Lift Out 2012 – The first day

The first day of the lift out this year was blessed with the most perfect weather. Clear, sunny and with only a whisper of wind.  It could hardly have been better (a bit warmer maybe, but let’s not be picky).

With an early start, the yard was cleared of all dinghies and trailers, and, shortly after 9 a.m. the crane was manoeuvring into the yard.  The first task, was to remove both masts from Arctic Gold, who was to be lifted into the yard for the first time.  Previously she had either gone to Amble or wintered on the pontoon.

Getting ready to lift the main mast

Lifting the Mizzen










Next, Tabula Rasa had to be lifted onto the mud to await the rising tide.

Tabula Rasa gets lowered onto the mud

Followed by her mast










Her mast was then lifted in, and her crew set about rigging her for her trip to Amble.  You may recall that she suffered disastrous damage on the Hewett Rocks this summer and had to be towed back to Granton.  For the full story see here.  Since then she has had a temporary patch fiberglassed over the wound and she is to sail/motor down to Amble for a full repair.

At that point it was time to stand down and wait for the tide.

A welcome break

Most of the helpers repaired to the club house for coffee and hot bacon, egg or sausage rolls, so successfully that by 11:30 the bacon had run out.





It was just as well, as by then the tide had come in far enough to start lifting the first of the boats.  Appropriately the first to be lifted was Early Bird.

She flies like a bird










After that, the smaller boats came out in quick succession into the southern end of the yard, one every six or seven minutes.



The view from the water

There were a couple of new boats to the yard, which took a little longer as their cradles had to be adjusted, and of course Hoodlum also took longer thanks to her mammoth steel cradle with more chains than Marley’s Ghost.  Hoodlum’s copper coated hull did look very clean:

The argument for copper coating

As was Kenny MacKenzie’s copper bottomed excuse for not being present as he was on holiday in Manorca (or is it Majorca).  He seemed to be able to see what was happening from wherever it was as he telephoned just as the last chain was being tightened to check if all was well.  He was assured that it was, and that there was a tab for 34 beers behind the bar for the many hands that sorted it for him.

Eider, a Contessa 32, was one of the new boats to come into the yard:

Elder being settled into her cradle

And then it was the turn of Arctic Gold.  At first the crane objected as its alarm went off, but she is only 16 tons and the crane has to handle more than that with Simandy.  It must have just been a matter of reach of the crane as with some creaking of the slings Arctic Gold was swing into her position in the front corner of the yard.

Interestingly, like the Cornish Crabber, Embleton, she relies on beaching legs to hold her square on the keel, which takes all of the weight, though there is additional strapping to prevent any sideways movement.  For anybody interested in the concept of legs, (boat legs that is) note that the legs used by Arctic Gold have rotating adjusters on the top which also have a “visible load indicator” incorporated to ensure that the boat is properly balanced on its keel.

By now the tide was starting to run away as if somebody had pulled the plug and Keshtie nearly got caught on the slip.  With some hurried but judicious hauling of lines she was pulled round to the edge of the Pharos Pier and hauled out into the north side of the yard.

Then it was boats and trailers back in and the crew stood down till Wednesday, when the remainder of the boats were hauled out.

A neat and tidy yard

Let us hope we can keep it tidy

Now all that remains is your winter maintenance programme.  A word of warning – Lift In is on Saturday March 30th – so don’t leave all your work till April.  Remember last winter – November was relatively mild, but March was very cold until the last week – but you can’t count on that.

Some lay up guidelines are posted separately.

A few more photos of the day:

Perfect conditions and, in the distance, the Royal Navy shows up

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