The end of the season is always kind of a sad time at the marina, as more and more boats are pulled out for the winter.
And we, too, have scheduled our pull out date. Moonraker will be done for the season on October 24. I have the day off of work, so I will be available to help out. Our cradle is in really bad shape, because the boat was hauled on it, on a trailer, from Lansing to Bay City. The marina will not use it unless we repair it. The repair would be easy, but we asked about renting stands. It turns out that they are very affordable! If we’re not relying on our cradle (which is not long for this world anyway), then we can pull out wherever we end up next summer.
When we scheduled the pull out day, we also had to schedule our launch date. I don’t know for sure when this school year will be ending, but we usually get out right before Memorial Day weekend. So I scheduled our launch for the Tuesday after Memorial Day, May 29. It’s later than our launch date this summer, but it will give us some time to work on the boat in warm weather. Our to-do list includes: buffing the hull, painting the upper works, redoing the bottom paint, replacing part of the toe rail, installing a 110 electrical system, refinishing the interior wood (that may wait until it is in the water), and, hopefully, installing wheel steering.
Now that we have our launch day figured out, we have to estimate our arrival at Mackinaw Island next summer. We don’t intend to have a float plan, per se, but we do want to take the Bean to the island. Reservations need to be made 6 months in advance, so we need to figure that out by January. We’re planning on spending a week at Bay Harbor after we launch, so we can see my parents the next weekend. Then we’ll once again attempt our intended route from this summer: Tawas, Harrisville, Ossineke (not Alpena, ever again…), Presque Isle, Roger City, Bois Blanc Island, Mackinaw Island. We will plan multiple nights in some places (probably Tawas and Ossineke), and then make our reservation a week after that, to allow for weather, etc. If we get there early, we will spend the extra days on Bois Blanc, which is one of our favorite ports.