Yacht Decommissioning

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Sat 30 Jun 2012 14:32


It’s such hard work in the heat getting the yacht ready for haul out and leaving her for 4 months – anyway mustn’t complain (but I still do) – I do have a yacht and I spend lots of time in the Caribbean, so Life’s Good (to quote LG’s slogan – although when I was working in Tokyo they used to be Lucky Goldstar – anyway I digress). This is the unromantic side of sailing they don’t tell you about in the brochure.


After Helen and Ethan had left, we had a couple of days cleaning and tidying up and went round again to Five Islands Bay, and for the last week or so the routine is get up and go for a swim, just a few laps of the boat, the water is just lovely, 28 degrees – 10 warmer than the air temperature in England. Then it’s breakfast and we watch the wildlife, mongooses on the beach, pelicans sploshing from a great height for fish and terns picking up the left overs. Then we carry out some decommissioning jobs, after lunch we fir up the Kindles for a while, do a few more jobs, then a long snorkel around the bay and as the sun goes down a few drinky poohs watching the sunset – and finally Suzanne thinks she saw the Green Flash one evening.


I’ve dived on the hull a couple of times to clear water intakes, speed log and depth and FLS transducers and Suzanne has snorkelled to clean the water line of weed. We’ve had all the floors up cleaning, putting down roach powder and oiling everything to prevent any possibility of rust. I have to say I use CRC 6-56 which you find in all the chandleries and I spray it on everything – even electrical connections and circuit boards – it works really well and protects all metal surfaces – it’s a good routine to do a couple of times a year on your yacht anyway. Suzanne has been a star and now loves her latest Suzie Too and has spent days protecting the hull, she has washed it down with vinegar (to remove the salt), polished and T-Cut where necessary and then left on our special Brazilian carnauba wax.


Now it’s into the marina, fill the holding tanks and the fresh water tanks, drop the sails, remove the spray hood and bimini, mouse out all the running rigging, lift the cushions and get some moisture granule traps. These will be checked each week, by Ivan who will open the boat to air it for USD$25 per week and will also oversee the anti-fouling to make sure it doesn’t get diluted with Dulux or similar.  BTW they make sure a boat is only antifouled within 2 weeks of going into the water, otherwise the paint will go off – don’t think we worry about that one in Europe. Then flush the toilets and sinks with CLR and more vinegar, pack soft furnishings and clothes  into vacuum bags, clean 3 fridges, drain sea water from the engine and generator – it just goes on and on and on…..and on


We have left the mainsail on as we have the old sail and head cover and have lashed these over the top of the sail bag, with all the reefing and furling lines inside – very neat. The guy who helped us thinks we are now nuke proof – but he tells me they are not having any hurricanes this year – let’s hope so.


And of course then pack for our HOLIDAY !! – Nothing to fix or worry about – Hmm… wonder how long it takes before I am in the engine room on the QM2, on a guided tour of course


BTW If anyone wants a free flight to Antigua in early November let me know, the only catch is you have to work from 0800 – 1200 each day helping us get Suzie Too re-commissioned !!