Turner Cove Isle Au Haut, Maine

Hauling the Boat

It's time again to get the boat out of the water. It's a little like a funeral.
You'd rather not do that but reality insists.

Part of the problem is all the uncertainty in the process.
As I passed a neighbor on the road pulling the empty boat trailer, he gestured by biting his nails.
I knew just what he meant. It's always a bit of a nail-biter.

To begin with, there's the boat trailer. It's been sitting all summer, just getting rusty.
Will the wheel bearings behave themselves or has one of them been creating a little rust of its own?

Then there's the tow vehicle and hitch which haven't done this chore for a long season.
The hitch is going to be stressed before the day is over and there's no easy way to pre-test it.

The trailer must be brought to the ramp and readied, then the boat brought to the same place.
For me, it means a boat trip in less familiar waters but that's one of the smaller concerns.
Then there are a few preparatory matters. One time I thought I'd drop the mast right after the retrieval.
But I forgot, remembering only when the mast hit a utility wire.

The most exciting and least predictable part of hauling the boat comes when it is
aligned on the trailer and is pulled out of the water and up the ramp.
Any mishap at that time can be a big problem. It's always a small wonder to me
that the boat stays put on the trailer as it goes up the steep ramp.

After that, things tend to get easier. But until the boat is in the barn, the job isn't done.
At least in all this there's no concern about the drain plug.
Drain plugs are only a launch worry and there are months to prepare for it.