water as possible, then Morley and PC, the boat's current owner, drove the boat up to the ramp. That's Morley standing on the bow:

Then PC gently guided the boat over the submerged trailer. He had never, ever put a boat on a trailer before--not even a tiny fishing boat--but he's an airline pilot and is confident in his driving skills. He got it right on the first try:

Then the marine service guys secured the boat to the trailer with some mega straps and the truck started slowing driving up the ramp.

To give you an idea of how low the lake is, look at the arrow in the photo below--that's our marina's guest dock where in normal times visiting boaters can tie up while they'll visiting someone in our marina. Guess we won't be expecting company any time soon.

The semi truck pulled the boat into the parking lot and everyone swarmed around and started peering under the boat to see if there were any ugly surprises lurking below.

The cute chick in the photo below is Martha, the boat surveyor we hired to inspect the boat to make sure everything is ship shape. I just love her. She's a certified surveyor (a home inspector for boats), holds a captain's license so she can legally pilot any boat--even huge ocean-going yachts--plus she owns her own marine business and charter company. She's a cool chick. I want to be like her.

And the next photo shows the bottom we were so eager to see. Not only were there no ugly surprises, everyone was flabbergasted at how great it looked. Morley said the bottom of Seas the Moment probably doesn't look as good as this.

After everyone spent about an hour looking at bottoms and trim tabs and props and drive shafts (that is, everyone except me. I was busy taking photos and trying to find some shade to stand in. It was hot as blazes yesterday), it was time to put her back in the water where she belongs.

Martha nonchalantly walked towards the ramp with an 18 wheeler rig carrying a zillion ton boat rolling right behind her. Martha is a very cool chick. I want to be like her. I might have already mentioned that.

And here's the boat coming back down the ramp. This photo shows an even better view of the land-locked guest dock lying on the ground.

And then the marine company slowly eased the trailer back into deep water and took off the straps holding the boat, and it gently floated off the trailer.

And then Morley drove it back to the slip and parked it.

Looks like we're buying a boat.

FOR SALE: 350 Carver Mariner on Lake Lanier. Lovingly maintained, excellent condition. Motivated sellers just purchased another boat and must sell. No reasonable offer refused. Call for more details.

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