Nannette M. MacNaughton

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A great many boat owners live in northern latitudes where the boat is best hauled and stored for the winter.  If so it is natural to do any underbody maintenance, before the boat goes back in.  Other people working long hours ashore and only occasionally able to get to their boat for the weekend, may haul once a year to paint the bottom.  This seems quite normal and for many there is no reason to do anything different, given a steady income and a fixed location.

On the other hand many couples and families have arranged their lives so that they can live aboard and travel, such that there many not always be an affordable boat yard within reach, and others may not be able to afford marinas and haulouts in any case.  For them the option of being able to beach the boat in some manner to clean, and paint the bottom can save a remarkable proportion of the year's cruising budget.

A few people may be cruising on twin keel boats, such as our "Blue Horizons 30" design, or some of the better built modest British twin keelers.  For them painting the bottom is just a matter of running the boat up on the beach just below high tide with an anchor up the beach and another off the stern and letting the tide go out.

Some others may have boats which are quite beamy in relation to their draft and have long straight bottoms to their keels.  These, if fitted with "legs" on either side, can be trusted to sit primly and quietly upright while the owners lovingly clean, smooth, and paint the bottom.

However some boats are quite deep in relation to beam, have very short keels, or keels with no appreciable "flat" on the bottom.  For these or other reasons it many not be prudent to use legs.  For these vessels, probably the vast majority today, the best option is probably "careening".  That is lying the vessel first on one side and then on the other on the beach to paint the bottom.

This illustrated article reprint tells you how to do this in a manner probably safer than hauling on a railway or travel lift.  Once you know how to do this, you will be in a position to save large amounts on long cruises and voyages.  (tm)  $10.00

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