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Alternative to a Cat Haul Out

Knowing how often sail drives need servicing, it might be wise to invest in an air-filled lift bag like this one.

Escapade
©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One of the frustrations with owning a catamaran is if a sail drive — which most cats have — starts leaking, you have to haul the boat out of the water to replace the seal. At least you did. 

As this photo by Greg Dorland of the Lake Tahoe-based Catana 52 Escapade shows, there is an alternative. Charter companies in both St. Martin and Martinique ‘haul’ the aft end of cats by placing a huge bag beneath the bridgedeck, then inflating the bag. Tres kool, n’est-ce pas?

Then there is Arjan Bok of the San Francisco-based Lidgard 43 Rotkat. He disconnects the engine from the sail drive, removes the prop from the sail drive, then lifts the sail drive up through the bottom of the boat. Yes, water pours into the big hole where the sail drive was, but the engine room is sealed, and not enough water comes in to reach the engine or other delicate parts.

Needless to say, neither of these alternatives to a traditional haulout is recommended for monohulls.

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