Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A boat yard birthday

As I briefly mentioned before, we were in need of a haul out here in Mazatlan.  Jake had noticed as we were leaving San Diego that we had a small oil leak coming from the back side of the engine.  By the time we got to Mazatlan it had increased.  We went from a few drips on the oil pad to a small puddle, now coming from multiple spots.  That's probably not a good sign.  After some investigation we concluded that it was probably a problem with our rear oil seal.  Being that it was more than likely the original seal, now over 30 years old, it was in need of a replacement.  Jake did some extensive research online on how to tackle this problem.  To my dismay, I was told that it would involve removing the transmission, shaft, stuffing box, and the bell housing.  Jake is pretty handy with the engine, but this seemed a bit overwhelming to both of us.  Hannah's birthday and Christmas were quickly approaching and I didn't feel like having the engine ripped apart and slowly put back together by Jake.  Not to mention the moods that this would create.  We were paying good money to stay in a resort marina and I wanted the whole family to enjoy it.

We did some research and asked the local boaters who they would recommend for a marine mechanic.  We ultimately found Rafa from Rafa's Boat Services.  He came aboard and quickly confirmed what we already knew.  This was a job that could be done in the water.  However, we also had our lobster pot incident looming.  Running over the lobster pots had made a gash in the hull of the boat near the rudder post.  We also wanted to get that fixed.  And if we are hauling out for that... we might as well have the bottom painted.  Oh, and lets install some new engine mounts that Jake had purchased in San Diego.  Oh, and we need new packing for the stuffing box... We had given Rafa our list and he returned with a reasonable quote and assured us that it would be a 5 day job putting us back in the water 12/23 just in time for Christmas.  It's a deal.

The haul out went well.  The yard is located just a short distance from El Cid Marina.  Jake did a superb job of backing Ohana between concrete pilings with no dock.  Then the skilled (female) travellift operator hoisted Ohana, with us still on board.  You would have thought Katelyn was on a ride at Disneyland with the grin on her face.  Hannah also felt like she was on a ride, but apparently not the same ride Katelyn was on.  She was on a death defying roller coaster.  Rafa was kind enough to notice Hannah's anxiety.  He grabbed her off the boat so she could safely be on land.

Living on a boat on the hard (on land) is never easy.  We have to traverse a 20 ft ladder to get on and off the boat.  We have to keep our drains plugged so that water that normally goes into the ocean from seacocks (holes) in the boat under the waterline doesn't get on the wet paint or the workers. Even though the haul out yard is concrete, there still manages to be an increased amount of dirt and crud tracked in on our shoes.  We were able to use the facilities at Marina Fonatur.  They had nice bathrooms, showers, laundry and wifi.

Hannah had her birthday in the midst of the boat yard project.  Rafa bought her an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen to celebrate.  How's that for service?  It was his birthday as well so we shared.  We spent the day at the El Cid pool and then went for pizza with the Sarita crew.  My baby is 7 years old!  What happened?

All in all we were very pleased with Rafa's service.  Rafa and his crew were very knowledgeable and professional.  They gave us an estimate and a time frame and stuck to it.  There were no surprises.  It was nice to sit back and watch someone else do the work for once.

Rafa's crew hard at work.

Icecream cake in the shop.

Our baby is 7...

Hannah is always a princess.  Even in a boatyard...


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