Splash! By Thursday everything that had to be done on land had been done. Thursday evening, the boatyard picked up our boat in the big travelift and we “hung in the slings” overnight. Supporting our boat at different points than the jackstands held us allowed us to paint the sections that were blocked before so that every spot on the hull was protected. It also gave us a tiny taste of motion again, and a different vantage.
Several folks asked about what it was like up there in the slings and whether it was safe? Well, actually, yes. First off, we were only inches above the ground; it’s not like we risked falling from a great height. Secondly, our support was more assured. One way that boats on jackstands can fall during hurricanes is not the wind, it’s that the rain turns the ground soft and mushy and one stand can slide out making the whole thing unbalanced. (Not that it happens often!) But in the slings, as the lift operator Gary pointed out, we had this giant structural frame around us, four steel posts. But the most telling argument to me is that during hurricanes, most of the marina owners we know – who obviously have the choice of anywhere in their marinas to put their own boats – use the slings.
Anyway, after a pleasant night we were back in the water Friday morning, and went for our test ride with mechanic Billy. The bay was pretty and conditions were perfect for sailing <*sigh*> but sailing was not what we were after that time. We motored at various speeds with Billy checking the new installation each time, and each time he pronounced it rock steady.
Later that afternoon we were happily back in our slip and one of our marina friends, who had seen us on the hard working several times during the past week, came sailing past in their boat. “She looks better in the water!” they called out encouragingly. “She feels better in the water, too!” we shot back.