Here is the installment for 2013 – what we’ve done to Maple Leaf to take care of her and make her better than ever!

A lot of care goes into getting the lift just right when you're pulling a 95-ton ship into the air!

It was a balmy shipyard this year, with plenty of sunshine and relatively warm temperatures in February.

As usual, we took Maple Leaf across Georgia Strait and up the Fraser River to Shelter Island, where we haul her out of the water.

A neat fact for anyone who has been to Vancouver and driven the tunnel between the city and the BC ferries or the US border: while you’re driving under the Fraser River, ships like the Maple Leaf or huge freighters are cruising right over you!

Tavish and James assess the new generator.

Our biggest shipyard project actually started in winter, when Capt. Stephen and Brandon did a power audit of the ship, and worked out a design and configuration for a new generator system on the ship.

The generator creates power for us, and, as a byproduct, creates hot water for your use, as well as hot water to circulate in the ship’s radiant heat system. It also charges Maple Leaf’s banks of batteries.

Ashley and Skye with the Maple Leaf name boards, which they were repainting. Photo by Tavish Campbell

Stephen also worked out how to remove the old system, via the wheelhouse, and install the new one in the small space that a sailing ship has for such things. We measured three times before we placed the generator order, and it fit with millimetres to spare, as planned!

We installed the new system in February. We’re pleased that it’s (intentionally) a quieter system than the previous one, provides more power and is more energy efficient than the old one.

In addition at shipyard, we did the usual sanding, painting and varnishing — three coats of bright white paint on the hull, and more new varnish on all the booms.

There were plenty of other small projects to keep us busy, too — painting interior spaces, installing new whisker stays and bobstay, rebuilding our anchor windlass, overhauling our water system, and completing our usual inspections by Transport Canada for passenger carrying vessels.

Some of the shipyard crew, under the Maple Leaf's hull, by her rudder and propeller.

Thanks to shipyard crew: Greg Shea, Tavish Campbell, Nick Sinclair, Ashley Stocks, Angus MacKinnon, Skye Maitland, Lindsay , James Warburton, and Rafe Turner. Also to Bo Spiller and team at Spiller Marine for their excellent wooden boat craftsmanship and their camaraderie.

Next week: rigging the sails and some more woodwork!

To watch last year’s time-lapse video of hauling Maple Leaf out of the water, click here.