Meredith still moored at Green Cove Springs, Florida
Crew in London
January 3, 2010
Along the east coast of the USA boaters will encounter a series of "working yards". At these unique boat yards, owners can have their vessels hauled out of the water and then can live on their vessels while working on drydocked hulls.
Theseyards provide an invaluable service to itinerant sailors allowing us to live inexpensively while working on serious repairs such as bottom fairing and painting, fiberglass repair and serious engine and drive train repair. Most of the yards have staff and equipment to assist or complete repairs which exceed the ability of the boater which is probably their most useful function.
Similar in function no two working yards are identical. Each is a study in John Steinbeck socialization. Think Tortilla Flats and you are on the right track.
Our favourite such yard is Bock Marine outside Beaufort NC. Bock marine is a multigenerational family business formerly a boat building business now owned by Ken Bock. It is basic. Dirty is also an applicable term. The water supply is sulferous. Not for everyone Bock Marine is a favourite of ours. It is reasonably price, the chandlery is well stocked, Ken Bock is a man of fine character, the men who work at the yard are competent and friendly and the live aboards are iconoclasts of the highest order.
Bock is filled with boaters of various degrees of competence. Many of them are punching above their weight class working hard on boat issues that are slightly harder than they are competent.
Only a mile from Bock Marine is True World Marine where friends brought their boat. True World is clean. Beside our friends there are no persons living aboard their boats. The manager is Japanese and the marina is operated with Japanese efficiency and attention to detail. Our friends have had a lot of work done by the professionals at True World.
I believe (not having verified the property records myself) that True World is owned by the Unification Church which used to have a more common name which it now is apparently improper to use. The church in Beaufort uses the True World marina building for their services each Sunday and for various church meetings through the week. The staff are friendly and have made our friends very welcome inviting them into their homes and sharing without reservation.
So you pay your money and you make your choice.
The only sad note to this post is that working yards are disappearing, victims of creeping condominiumization and commercial mallism. Suburban conformists work ceaselessly to exhaust even the fumes of independent humanity out of the atmosphere. You know the type: they live in condos, take their vacations at all inclusive resorts (warm condos) or cruise ships (floating condos) which they get to on crowded airliners (flying minicondos). The mindless sort who prefer ant farm socialization to human striving.
Meredith is currently moored at Green Cove Springs Marina in Northern Florida. We were drawn here by reports from boater friends who share that sense of asocial self reliance that pervades Meredith herself. GCSM passed our test of compatability, and we theirs, in short order.
More on that tomorrow.THe