Keep Hauling – December 2018

It has been almost three years since MARABU was last worked on, the last two years of which the world has been in a pandemic state of emergency, driving from Stein am Rhein/Switzerland to Radolfzell/Germany to take pictures – impossible for months.
And in this time, in which whole societies seem to be “sitting together in one boat”, seafaring romance seems to be back in high demand: “Wellerman” is playing on the radio, the harbors on the North and Baltic Seas are bursting at the seams after long years of drought, and even on Swiss television, singing fishermen from Cornwall are flickering across the screen to fervently belt out their hit “Keep Hauling” *.

Is it a coincidence that exactly in this special situation – 12 years after the transfer from England to Lake Constance – a buyer for MARABU has been found?
At the beginning of November 2021, a message from boat builder Axel pops up on my cell phone out of the blue: “Remember?
Greetings…and have a nice W.E.” and a photo to go with it. MARABU is in the workshop hall. The underwater hull is ¾ covered with new planks.
Four days later I open the door to the shipyard and cannot believe my eyes. “All AT one boat” seems to be the new motto here.Almost like 100 years ago, 5 boat builders are busy working on the hull at the same time.  Shortly I lose the overview and must sort myself first.
In the upper hull area, Frank is making the templates for the chocks, Axel is busy delivering new planks for the fast-growing hull superstructure, while three of his colleagues are working on the fresh wood with planes, straightedges, sanders and primers.
But compared to the imposing superstructure, the workers with their hand tools seem almost small and lost. The surface to be processed seems huge, and after a few planing strokes, which often have to be strenuous carried out overhead, a concentrated, cautious feel of the wood structure always follows. Not a dent, not a bump should disturb the journey through the water when MARABU is returned to its element in August 2023.
Each of the boat builders knows what he has to do, takes over his part of the work, the responsibility, every day piece by piece, plank by plank and together for the big goal… “keep hauling”.

A few days ago I received an email from Tom from England, who remembers very special hours as a youngster on board the MARABU – in the Bay of Biscay on the way from La Rochelle to Santander:
“Whilst I was on watch, at night, we encountered a Force 10 Electric Storm. It was an extremely frightening experience, but something that taught me so much. Sailing through 30m rolling waves, lightning, thunder and the incredible raw power of nature. Watching everyone on board doing everything they possibly could to keep the yacht sailing without incident, or accident, really incredible.”


* “Fisherman’s Friends”, 2019