Back on Aldebaran at anchor, I saw with binoculars that the monohull was getting moved. Well, that looks like a sign that things are happening, I thought. I hoisted the outboard engine and dinghy on deck, which takes a good 25 minutes alone. Then at 4:30pm, I got the call from Apataki Carenage; I lifted anchor and motored towards the boatramp.
The conditions were calm and perfect. In an idyllic beach setting, Aldebaran settled between the trailer’s pads. Visibility in the water was clear, with sand below. This was markedly nicer than in the Marquesas, where a rainstorm had dumped piles of wood onto the boatramp. To align the boat with the trailer straps, I had to dive in murky water through the wood debris.
Tony and crew tried a few different techniques to align the boat with the trailer. There is a “catamaran setting”, with the hydraulic pads horizontal — which was just a tad too narrow and pinched our main hull. The same thing happened in Marquesas with their hydraulic trailer, so they decided to haul us up with the “monohull setting”— with the hydraulic pads in diagonal position.
Unfortunately, the trailer in Apataki was a few inches wider that the one in Marquesas, so there was too much clearance to hold the boat, without damaging both Aldebaran and potentially the yard’s trailer. After 45 minutes of swimming and adjusting the pads, Tony gave up. “I’m not sure the solution,” he said. “And now it’s already 5:30pm, getting too dark to keep trying.”
I had the weekend to figure out a backup plan. It’s time to shift gears.