Lowered – September 2017

MARABU  seems to have a “hangover” – hanging old and tired on the ropes early this morning: an adventurous construction from the “normal” gantry crane and an additional “lever crane” occupies the entire yard of Martin Shipyard. Tension and nervousness are reflectet in the faces of the shipwrights, only the pare essentials are spoken, the  breathing air of men not only steams because of the first autumn cold.

Close work with uncertain output is required by the two crane operators in order to lift the hull of the big yacht exactly synchronously. The lead keel needs to be cleared and removed, perhaps this will take the hole day.

Centimetre by centimetre, it is detached from the trailer. To the surprise of all those involved, a gap already forms in the front half between deadwood and lead ballast. Quickly the hull is lowered again and the 5-tonne weight secured with a nut. Once again, it goes up – the trailer on which the keel cast over 80 years ago is to be stored for the next  months must be placed under the hull – and then down again.

Obviously, the studs are easily tilted in the wood in the back of the lateral plan. Only at this point the boatbuilders have to help with a few wooden wedges and some heavy blows from the sledge hammer. Another fitting falls victim to the cut of an angle-grinder.

“I have never experienced that before either.” Josef Martin shakes his head  in astonishment as the hull seems to rise effortlessly over the lead keel. MARABU hase done it almost too easily and also provides the solution to the puzzle: On the surface of the lead English shipwrights immortalized themselves in 1989 with the Year. At least once in the history of this yacht this area has been revised and therefore ballast and hull separated. Good luck for the Radolfzell team!

Just in time for the breakfast break the hole episode is over. The boss looks at the heavy piece of lead with the bolts in it. Now satisfied and relaxed, his breath evaporates under the brown leather hat and again it is not at the cold, because the sun has fought past the shipyard buildings and warms the place in front of the big gate.

The conversations among the shipwrights wander out to the sea – Helgoland, Atlantic, Newport… with his 12mR he would not dare to go on such a trip, says Martin. With  MARABU? Yes, with MARABU of course when she is finished… after all, she is a Windfall.