PHOTOS BY BILL SAXTON/KELLI PARK
For recreational boaters, this is a sad time of year, when the decision is made to have the boat hauled from the harbor by a boatyard to be stored somewhere on dry land.
For fishermen, it’s a little different—many are welcoming the chance to sleep late and maybe take a vacation trip.
Boatyards are busy doing this work, which requires expensive trucks, trailers, and lifts.
Billy and Chris Saxton own Dolphin Marina, and they say it’s important to be prepared with equipment that is ready to go.
“You never know when you get that phone call in the middle of the night,” Billy says, “and you need to get to a boat ramp to haul them out. It happens a lot. We’re on call 24 hours a day.”
The business hauls about 600 boats each year, he estimates. Most are set on stands in a yard and shrink-wrapped.
“It takes us about ten minutes to haul the boat out of the water,” he says, “then it takes 15 minutes to put it on stands. Thirty-five years ago, all the boats were hauled out on wooden cradles. It would take us all day to do one boat. Now we can do 30 boats a day if we want to, if the tides are right.”