Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Haul-Up

As this blog has progressed, I have often made reference to the Annapolis Royal Boat Haul-Up. There are a couple of reasons that I keep coming back to this facility as a topic. First and foremost, this is an excellent example of heritage activities at work within our community. The men who work at the haul-up are using traditional skills and techniques to keep our local scallop fleet afloat. The caulking (corking) irons and hammers which are used are the same as those which would have been used during the Age of Sail. While electric tool have replaced traditional saws and planes, many of the toos used at this worksite would be familiar to Annapolitan shipwrights of the 1850s. With so much of our community's heritage I need to speak in the past tense. "We had this, these were here, we once did this". With the Haul-up I can point down the street and tell people that they can see ship's carpenters using heritage skills as a vital part of our local economy.

A second reason that I keep coming back to the haul-up is that this is a very interesting facility. Very few people have ever had the opportunity to see a facility such as this one at work. The act of strapping a fishing boat into a harness and hauling it to shore is foreign to most people. Yet, here in Annapolis Royal, it happens on an almost weekly basis. From the first time you hear the snapping and popping of the cable as the massive winch hauls the boat to shore, you know that this is a unique facility.

I figured that today was a good opportunity to use a collection of photographs which I took at the end of August. These photographs show the scallop boat Cara & Shelley as it was hauled to shore. The best way to note the progress of the cradle is to watch the white water line around the middle of the boat. As the boat comes out of the water, more of the hull beneath the water line becomes exposed. When the boat is fully out of the water it rests on its keel and it is supported on either side by large wooden props.

After a quick wash with the pressure washer to clean off seaweed and barnacles, the crew gets to work. Over the next week or two they will replace rotten wood, recaulk loose seams and paint and do whatever else is necessary to make the vessel seaworthy. When the work is done, the haul-up works in reverse to return the boat to the water. It is nice to have a facility like this where we can see heritage skills at work in our community.

All for now,
RGS


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