Nautilus needed some attention to her undersides so that meant getting her lifted out of the water. Just a few miles upriver from the marina is a place called Boat Works and that’s where we decided to get the work done. We arrived at the same time as the Black Pearl, Captain Jack Sparrow’s boat. The new Pirates of the Caribbean film is being made in the region and the boat was getting some cosmetic work done.

I’d had Nautilus lifted out for a survey when I brought her but the owner had done everything, I had just paid for it. This was the first time I’d personally had a boat lifted out and also the first time I’d done any work on the hull of a boat. So, lots of firsts. The team at Boat Works were awesome! On arrival it felt like we were being welcomed to a resort, Amy was very friendly and we even got some coffee vouchers as a welcome gift.

The guys handling the boat were all very professional and I had no doubt they’d treat my lady well. Once Nautilus was set down in her stand we had a closer look at her hull.

Peter from Marine Antifoul came over and we had a chat about what needed to be done. I’d called him up and explained that we were new to this but wanted to learn how to do it all ourselves and if he’d give us some tips and keep an eye on our progress. He ended up charging a minimal consultancy fee and I also paid him to spray on the antifoul coats.There was quite a lot of tiny pimple-like things on the hull that turned out to be Osmosis and they needed digging out and filling, this took about 1-1/2 days then we had to sand the whole hull for another full day. It was hot dusty and dirty work and we ended each day completely finished. A quick shower to wash off the dust and paint and straight to bed. Boat Works was awesome though, they have great facilities for people like us who live on their boats even while out of the water. Peter was extremely helpful, dropping by every now and again to check our work, answer questions and give instructions.

There were a few other jobs that had to be done while out of the water, one of them was a new bearing on the propeller shaft. While this was being done we stayed busy. I polished all the paintwork and also let all 60m of anchor chain out and marked off each 10m with paint so we would know how much chain we’d dropped into the water when anchoring.

No matter how good Boat Works was though the real place a boat belongs is in the water, so we were very happy when everything was done and Nautilus was on her way back to the lifting bay. After all the improvements we felt like she was more ready than ever to take us north. We learnt a lot about how to do this sort of work and what to look out for in the future and for every day I work on Nautilus I feel I get to know her better.

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