It has been two years since Reach’s last haulout.  Reach is now tucked away in Riverside Marina in Fort Pierce, Florida.  We had a butt-clenching approach into their well with 20 kts of wind on the stern, making for squirrely steerage.  The well was at a 90˚ turn from the narrow thoroughfare that we were speeding down!  Fishing and cruising boats were lined on either side and there was barely enough space to turn a catamaran in good conditions.  The guys caught lines and sucked us into the turn, with a good assist from Reach's port side rub-rail.

We ended up staying in the well for the night to get hauled out the next morning.  After 7 months in the Bahamas this was our first night back in the States and we were decadent and ordered a huge (yummy) pizza to be delivered to the boat!

There are actually two marinas using this yard and apparently we are hauled with Heritage Marine at Riverside Marina (...we just called the name we found on the web).   There are quite a few interesting boats as well as residents in this yard as well and everyone has been friendly, welcoming us to the neighborhood.  

IMG_6802 IMG_6804


Friends Dave & Leslie also have Texas Two Step in the same yard and they are with the Riverside Marina in another back section.  

It’s confusing but it works.  

There was not a lot of room to spare in the inner well on the day we were lifted, both width-wise in the 22 foot well with our 21 foot beam, and depth-wise on since at low tide we were almost aground.  The straps for the travelift (run by remote control) had to be released from the cables and dropped on the bottom for Reach to clear coming forward.  With an early morning audience, all went smoothly. 

Our bottom paint Seahawk Islands 44 worked well for antifouling over those two years, spending time in the waters of Guatemala, Panama, USA and Bahamas.  It is a very soft ablative and we babied it when wiping off slime.  Some of the paint didn’t last the whole time on the new sterns in some areas, perhaps a weak link with the new barrier coat.  We asked them to be aggressive with the pressure wash, since we’ll be applying new antifouling.

We chose this yard for do-it-yourself work so Mark could do his thing.  A surprising number of yards these days don’t let you touch your boat and insist on using their workers to do your maintenance.  Aside from sanding and manual labor, we just don’t want anyone working our boat systems, engines, etc except us.

The only downside we are finding is the brutal Florida sun & heat…!  Anticipating this, we inquired with friends Scott & Tina if we could rent their condo nearby in Vero Beach while they spent the summer in MD and this worked out fine.  It makes such a huge difference being able to do prolonged work in the yard without having to live on the boat on the hard.  

To get from the condo to Marina every day we needed some wheels ~ one with room for storing big boat stuff and tools.  This was easier said than done!  Half of the same cars are found repeatedly on “harvested” used auto sales sites and Craigslist, half of those are scams trying to get you to send money for an auto that may or many not be in-state at a reduced price since they are getting ready to deploy to Afganistan, and half of those are pure junkers!!  


After a few days of searching and horrible experiences, we finally found a car to buy… a 1997 Honda CRV. 

Mark found a CV boot ripped so the shop selling the car replaced it for us.  

We got insurance, registered the car, paid FL taxes and got tags after a trip to the DMV.  


Leaving with our new Honda, we filled it up with gas and drove 5 miles, which is when the transmission blew!  

Mark found a low gear to limp back to the shop, still close-by.  Thankfully, the mechanic agreed to refund our money since this was unexpected on all of our parts.  

The next day, we found a Ford Taurus station wagon that ran well and was surprisingly comfortable… with air conditioning!  Now we’re ready to get to work ~ and there is quite a daunting project list.

Mark was able to get the yard to block Reach up high enough to drop the rudders.  He noticed that these had deformed a bit during our last (brutally hot) haulout in Guatemala, plus we want to make them bigger and reshaped as well.  It is still visible how some of the foam of the rudder has sucked in from the foil shape. 

That was the first thing that came off once the work was underway.  

Of course, Mark cut it open to inspect and found the dense foam pretty solid, it took a while.

The rudder post and plate were in good shape with only surface rust and quality welds, with no water intrusion.  A good start.

© M&M 2019