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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday Night in Belfast, Maine

     As you can imagine, all of the boatyards along the coast were hauling out boats all day long.  Belfast was no exception.  There is a new marine service facility here that is replacing the old cannery with a modern, boat servicing operation.  A key part of it is a 150 metric ton maritime lift that earned its keep today.  Three couples from the campground joined perhaps six dozen locals and tourists who watched the intricate ballet of boats.  The finale was a ninety-footer that  was registered out of Bikini in the Marshall Islands. 
                                        
          This first shot shows a small sample of the boats recently parked.  Note the pallets of 12 x 12 blocks for blocking.

     Everything from the cruise boats to the porta-potties have been secured.  Actually, I predict that the winds here will not exceed 30 knots.

     It is a surprisingly delicate process to winch a hundred ton boat out of the water and transport it to a place where it can be placed on blocks and jack stands.  In this case the procedure did not go routinely.  For reasons unknown to we laymen spectators, the boat backed into the slip.  I wondered at the time about a potential conflict between the props and the massive nylon straps. Sure enough, we heard a discordant noise and saw the strap jump.

     You can see one of the workers inspecting the damage.  They were able to remove the strap from the rigging, though it was still wrapped around the prop.  They rigged a replacement strap by a keel-hauling procedure and went on with lifting the boat.
     When the boat cleared the water, the tangled prop was clearly visible.  I assume the prop was  damaged at least enough to be out of balance, but I don't know.

     I added the last shot not for photogenic reasons, but to show the scale of that mobile crane (sorry, Dick).
     It was not the sort of thing one sees on a regular basis, and it was interesting and educational for all of us.  It did make us late for Happy Hour, but we recovered and caught up.  We do expect some heavy rains tonight, but the winds should be moderate.  Here's hoping.

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