Transporting Our Boat
We returned to the boat on the July long weekend to do a bit of prep work as we scheduled the big move for July 14th and we needed to be sure she was ready to go. We first tackled the radar dome on the mast and after going through the owner's entire tool shed, finally found the right tools for the job. We had to first remove the top part of the dome, and then we had access to unhook the interior electronics (which look very sensitive so it was a slow process so we were sure we didn't break anything) before we could unbolt the unit and remove it from the mast. We pieced it back together and then made sure to cover the exposed wires with a ziploc bag and elastics to keep moisture out. The next step was to ready the interior of the boat. I imagine this is a similar task to what you have to do when you set sail – stow away everything that can be chucked around! We removed the life rings, tied all the life lines, took off the fenders, tucked away the dishes, and pretty much just put things anywhere they would fit. We also took the anchor and the propane tank off the boat and brought them home so they wouldn't wreak any havoc. Finally, we had to get the remainder of the material from the owner's basement in case he couldn't make it for moving day. We carted aboard the sails, the dodger and its frame, some more rope, a huge plastic tote full of who-knows-what, and various other miscellaneous items. We battened the hatches and left her for two weeks until moving day.
Aaron was able to search the online forums and find the number for Continental Marine Services. We contacted Paul, the owner, and he gave us an amazingly low price – transport of our 30' boat and 39' mast some 50 odd miles from Portsmouth, RI to Quincy, MA for $700. Other places we had looked at were nearing $2000 so we were cautiously excited! I mean, you always hear about prices being too good to be true or 'you get what you pay for' but we honestly cannot have imagined a more smooth and professional process! Paul and his family have operated the business (his son operates Mass Marine Parts out of the same yard) for over 20 years and the experience showed as soon as our driver Tommy showed up. With very little chitchat, he got to work repositioning the (holder things) and prepping his tools. We had been very concerned about getting the mast from the owner's front yard to the truck and boat in the back because it is huge and heavy – we did plan ahead and had two friends join the two of us, plus the owner was able to assist and it ended up being no problem. We placed the mast on the side of the trailer and then used duct tape to tie up the loose parts of wiring and rope. Meanwhile, Tommy began backing the trailer up and positioning it under the boat...by eyeballing it! We had our hearts in our mouths but this was clearly not his first rodeo and he only had to make one adjustment to his positioning. It was truly amazing. He raised the holds on the trailer and adjusted its height to match that of the boat and one by one took away the (holder things) . The whole group of us sighed with relief once the boat was resting easily on the trailer.
From start to finish, the loading of the boat took maybe 15 minutes and it was time to start the drive. Tommy took off down the owner's narrow street and we followed behind with nervous excitement. In order to get on the highway, the boat had to go through an underpass that definitely looks WAY shorter the closer you get to it and we were all mildly freaking out that the boat was going to hit the top of it. Tommy never hit the brakes and sailed through without a worry. Each overpass still brought a heart palpitation but once we saw the height of the boat and trailer compared to the (at least 3 foot taller) semis speeding down 93, we calmed down a bit and enjoyed the ride. We made it to Quincy in great time and the boat was unloaded even faster than it was loaded. She is finally home(-ish) and we can start to learn about her and work on her! She will stay in Continental's yard until mid-October when she gets splashed and we begin our liveaboard journey.
If you need to move a boat anywhere in New England, we highly recommend contacting Paul and his crew at Continental Marine Services. Even if you don't reach them, their answering machine has their rates and they are incredibly reasonable. Their number is _________.