The Voyage of the Swan
Ventura Harbor Boat Yard’s organized shop area includes the Paint Shop, Mechanical, Welding, Machine Shop and Electrical Shop.
The lifting. This is the smaller of the two lifts at VHBY. They can handle up to 165 tons.
Tom Bowman (Mechanics Shop), Dale Morris (Paint Shop) and Rusty. Rusty is easily the smartest person I’ve ever met.
The cutlass bearing was previously installed without any of it remaining outside the stern tube, making it impossible to grip.
Removing the rudder in order to pull the propeller shaft.
It was necessary to apply heat to break the grip of the sealant bedding the rudder gudgeon. Then, it was loosened with a bronze drift.
Refitting the propeller.
The new cutless bearing is installed along with propeller and zinc.
Replacing the rudder.
Our paint problem: successive coats of paint broke the adhesion between the first coat and the epoxy barrier coat.
Pressure washing the old bottom paint off.
After the power wash, which removed most of the loose paint. The boat was then skirted and the rest was power sanded off.
First coat of epoxy primer.
Applying the bottom paint.
Outfitting: Haulout (pictures below)
I’ve hauled out at a lot of boat yards. I can’t recall a comfortable experience, ever, until this last haulout. We had heard many favorable recommendations for Ventura Harbor Boatyard (VHBY), but we were skeptical. In light of my previous experiences, we felt no yard could be that good. We were wrong.
We found the VHBY people very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and experienced. Fact is, people from all over the West Coast, some traveling great distances, come to VHBY because of the unique way this yard does business. Customers can do all the work themselves, part of the work, assist, or let the yard do it all. Advice is given freely. Tools are available for customer use. The yard is clean and organized, with separate specialized shops for paint, mechanical, welding, metal fabrication and electrical. In spite of the fact our boat had some tough issues to deal with, our stay at VHBY was a very positive experience. The rates were very reasonable. We would recommend VHBY without reservation. Check out their website at
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