You've seen a picture of how the boat is lifted out of the water, on living aboard a sailboat safely...this device pictured here is called a boat carrier, is what transports the boat from the travellift to where your boat will be placed on chocks.
No, I never saw a sailboat dropped from either the travellift or the boat carrier... these were operated by highly skilled personnel.
We hauled our boat out of the water, four times at Peake's boatyard in Chaguaramas, Trinidad...the largest boatyard in the Caribbean.
The fellow on the right is Michael Gianetti, who operates the travellift, and has for at least 18 years... we made sure Michael got all of the beer that was remaining on our boat when we left... he is the best there is.
The entire crew that works with Michael is highly skilled and I recommend Peake's as the place to have your boat haulled in Trinidad.
You can take advantage of rock-bottom prices on getting some teak work done, canvas work, and upholstery... all top-notch quality.
We hauled our boat out of the water every summer for eight years...having your boat out of the water is the best way to avoid damage to your boat during hurricane sseason.
If you choose to stay on your boat in the water during hurricane season, sooner or later you're going to have a bad experience with boat damage.
Getting boat insurance for damage from a named storm if you are North of 12° latitude in the Caribbean, that is the southern tip of Grenada, is either unavailable or prohibitively expensive.
Do not take a chance, go home for the summer, and leave your boat out of the water... referred to by cruisers as being "on the hard".
Being on the hard, is the price you pay for the 98% of the time that your boat is in the water.
The access to your boat when it is in chocks, is climbing a ladder and the deck is about 12 feet off the ground.
When your boat is out of the water, you cannot use the toilet, and it is no fun, for either sex, to get up and climb down the ladder in pitch blackness to go to the shower area to use the bathroom.
When you are at anchor, the bow of the boat, where you sleep, is always pointed into the wind and provides you a gentle breeze to keep you cool at night.
When you are on the hard, you have to be extremely lucky to be pointed into the wind... it gets very hot and uncomfortable at night.
You will spend 2 to 3 days after you haul the boat out, and prior to splashing... that's when the boat goes back in the water... preparing your boat for storage... and getting it ready to sail.
All of the canvas, including the sails, must be taken down, and stowed below... there is no way around this, it is a major league pain in the posterior... but it is necessary.
The process is reversed prior to splashing, all the canvas and sails must be replaced... did I say it was a pain?
The sailboat cruiser is a happy camper once he is splashed... from spending the summer on the hard.
Thank you for reading sailboat haulout...a necessary evil.