Dry Docking the Shantyboat

In preparation for our journey to the Mississippi River in a few days, we had some work to do on the shantyboat. The hull needed painting and the motor well needed to be resealed so it was time to put the boat in dry dock.


In order to get the boat on blocks, the plan was to launch it and pull it out of the harbor with the Santa Cruz harbor crane.This was exciting because it was the shantyboat’s first ocean voyage.

The only big challenge was that, though we has the throttle and shifter cables installed, we didn’t have the steering cable installed.

Photo Jun 14, 10 57 24 AM

With me at the throttle and the useless wheel, I had to shout directions to Jeremiah sitting on the stern manually moving the motor. “Quarter starboard!” I’d yell.

“Quarter starboard!” Jeremiah would echo back

“Straighten ‘er up!”

“Straightening up!”

“Hard port!”

“Hard port!”



It was absurd to see the shantyboat hauled out of the water so easily by the huge crane.






Then the mobile crane rolled it into position and set it down like it was only a tiny toy.


For a few days Jeremiah and I worked under the boat with the sander to strip the old varnish off. Stacey came to help us out.


Photo Jun 14, 3 57 30 PM

In the end, mission accomplished. Best we can tell, the bottom is repainted and the motor well is keeping water out.

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