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Preview: Harry Bryan’s Marine Railway: Fall Haul-Out

October 21, 2015

It’s fall and the north wind is making up in earnest. Time for Harry Bryan to haul his 20′ pocket cruiser KATIE on his home-made, shoreside railway.

Here are a few extra images of KATIE

Cedar cabin with oak corner posts. A tight fit inside Harry's purpose-built shed. Sleeping for two inside the cabin. To lessen its intrusion, centerboard trunk is reduced forward.Looking aft inside the cabin. Centerboard trunk is steadied by the bridge deck. A tight fit inside Harry's purpose-built shed. KATIE, snugged down for the winter.KATIE's winter quarters. Recycled winch pulls KATIE up the tracks and into the shed. KATIE in the Boathouse Jamestown - Spring 2014 KATIE and Harry cover of WoodenBoat

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– It was quite sad yesterday taking the sails off the boat. Up until that point I could pretend I was going to have another sail, but it’s not going to happen now, but we’ve had a good year, I have no complaints. We did several overnights, Martha and I did a couple, and lots of day sails. So it’s been a good year. Well worth the maintenance for sure. Looking forward to next year. That’s the best way to put the boat away. And also you get these rains like we had yesterday and the cold Northwest wind. Look at us actually wearing shorts today, so you realize that the season’s over. That can go on the bottom there.

– [Man In Brown Pants] This one says D.

– What does it say?

– [Man In Brown Pants] It looks like it says D.

– All right, what’s it say on the other side?

– [Boy] IV

– Aha, right there, yep. New marking system.

– Here then you can put this on that bolt.

– The permanent part of this railway goes down to where that cordless drill is there. That stays there all year, but the ice in the winter time, because of the fresh water coming down this stream can get pretty significant here, and moves around a lot with the high tides. So I expect if we had this railway permanently here we’d be fighting ice damage all the time. Also, it’s in the way just for our general summer use. So it’s a bit of a work to assemble it and take it apart every year, but on the other hand I’m sure the timbers will last many, many more years for being stored under the shed.

– I assume this is the lower end of it.

– Yep, that’s the hard one. Good for you to carry that.

– [Man In Brown Pants] Got it?

– There, there’s another one there, yeah? Alright you guys, trail down right. Cradle runs on this track, which is six by six, actually this track was here before the building was. The first year we just pulled the boat up on these six by sixes with ash rails on top, and covered it with a tarp. And then second year we built the building around it. This is a winch made by the Lunenburg Foundry. But this is one of four that were on a ferry that went to Deer Island from L’Etete, New Brunswick. Someone called me up and said they’d seen one rusting on a beach and wondered if I wanted it. So I brought this one home and shined it up, and it’s been just the thing we need for this. So we’re gonna start hauling it two-to-one, in fact, up until last year I always hauled two-to-one the whole way up. And it’s quite a bit of work, so we tried three-to-one by putting this snatch block on. I don’t think I have enough line to run three-to-one all the way to the bottom, so we’re gonna have to pull it part way up and then switch to three-to-one for the steeper part of the haul. You guys keep your feet clear of everything. Ready to go, huh? Okay. Here ya go. It’ll probably get stuck going over the threshold and you’ll hop off. Okay, hop off and push you guys. Get off onto that side. When we’re launching or hauling the boat, or when we store the boat, I always keep at least two safety devices on it, the winch line that hauls it, and I also have this big piece of nylon which runs up to a big cleat up there, and that’s my safety. Should the winch part come undone, that big heavy stretchy piece of nylon should arrest the charge of the boat going to the water. But I also, any time I stop part way up in storage, I put a wedge under each wheel, hardwood wedge. This is my mark on the stern line. So if I put this right on the stern cleat of a boat there, and pull the boat tight against it, that will position it correctly on the cradle. When I built the cradle I did not have these notches in it, if I get this position just right when I have the boat in the shed, I can take a removable floorboard out underneath this and drop the centerboard down to that slot. And that’s allowed me to drop the centerboard completely to look at the pennant and to paint the board as much as I can with it in place. This tide is just about half tide now. I can’t see over the edge of that bar there, but there’s a rock we call Half Tide Rock, which is just covering now. So the tide is coming now four feet every hour. A foot every 15 minutes. The tide book says today is gonna be almost a 28 foot tide. But that’s based on Saint John, and I’m not sure what is… Probably about 24 feet here. Alright now Brian if you could go up there and crank her up.

– Yeah

– [Harry] Okay!

– [Brian] The back end has to go that way.

– [Harry] Towards me?

– Yeah.

– [Harry] Okay, go a little bit. See how she goes. How’s that?

– [Brian] Looking good.

– [Harry] Alright, looks good. Keep it goin.

– [Girl] It’s right on the block. From this side. The bottom of the boat is.

– Great! Haul her up there sir, we’ll have a beer while you do it. Now you just need a beer, and you sip on the beer.

– My Camelback.

– Yeah.

– My energy gels.

– We’ve got 15 feet of beer, I think, something like that. Okay, now you’ve gotta give me total slack there Bri, just let her spin. We’re gonna go to three-to-one now, now that we’re getting steeper, totally out of the water, so it just makes life easier if we go from the two-to-one we were pulling with, go with the snatch block, the three-to-one. You may even have to help me by spinning it. Brian. All that nice work. Okay Brian, you can tighten that back up again now. Make sure it’s feedin on the drum nicely when it’s loose. Hey Louise, you’re on an island.

– [Louise] Yeah, I can walk off.

– [Harry] You got the dingy? Good for you. We’ll be out of your way in just a minute.

– [Brian] Is Louise still down there?

– [Harry] Yep, she’s still holding on to the boat for a chance. End of another year. Hooray!

– [Louise] Need some more weight?

– [Harry] This spruce poll here is I guess called a gin pole, and it’s shackled to an I vault in the rail there. This lower block and tackle here is going to adjust the angle of the gin pole and the upper falls are going to lift the mast out. So I need to climb up on the ladder now and hook those by the end of these falls up to the peak of the roof. All right. I should have this marked, shouldn’t I? That would be smart. When this straight part gets right underneath that part, okay?

– Right underneath the outside?

– [Harry] Outside. You there?

– I think so. You gotta come check, but I think so.

– [Harry] If it looks close, it’s there. That’s good enough.

– It looks good to me.

– Okay, lift her up please. Now hopefully I’ve got enough room there to get that thing clear of the deck. I always have. If we don’t, we don’t. I’ll probably just lift it out.

– Okay.

– We’ll see what happens. Okay, so hopefully what’s going to happen, I’m gonna lift it clear of the deck, and I’m gonna walk over here with it.

– Okay.

– And then we can lower it down, if it touches the ground, I’ll take over the line that you’ve got in your hand.

– Kay

– Okay, we’ll see what happens.

– Alright, lift that up. Should I be helping pull?

– Yes, pull on it, yeah. Okay bring it right up now, lift her right up. Okay, down she goes. Seems like already wants to go to you, so if you can give me that.

– Get it?

– Got it, yeah. Hey, where’s Warren? Gosh, take some credit for this. There. You could hand that off to Dave inside, and then you can come out, Brian, and grab the other end of it. Alright, in you go. Along the other side of the shop, set it down on it.

– [Louise] This side?

– Yeah. Set it as close to that wall as you can.

– [Louise] Like this grandpa? Just come and put it on that?

– Yeah. That sounds, that’s perfect, yep.

– [Brian] And clear this end to the wall.

– [Harry] Almost there. There, see, that’s the sound. We’re there. One more click. There. Good enough. Let her back down.



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