It is that time of the year again for us to start dreaming of our sailboat, an Islander 28, harnessing the winds as we sail into the sunset. First we need to get our boat back in the water though. Spring commissioning is always a very busy time of the year for us. There is bottom paint to apply, wax to buff and usually a few repairs to make. The culmination of all this is a trip to the travel lift and Aurion being gently set down in the water once again.

Before we owned a boat large enough to require a travel lift, I was always quite curious about how that process went. My wife, Miriam, shot this video a couple years ago and I thought it might be somewhat helpful for any others out there who might also want to see the lift and how it works. I must say the crew at our marina does an excellent job and obviously know what they are doing. Hats off to the crew at Lake City Marina!

After they bring the boat over to the staging area on the cradle, the crew drive the travel lift over the boat. Next they run the straps under fore and aft of the keel so that the boat will be lifted off of the cradle horizontally. After everything is secured, the travel lift is positioned in front of the lift basin. Here is the part where I scurry about applying the bottom paint to the areas under the cradle pads. After a few minutes of dry time, they lower our sailboat into the water and move her to the dock. Whew! Safe in the water again!

This year is no different for us before spring commissioning day. The two repair projects to complete before Aurion is ready for the water are a new raw water intake valve for the engine and a new transducer for a depth finder. The intake valve is already finished and I have the last step in the procedure for the transducer to complete, namely tightening the nut after the sealant has cured. Still will need to run the cable, but that can be done at the dock.

The video is a good way to get myself pumped up to finish the projects and get the buffer out get the top sides gleaming again!