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Reflections on Four Months on the Hard | Living in a Boat Yard in Campbell River

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

Note: Ken is no longer the manager at Fresh Water Boatyard and I cannot vouch for the current management. He was the main component that made your stay in the boat yard bearable.

When we initially decided to haul our sailboat out of the water, we thought we would maybe be out of the water for two months. We figured we had two small areas of rot to fix, some railing to re-bed, a deck to paint and maybe a mast to take out and work on a little bit.

But, as you saw, those projects quickly turned into a lot more work that we could have ever expected. When I initially called around to find us a boat yard, most yards wouldn't let us stay in them for more than a month and were going to charge us $50-$90/ day out of the water, plus lift price. Most yards also wouldn't let us stay on our boats while we were doing the work. Luckily we found a boat yard that was willing to give us a monthly rate and let us stay in the yard as long as we were actually working on our boat. I can't imagine what we would have done if we had ended up in one of those other boat yards.

So for four months, we spent our days working on Nordic V in the Freshwater Boat Yard up the Campbell River. We dealt with countless challenges staying here, from only having a porta potty for a bathroom, to dealing with loud noise and dust at all hours of the day (like any other boat yard) and all the issues with our boat, but we met so many lovely people during our four months that we will hopefully stay in contact for many years to come.

I especially want to give a shout out to the boat yard manager and lift operator, Ken. Not only was he honest and upfront about how much he was going to charge us for our stay (which is, unfortunately not something you can say about every boat yard), he was also super fun to be around with his great sense of humour and attitude, and was always willing to help us find what we needed to solve the oh so many problems we encountered along the way. I can't express how grateful we are to have found this boat yard, and to have had Ken around to lift our spirits daily and help us through what would have been an even more trying process if not for his constant help and easy going nature.

We also had a pretty amazing view of the river from where our boat was for those four months. So much better than being stuck in the city!

I can't say I want to ever do this again, but I am grateful for where we ended up through this process and also glad to be back on the water now.

You can also watch all of our project videos here.

Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below sharing your own experiences with boat yards. Where did you love, where would you prefer to never have to go again?

- Taryn & Logan


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