Monday, May 18, 2015

Getting the Boats In

I was in Meaford the other day and happened down by the harbour while the marina staff were working to put the boats back in the water for the summer season.  The winter storage period has come to an end, and the ice is gone.  Soon sailing on the bay will be a popular activity again, especially on the weekends, and the harbour will be busy with visitors.

There are some pretty nice boats on Georgian Bay, this one, 'Cloud Nine' being a good example - spotless and polished!  I wrote in January about all these boats having to be lifted out of the water for the winter to avoid damage from ice.  The same is true all around Georgian Bay and the other northern Great Lakes.

Or perhaps this one is more your style, an older boat with some interesting wood trim.  Georgian Bay is a very popular summer sailing area.

As we walked down the dock, I saw that a boat was already in the slings of the big boat gantry, ready for launching.

In just a few moments the slings were lowered further so the boat was floating, and it was pulled forward out of the gantry.

The slings were raised, ready to go and get the next boat, and they got the motor started on this one so they could berth it at the dock.

Around the corner they went, ...

And the next day I found it tied up at the dock, with the mast now in place.

And another boat waiting in the gantry to be launched.  I've never actually seen this process in operation before, so I was quite interested in the whole thing.

The masts are an important part of this seasonal hiccup.  Most are removed and stored on top of the boats over the winter, ...

... and a big crane is brought in to enable putting them up on the boats again in the spring.  The masts can be installed either before or after the boat is actually launched.

And do you remember this boat?  It was one of those up on the dock in January, and I wondered what it would be doing for the summer.  It's obviously a cruise boat rather than a fishing tug.

Well, this is the boat today, rechristened the Huronic, with a new owner, the young woman standing onboard talking to my coffee and paddling buddy.  She has entirely repainted and refurbished the boat, and will be running sightseeing cruises out of Collingwood this summer, along with a weekly dinner cruise and a weekly wine tasting cruise.

We had a good chat with her and wished her luck with her plans.  What a transformation!

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  1. The sailboats are very pretty. But, I would like a bigger boat to feel safe, like the Huronic! Have a happy week ahead!

  2. the yachts are beautiful and watching them load the boats in the water is always fascinating ~ Great shots!

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  3. How wonderful! I am so happy to see the boats under such a beautiful sky. I visit Squalicum Harbor here in Bellngham quite a lot but I don't hang out to watch them launch. Thanks for allowing me to visit! :-)

  4. It is great to see new life for the boat. What a process to pull all those boats in and then reset them up each year. Guess tha is job security.

  5. I love boats and ports and anything to do with the sea, well done with these lovely photos :-)

  6. Some interesting boats there. Nice to see all the different ones.

  7. Great way to take them out for winter, and re-launch. And " Huronic' I wish the new owner " Fair winds and following seas", I Googled it to make sure I had the right words, as a following sea can be mighty rough, but in this case, with a fair wind, all is well.

  8. Ah yes, I'd rather be sailing!

  9. I don't know how one can feel homesick for what is right outside one's front door - but these are such familiar scenes including the big blue gantry - that I feel oddly moved. There is no ice here in the winter but the boats are brought in to keep them from storms. They are all back in now. Quite a few are lifted by crane and chains rather than cradle and one of these comparatively smaller boats broke away from its buoy a couple of weeks ago, crashed into the harbour wall (which is about a couple of miles away) and sank. Winter is not quite over yet.

  10. I'm a landlubber but there are time I wish I wasn't! Such great photos!

  11. Wonderfull series boats fotos
    Greeting from Belgium in Mons

  12. I can see that being a whole lot of work.

  13. Beautiful boats and photos!
    Timely post to come across, when we are considering buying a canoe - this post is a great motivation :)
    Have a Lovely Day!!
    Peace :)

  14. i love looking at boats!! we owned one and that was NOT fun!!!! your images are so beautiful, i would love to take a ride in a sailboat, i never have!!!!

  15. Our salt water marina doesn't freeze, but we still take our boat out in the winter. It cuts down on hull maintenance and helps keep mildew at bay. - Margy

  16. I have always been fascinated with the boat hoists. I saw one being lifted out of the ocean while in California and I thought it quite a piece of good engineering.

  17. Yup, they all get pulled out hereabouts too. It's quite a business- that and shrink-wrapping them for the winter.