Day 3 of the refit in Texas

Ok. Pearls hull is back in the water where it should be. Her mast is back on, but the rigging needs tuning. Her sails and boom are still off, but that’s ok. She had a manual raw water pump and faucet installed for the galley sink, as well as a new through hull fitting to support it. This should help a lot with water conservation — something that concerns me in the Caribbean.

Right now, I couldn’t be more pleased even though the recomissioning cost 4x what I was hoping for, and 2x what I was expecting. A part of the increased cost comes from stuff I added to the boat yards to-do list like a raw water pump, replacing the rudder bushing, and washing and waxing the hull. The other part is that I feel like I got “Helloooo sailor!” pricing from South Texas Yacht Services — which may or may not be fair. Prices in Texas are higher than I expected. Fortunately, I can do the stuff that remains pretty easily.

Observations on relocating Pearl:

  • Choose your trucking company with care. Not all companies are the same and have experience hauling boats. The company I used, Winston Trucking out of Sealy, TX were pretty good. I say pretty good because the boat had minor damage but the trucker hauling the boat damaged the marina on picking up the boat, and the boat on delivering it. 
  • Make sure the straps that hold the boat on the truck have a plastic covering or something. The rough straps that hold the boat will cause chafe/wear on the bottom. 
  • Get your boat’s bottom painted at the destination. The boat takes a beating on the truck during winter. This was obvious in retrospect.
  • Cling wrap and protect everything you can on deck — e.g. winches, wheel, etc. Pad anything that will rub or rattle, use cable ties, blue tape and bubble wrap liberally.
  • The Watergate Yachting Center is a great place to recomission your boat in Texas. There are lots of services available very close by. There’s the ubiquitous West Marine almost right opposite WYC. But, even better is Blackburns Marine Wholesale about 0.5 mile west of WYC that carries all the little real odds and ends that you really need.
  • When the mast was pulled off Pearl in Portland, that was done using the same marine travel lift which was used to haul the boat out. When the mast was put back, SouthTexas Yacht Services used a cherry picker to do so. I don’t know whether one approach is easier than the other, the latter sure cost more.
  • Get all estimates for all yard work in writing. I didn’t do this and now have both a large bill and a bunch of aggravation.

Pearl is finally more or less back in my hands! Step 1 of Pearl’s Caribbean adventure, getting her from Portland down to the gulf coast is complete. More importantly, I feel a lot more confident about working on her essential systems — like tweaking the rigging and altering the plumbing.

Step two: prepping to cruise is now front and center. When I have time in a few days I will try to put together tips for shipping your boat. 

Pictures from Day 3 follow.

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