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Plucked from the water for a good scraping

Words & Pictures by Duncan Stearn


Ocean Marina, south of Jomtien, is, as the name might suggest, the kind of place where people who mess about in boats congregate. Visitors without nautical craft and who are, instead, steering a land-based vehicle are able to gain entry to this area via the security gate at the main entrance. No questions seem to be asked as you drive in; you’re simply handed a pass and off you go.


Since I had never been to the Marina before I decided one Sunday afternoon it would be interesting to have a look around, especially as my sister and brother-in-law were visiting from Australia. My brother-in-law owns a 48-foot gin palace back in Oz, so I figured he’d be interested in the Ocean Marina setup. For myself, the most nautical vessel I have ever owned was a riverine kayak.


While the entire setup is, as you would expect, full of vessels of all shapes and sizes, unless you really are interested in a closer inspection of these shapes and sizes then after about five minutes of sticky-beaking it all gets a bit mundane. In some ways it reminded me of going to a nautical version of a used-car lot.


The highlight was undoubtedly being there at the time when a small motorised sailing vessel was being hauled out of the water and transported to the rear of the marina to have barnacles scraped from its hull.


The process was actually quite simple. A skilled sailor motored the vessel into a narrow berth where a crane-like contraption called a Travel-Lift was waiting. Prior to the vessel reaching the revetment, someone had pulled a lever and lowered the Travel-Lift’s slings into the water. The boat merely idled while the lever was engaged and raised the boat out of the water.


Once above the height of the concrete berth the Travel-Lift was started up and slowly took the boat down past the high tower of the Ocean Marina condominium complex and towards the boatyard. There its encrusted barnacles would be removed and the boat returned from whence it came.