Welcome to our 4th blog post! It’s a cold night at home in Rockport, MA and we have battened down the hatches for another nor’easter! It’s amazing to see the power of the ocean when these storms hit New England! With two businesses located directly on the ocean it’s a bit nerving to say the least… As the sea roars outside the windows I fondly remember the adventures of hauling 46 North home to Nova Scotia! Enjoy this post with more pictures and a video (make sure sound is turned up)! Once 46 North gets into Lutwick’s boat shop the blog will be alive with updates, pictures, videos and a lot more detailed and technical information on the progress of this journey- restoring 46 North!
46 North has enjoyed many an adventure, lots of love, created cherished memories for those who enjoyed time onboard and sadly some neglect from a previous owner. I found her when the third owner was sadly unable to follow his dream of restoring her back to her original seaworthy condition. Resting on the hard for over a year, 46 North was in need of TLC (some pictures below), yet amazingly in great condition at the same time! When I first laid eyes on her I found areas of rot and actual mushrooms growing from the bulwark on the bow sections. I will admit when I climbed aboard for the first time I fell quickly in love, yet I was also confused with some of the problems I was seeing at the same time. The interior was amazing, gorgeous, clean, bright and dry! A beautiful teak and holly sole, wonderful headroom, a unique custom design, a huge v-birth, amazing craftsmanship, a true luxury Cape Islander. The engine room was large and well laid out housing a gen-set, AC/Heat unit, and an impeccably clean 140HP American Diesel. Knowing I would be up in Nova Scotia at our family summer house within a week I took my time to inspect the entire boat stem to stern! I took over 100 pictures, taking extra care to capture detailed photos of the obvious problem areas. It felt so good to be onboard but I was running out of time as I had a ferry to catch! It was like being a kid in a candy shop and I was happy as a clam! After hours climbing all around the boat I had to finish my inspection to head to Orient Point, LI to catch the Cross Sound Ferry.
Time to fast forward… Yes, we decided to purchase 46 North (as Amy shared in a previous post), we knew she would need to get to Lutwick’s for repairs, but how?!? She seemed seaworthy enough with some temporary repairs to head north via the ocean on her own merit, yet I had some concerns. A trucking company seemed to be the only other option I could think of but I thought the costs would be astronomical. 46 North was no stranger to riding along the highway, after all she went via truck from Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia all the way to Michigan for her first owners, then down to Long Island for Keven (who we purchased her from). The research on getting 46 North to Nova Scotia began!
After talking with Keven (the owner of 46 North at the time), and several other people it became obvious that the time involved to get 46 North in the water, getting all of the systems running properly, and some temporary repairs to head north under her own power was not a realistic choice. Putting her on a trailer and hauling her north was the answer. What were the restrictions for hauling such a wide boat? What about her height and weight? What about going across the border into Canada? I got on the phone and searched the web for hauling companies that could take on such a project. It took some time to sort through the options and I came across Safe Harbor Haulers. Their web page was thorough, and I called to discuss my plan with Eric, the owner, who answered all of my questions. Eric gave me a firm price and time frame as to when the boat could be hauled! I told Eric I was looking into a few other options and would get back to him soon if I were to choose his company for the project! After more time researching and talking to other companies it was clear Eric had our business. After a few emails back and forth with Eric we had a plan in place and he gave me checklist of what I needed to do to ensure the boat was ready for a 1,000+ mile journey! Eric agreed he would meet us at Britannia Yachting Center on Long Island at 10am October 2, 2017 to load 46 North for the journey!
At this point Amy still had not seen 46 North in person. She had seen pictures and videos that I had taken on my initial trip to LI to look at 46 North but was eager to get onboard and check her out! I was just as excited to get onboard again and to sign the bill of sale to be official owners. We were both excited even though we were over a year away from enjoying 46 North in her element, steaming through the ocean and exploring so many amazing places! Living in a world of everything happening instantly there is a very enjoyable aspect of a project that takes time, with the end result being something you can feel, taste, smell and know how great it will be, completely worth the wait!!!
So I emailed Kevin, and set up a time to meet at the boat to make the sale official! He also was going to bring the anchor, rope and a few other times he had in storage at his house that belonged with the boat. We agreed to meet the morning of October 1, 2017.
Finally the day had come for us to drive to Long Island so we could purchase 46 North and get her moving towards Nova Scotia! We booked the Orient Point Ferry and drove down to CT! We packed up the Land Rover with a ladder, ropes, tape, packing material, cleaning products and a bunch of things we thought we would need to get the boat ready to be hauled! Being on a trailer for such a long time traveling at highway speeds there was a lot to consider getting the boat ready. I also proposed that we spent our first night onboard and only spend one night in a hotel! Amy agreed and we both were excited! We left Rockport, MA and encountered major rain on the drive south… A fun stop in RI to tour Air Force One (a full size replica) then continued to the ferry!
We arrived early evening, the sun low in the sky but enough light for Amy to see 46 North for the first time and for us to get onboard and check her out! She had been uncovered for a year, and there were signs of that on the exterior, but when Amy opened the door to the pilot house, it was breathtaking! We enjoyed time onboard and ran a long extension cord to hook up the shore power to get the batteries charged and enough power to pump the bilge that was rather full of rainwater (wooden boats hate fresh water). Now the sun was down, and it was time for dinner and then off to the hotel. I was ready to spend that night onboard but Amy and I agreed that it was a bit presumptuous since we didn’t actually own the boat yet and it was to late in the evening to ask Kevin (even thought I knew he would say yes, he is a super friendly person!). We had dinner at the marina and then went to the hotel for a good nights sleep…
The following morning we woke early to the alarm! Excited to meet Kevin, we got the day going and headed back to the boat! Keven was sad to sell 46 North, but knew she would be in good hands. Part of our gentleman’s agreement and handshake was that I committed to restoring the boat properly! Kevin was genuinely excited 46 North was heading home to Nova Scotia. A few signatures and 46 North was officially ours!!! Kevin took one last walk along the port side of 46 North running his hand the entire length of her hull and gave a final farewell…
Amy and I were so excited! We quickly started to clean the interior, removed random things we did not want and started to get organized! It was a beautiful warm sunny day and we took all of the interior cushions to the aft deck so they could air out! 46 North felt like home, just missing the ocean under her hull… Later that evening we made the v-birth for our first overnight onboard! The cabin lights were on, the v-birth is huge and looked so inviting!!! It was so easy to imagine being at anchor in a gorgeous cove with the water lapping on the wooden hull… Off to dinner at a wonderful place called The Purple Elephant Cafe (highly recommend if you’re in the Northport LI area) and then back to get our first full nights sleep onboard!
We woke to a slightly chilly morning and had some banana bread that we had purchased at a local farm stand the day before! Then it was time to get everything stowed and ready for transport! We took great care to make sure nothing would chafe or vibrate causing damage during the 1,000+ mile haul. The radar had to be removed from the pilot house roof for bridge clearance, we had only inches to spare! Windows were taped shut, items moved into place just like being in rough weather at sea! I was in the engine room making sure spare parts were secure and before long we had 46 North ready to be loaded onto the trailer!
Eric sent an update saying he was a few hours behind schedule so Amy and I decided to pop into town for a coffee… When we came back to the marine and pulled in, 46 North was gone!!! I was so surprised, who moved our boat? Where was she? Did Eric already take her? Did we take that long to get coffee? As we pulled around the corner there was 46 North hanging in the travel lift waiting for Eric to arrive!
The travel lift operator picked her up and moved her all the way around to the other side of the marina to a long flat section for loading! Not long after Eric arrived with his state of the art rig and Sean was driving the safety escort car required by law for an oversize load!
Loading was simple and did not take long. Eric clearly knew what he was doing! The trailer was custom built for the sole purpose of hauling boats and that was apparent! I gave the boat a final inspection and was happy with how she was riding on the trailer! Eric and I talked about the plan to head up to the ferry all traveling together and we were off!!!
We followed 46 North as Eric slowly pulled out of the marina! When he is hauling on small back roads the safety car is out front, then when he is on the highway law requires the safety car to follow… There are a lot of logistics and legalities when hauling an oversize load! Each state has laws, as well as each province in Canada! There were several air horn blasts on the journey to the ferry as people simply did not understand the limitations of a big rig hauling an oversize load! It was funny to watch all of the people look in amazement as the boat floated over the small roadways in Northport, LI!
We arrive at the Cross Sound Ferry terminal and were told that the trailer was to low to get over the ramp onto the ferry. Of course Eric had already talked to the ferry company and had selected the proper tide for the most favorable ramp angle. On the phone he was told “no problem”! It took some smooth talking from Eric to explain his trailer was custom made, had an air lift suspension and had custom skid plates to protect the air bags… Basically his trailer was able to slide over the ramp without any problem if the clearance was an issue. Finally the captain and engineer of the ferry agreed to get some wooden planks and let Eric attempt to get on the ferry! It was a process, a sight to see, and successful!!!
We get on the ferry and have a smooth crossing! As we arrived in CT, Eric and Sean found a place to pull over and sleep as they were limited to daylight travel only. Amy and I continued home to Rockport, MA and planned to hit the road heading north the next morning. The plan was to meet up with Eric, Sean and 46 North at the Canadian border the following morning.
After a quick sleep, we hit the road and traveled to the Houlton border to enter Canada! We all meet up at an Irving gas station just outside of the border crossing so Eric could switch the oversize load signs to comply with Canadian laws. The details for hauling an oversize load are extensive! We reviewed the plan, I made sure I had my paperwork for the boat (just a bill of sale and some expired coast guard documents) and we headed to the customs officers! I had made several inquires as to what was involved with bringing the boat into Canada for repairs and was given several different answers as to what paperwork would be needed. The bottom line was that we would have to pay an importing tax if we did not prove we were taking the boat back out of the country. I was also told the boat could be denied access to Canada if the officer did not like the documentation I had to provide. I was a bit nervous at this point and walked over to Eric (after Amy and I cleared customs) who was stopped at the oversize customs checkpoint. As I walked over Eric says “are you good”? I say “yes, we are cleared in, we are good!”. I planned to present the papers to the officer but before I did he says, “you’re good”… What? Don’t you need the papers I thought to myself… So Eric says “I am good” the officer says to me “are you good”? I say “I AM GOOD!” At that point Eric, Sean, Amy and I have a good laugh at how easy that was and agree to part ways and meet in Mahone Bay Nova Scotia, the following morning.
The day had finally arrived where 46 North had traveled full circle, she was HOME!!! It was a sight to see her rolling into Mahone Bay, passing the iconic three churches, slowly making her way to the wharf where she was put on the hard for winter!
Bill (of Lutwick’s) was there to greet us and had all of the logistics in place with the crane standing by, jack stands ready and a few other people ready to help! Eric pulled onto the wharf and talked to Bill who told him where to put the trailer for off loading! It was not long before Robin (the crane operator) had 46 North hanging in the sling moving her off the trailer onto blocks, waiting for jack stands to be put into place. 46 North was HOME!!!
It won’t be long and 46 North will float her way over the Lutwick’s for the restorations to truly begin! At that point we will have many more posts with pictures and details of the process! Thanks for reading and please share with others who have a love of wooden boats and boating in general!
Posted by Jed