Crane-out 2016

October 20, 2016


Day one of crane-out was wet, windy and cold. Most of my wet weather gear was onboard, so I had to cobble together an eclectic array of clothing that should have kept me substantially dry.

Like many others, I still got thoroughly soaked.


By mid-morning I felt something snap on my right hand. My finger didn’t feel broken so I carried on, stopping to check my limp finger tip every now and then. Eventually, I accepted that something wasn’t quite right and went in search of a second opinion. The second opinion I found suggested that I needed to pop over to A&E, and following an X-Ray the diagnosis was something called ‘Mallet Finger’, which means that my tendon had snapped. Treatment was a small finger splint to be worn 24/7 until the end of the year, and then a further month wearing the splint at night. Zang!


My injury did nothing to prevent the unrelenting approach of the season’s low point.

When the tide arrived the following day, we brought our Macwester Malin over to the harbour ready for crane-out. We had a short 15 minute wait before the dreaded event was upon us.


The wind had dropped, and the lift went reasonably well. I say ‘reasonably’, because there was some contact between the crane lifting gear, and some delicate equipment at the top of our main mast. At this stage I’m not sure if any remedial action is required.


Moments later our twin-keel yacht was heading for what will become her home for the next six months. This year we have a slightly different spot, roughly twenty feet away from last year, on more even ground.


Once our Macwester Malin was safely deposited on her wooden blocks, we stowed some items and checked that everything was present and correct before turning our attention to other outstanding tasks. Above; muddy antifoul paint power-washed a few days after crane-out – it’s a task that’s easier before the mud and paint dry out.


One of the traditions the crew and I have is rowing our dinghy over to the club one last time, however that was going to be more complicated than normal given the damage to my finger. Hoping to avoid being labelled a finger-malingerer, I was keen to row the tender round as usual …but I was overruled. Instead the club boat did the job for us in a matter of moments.


As crane-out weekend drew to a close, just prior to heading up to the club patio for a consolation beer, I noticed the view through our sprayhood from our new spot on the hard-standing. In that instance, I knew that it wouldn’t be long until I find myself staring out at that view, gently rocking back and forwards on the balls of my feet.

The long wait for crane-in 2017 begins.



  1. Dear owner of the Malin

    I see at your pictures that you have a bow thruster in your Macwester Malin. I have a Macwester malin too, the “Free ‘ from Holland, Pictures of my boat are in the photo list on your site.
    I consider to mount a bow thruster too, but also I ask myself or it will be very usefull, allthough I experience that going astern with a Malin is difficult sometimes.
    My question to you,
    – What are your experiences
    – Do you use the bow thruster often, allthough I know you are often on open water, and we, in Holland,have many canals with bridges and locks

    best regards,

    Henk van der Meulen


    • Hello Henk,

      I hope you are well.

      The Malin’s skeg is great for taking the ground and protecting the prop, but it also makes going astern more difficult. The bow thruster is a fantastic ‘get out of jail free’ card. It has saved my blushes on many occasion; I highly recommend having one and if we ever buy another yacht, it’s likely that we would look for one that has a bow thruster.

      Incidentally, our Malin came from the Netherlands. We bought her in Naarden (2011), but she had previously been based at Terneuzen.

      I hope that answers your question Henk.

      All the very best!


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