Hauling A Yacht


Ever wonder what is involved in hauling a vessel out of the water?

There are multiple reasons for doing this:  storage on land, painting the bottom with anti-fouling paint, servicing running gear (rudders, shafts, etc. Props can be removed by a diver without needing to haul the vessel), pre-purchase survey, and more.


In this post we're going to talk about hauling out for the purpose of a pre-purchase survey.

The typical process is: vessel research, offer, counteroffer, deposit into escrow, then survey.

Generally there are two, sometimes three, parts to a survey:  hull and mechanical, haul-out for bottom inspection of hull and running gear, and the third is sometimes an engine-specific inspection. 

Again this is general.  For example one could also retain a naval architect to inspect the helicopter landing area on the yacht.

Your haul-out typically begins with simply driving (or towing) the yacht to an appropriate shipyard.  The performance evaluation would happen after the haul-out.  The reason being is that the bottom is typically pressure cleaned to remove marine growth.  This helps give an accurate representation of the vessel's performance later on.


Here we have an 80 Azimut 2003 yacht entering the haul-out slip at a Miami, FL shipyard.  The straps from the lift are hanging underwater and the yacht just cruises in over them.

Oftentimes the aft superstructure or gunwales has markings/plates that say something simple like 'Sling Point'.  The lifting straps (visible next photo) would be positioned at that point  to avoid putting pressure on shafts or stabilizers or vents/intakes that are on the bottom.  In the absence of such markings it is wise to send a diver in the water who literally positions the straps by hand.  Shipyards that handle the larger yachts often have someone available on site.

Once positioned properly the crew/passengers must get off the boat, usually off the stern, onto the shipyard itself.  Sometimes a ladder will be brought to the bow where people can get off at that point.  Climb the over that boat rail, get a foot on the ladder and gingerly make your way down the ladder.



Here you see the two pairs of straps (typical).  Each pulley set can be lifted independent of the other.  This allows the lift operator to adjust how much weight is on each set of straps.  For example he may lower the forward set of straps thereby transferring weight forward and balancing out the overall load.



Below we see the marine growth which will be removed with the pressure cleaning and scraping.  Literally.  A tech  has a simple paint scraper and they just manually scrape off the tougher stuff and the other tech uses the pressure washer (an industrial strength pressure washer, just like what one would use to clean a walkway or deck)  to the clean the larger areas and the nooks and crannies.

About the most advanced such a cleaning gets is the use of acid on the running gear to dissolve the marine growth.  They just brush on the acid and let is sit for about 15 minutes.

It's not real complicated lol.



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