Our 2002 Hylas 46

Friday, May 31, 2019

Another Season Comes To An End

 Our last 10 days in Antigua were focused on getting Ambition ready to face the 2019 hurricane season. We try our best to make sure that we can do everything possible to reduce any risk of damage caused by high winds. 

At the dock, we completed all of the tasks that we can do while the boat is still in the water, connected to unlimited fresh water and an electrical connection – so that we can fire up the air conditioners as needed. Late May already starts to get hot and humid so other than drinking LOTS of water, the coolness of the air conditioned cabin is a huge plus! 
Maryse and I have, over the last few years, developed a 250 pre-storage checklist to ensue that we don’t miss anything.  It is interesting that we add items each year as we continue learning how to do better! 

One of the tasks is to have Maryse use the electric winch, to haul my butt up 64 feet off the water to remove the wind instruments from the top of the mast. The view is always breathtaking. The great news is that Maryse actually let me back down - I must be doing a few things right! 

Jolly Harbour Marina

Jolly Harbour Marina 
My hope is that if I fall - it will be into the dinghy!

The boat looks small from up here...

By the time we are ready to be hauled out of the water, we have stripped down Ambition to the bare bones. The sails removed and sent off to the sailmaker for washing, minor repairs and storage. The canvas is removed, washed and stored. I even remove all of the lines (rope) that we use to control the sails. Believe it or not, we pull down almost 1000 feet of high tech lines and replace it with messenger lines. The idea being that if we can save 6 months of exposure to sun and the elements then we will extend its useful life. All the oil and filter changes have been done for the engine, transmission, generator and the outboard as well as all the fuel filters.
Maryse has developed a methodology of cleaning and protecting the interior of Ambition from the high heat and humidity of the summer in the Caribbean. She washes all interior surfaces with a water and vinegar solution and when dry, wipes everything down with a mixture of water and clove oil that really seems to work well to prevent mold. It smells a little funky for a while but it works!  
All the lines and dock lines that are soaked in salt water from sailing get a bath in fresh water before being put away. 

Checklists make this process so much simpler so that we don’t miss important items! 

Sun cover on the side to shade the freezer and fridge. The black hull is hot!!!!

Canvas, sails and lines all gone...

Ambition is now out of the water and her bottom pressure washed (that sounds a little bizarre doesn’t it!).

Mario is the best with the pressure washer!

The boatyard team at Jolly Harbour place Ambition in the cement upper yard certainly high above any potential storm surge. Ambition is supported by 9 steel stands and when the process is complete, all the stands will have been welded together using reinforcing bar lengthwise and side to side. This ensures that even if high winds cause vibration, the stands will not move. The last item, Ambition is will be attached with large cargo tie down ratchets to anchors below the cement yard to prevent her from being blown over. 

On the road again.....

Danny moves Ambition to the upper yard

Once we have finished all the tasks that can only be done after we are out of the water, the last item to accomplish is to put her summer cover on to protect from the sun and to reduce some of the interior heat. Unfortunately, in the even that a tropical storm is predicted to arrive in Antigua, the gentleman that provides us with guardianship services must remove the cover so that it doesn’t tear free and damage Ambition or the boats nearby. Let's hope Jesse doesn't need to do that!

All tied down tight

Ambition in her summer coat

4 stands each side plus one at the bow

All wrapped up for the summer

Well, when we are all done, all we can do it wish Ambition well for the summer and hope that Antigua and Jolly Harbour will be spared from any hurricanes this season. 

Last sunset - looks like a heart! 


  1. Thank you for sharing this blog with us.
    Here at marine hardware , we specialize in marine hardware products. We are all family and are all working together to bring our customers exactly what they need.


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