Trucking Out and Launch Day

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IP35 at Wild Acres Road, Largo Florida…..

Today was a very exciting day, as there are not many days in boat ownership where you ship your boat down the road on a specially designed yacht transport trailer. Today, we did just that!. Our boat was inside the Island Packet Yachts Factory since May, where she was built 20 years ago. This time she was there for a refurbishing / refitting job! From May to November she had her systems inspected and replaced, and now she is as good as a brand new yacht. This IPY refit program has been a real JOY to be part of, as the quality of work is exactly what we all love so much about our yachts. It is PERFECTION. No one can build a better yacht and no one can refit an IPY like the ORIGINAL TEAM. These are the key reasons we did this. Today, with her new systems and full refit, she went on a WILD ride at 60 MPH for about 40+ miles from Largo FL to Palmetto Fl, where we launched her back into the water at Snead Island Boat Works.

Look at the width, 12 feet wide….do not pass this!

Following your boat down the road and watching her sway back and forth, you really worry that she will fall off the truck, but this trucking company is amazing. They do this all the time and no need to worry with Joules Yacht Transport. We have had a great experience dealing with them. Once safely back at the boat yard, Terry the lift operator drove a massive 75 ton travel lift (a type of crane) using a joy stick remote control box. This allows the operator to be back and away from the lift, allowing him to see all corners. The lift uses large straps run under the keel of the yacht and then these are raised, lifting the yacht off the truck. Next, the operator drives the lift out over a special dock and lowers the yacht down into the water. At this point, before releasing the yacht, we climbed onto the boat and checked all fittings that could sink the boat. Once the yacht is checked, the lift operator releases the yacht and you are IN THE WATER. Start her up and pull out. This is always very exciting because you will most likely not have the boat out of the water for another year or two. Let the new season begin, Bahamas here we come! THANK YOU, ISLAND PACKET YACHTS…

Here is a photo essay of the progression of the day...

Karsten Johnson of Island Packet Yachts with Hayden

Hayden and Bill Bolin, VP of Island Packet Yachts and the Refit program

Ready for the Truck

Pulling out of Island Packet Yachts onto Wild Acres Road,
just like this yacht did in 1993, 20 years ago!
We took the short cut route home, Skyway Bridge

The boat measures 13′ 6″ to the highest point. Looks like it will hit the bridges.

TOLL BOOTH at the Skyway Bridge, this roof on the right is an issue, but she fit.

Island Spirit over TAMPA BAY, on the Skyway Bridge!

SAFE….she made it. Thank you, Joules Yacht Transport.

This is a SMALL yacht on their trucks. The driver said he did not even feel it back there.
They can haul up to 65 feet long. This boat is 40 feet over all and 18,000 lbs.

The crane / travel lift is driven over the truck and trailer.

The yacht is lifted off the trailer and the lift drives around the trailer.

The travel lift then drives across the parking lot to the water.

The boat swings and sways back and forth, it is wild!

The lift driver moves out over the water on a special dock

The yacht is lowered to the water and checked for any leaks.

We then drove the boat to our COVERED slip.

Island Spirit is under a roof, where we will work on varnish.

Check out this spot. Our own BOAT GARAGE. No mast, so we can do this.

Wonderful Island Packet Friends surprised us and helped with docking.
Ed of , Hayden, and William of IP37 Optimystique

Our next task, while the boat is totally empty, is to paint the interior of all the lockers. We will be applying new varnish to all the stripped teak on deck. We also have some varnish to work on below deck. This could take a while. Being under the roof in a boat shed is a really cool place to work on varnish, no sun, no dew, no rain, no heat…..lucky that Snead had such a great spot for us!

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