It was all very hectic! We brought Koala back from Port St Mary, in the Isle of Man at the end of October. With changeable weather forecast, it was important to get her out of the water as soon as possible. The only problem was – I needed a yard trailer, a very big yard trailer!
Axles were easy to come by – two steering 10 stud truck axles from Craigavon Truck Breakers over at Kinnego. The steel was sourced from Hennings in Newry – very helpful staff and great service. It took two evenings and a day to get the trailer welded up, then it was a case of waiting for a suitable high tide to get Koala out of the water. It is a pretty standard yard trailer, with a couple of exceptions. Firstly, all 4 of the uprights can be tilted outwards if the boat is propped up. The idea behind this is that at some stage in the next year or two, I want to repaint the topsides. I will need full access to the topsides, to sand, fill, prepare and paint, so I need the uprights to be movable. Secondly, both ends of the trailer are steerable, to enable us to move the trailer easily in the boat park.
East Down YC has a big winch at the top of the slip, so the process of getting Koala out of the water is straightforward. As Koala draws 2.2 metres, we got the trailer right to the bottom of the slip at low water. We then waited for the tide to come in far enough to float Koala onto the trailer. I have marked the draught of Koala on the trailer, so we knew when we could get her on. Once she was on the trailer, we hauled her up the slipway with the winch. She was slightly ‘bow down’ so I will need to add a support to the front of the trailer, but I thought this might happen.
The work starts now – power hosing, and looking for any repairs that need to be done to the hull. I will need to replace a couple of the through-hulls, but I have a winter to do that. I need to winterise the engine, that will be in the next fortnight. I also want to remove the mast – the top of the mast is about 20 metres above ground level – quite a lot of windage for winter storms!
Once that is done, there is a list of things I hope to do over the winter:
- remove the teak in the cockpit and either replace, or repaint the cockpit (oh no – a decision!)
- re-instate the aft heads
- install kicking strap
- overhaul the galley – removing some lockers
- replacing many of the bulbs with LEDs
- Servicing the Monitor self steering
- Install roller furling on the genoa
With all of that done, I can look forward to a good season next year.