While out on the St. John’s River, I called the marina office to ask for confirmation of a mooring ball. The answer was basically, “just pick one without a boat on it.” The balls aren’t numbered. I laughed and told Diann I hoped no one had left for a pump-out. It wouldn’t go over well if another boater came back to find their mooring taken. “Hum,” I thought. “That issue could affect us if we left our mooring.” On we motored and arrived that Saturday after the office was closed (until Monday). It was to be part of the adventure.
And sure enough- the balls had no numbers. Two of the moorings were, however, attached to sunken sailboats. Those we decided to not use.
Over the past four years I’ve learned to do a fair amount of maintenance work on Yacht A Fun. I’ve gone so far as to modify the underbody with West Systems epoxy to eliminate a hull to water slapping noise that was inherent in the 105M model’s design. I’ve pulled the generator and installed a new water heater which can be run via inverter. In 2017 I pulled the Westerbeke diesel engine; (and reinstalled it with help from Western Branch Diesel).
Having benefited from hiring a qualified marine electrician to do the wiring for the new chart plotter, auto pilot, and radar power connection- I feel confident in being able to install the radar dome and couple the needed connections to it. What I don’t feel totally capable of is pulling the mast off the boat and running the cabling within whatever conduit may be found inside the twenty year old Z-Spar of this Gemini catamaran. My need for confidence in the ability of boat yard technicians is paramount for my comfort.
If I only needed to have our catamaran hauled out of the water and blocked I’d have every confidence in Green Coves Springs Marina to do that job. Once blocked, it would be simple for me to sand off the paint, repaint the hull; pull stanchions off the deck, re-bed them; and do such things as sand the teak and refinish it. But my need includes probable assistance with running electrical cabling inside the mast; and prior to re-stepping the mast, being sure the standing rigging is in good condition.
Prior to arriving at the marina I had told Diann I wanted to spend a week on site to talk to the locals to determine which contractors might be the best to assist our do-it-yourself radar installation. So, our attitude was tempered before arrival. But, we found sunken boats still attached to mooring balls, and other deferred maintenance aspects of concern. Due to our arrival on December 15th, a week of observation and conversation would bring us into the holiday week. A decision whether to use the crane and technicians was delayed beyond a week, since the facility closed from Christmas thru New Year’s Day. Meanwhile we performed some maintenance which included epoxy repair to voids in the deck’s gelcoat.
Following are images which were taken while we were on site. You can make your own judgment as to whether the place meets your standards.
One of the travel lifts-
Boaters hard at work-
The dingy dock for those moored-
Long term RV areas seem available-
Donation table gets used-
The mooring field views are very good-
Diann and I enjoyed the pot luck Christmas dinner at which about 40 people came. The food was excellent. Those in attendance included: Canadians, Britts, transients such as us, and long term live aboards with extensive boat projects. All in all- a great and enjoyable crowd.
Saving money must be a primary concern for those who use the Green Cove Springs Marina facility. Offsetting expenses is a goal for us, too. Our mooring ball rate was just $165 a month. We were there for three weeks before heading to St. Augustine.
Your feedback via comments will be appreciated.
The story / blog of Yacht A Fun, a Gemini catamaran sailboat, traveling the ICW and east coast with insights to the extended cruising life. Green Cove Springs Marina