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Horizon Shores Experience

Horizon Shores Experience

In 2019, my partner and I bought our first sailboat, Wit, a Southerly 115. We purchased her from a private vendor in Scarborough and sailed it to Victoria Point, where we tended to it on the hard stand for eight months. We learned the ins-and-outs of it and it was during this time we learned there was a lot of work that needed to be done to it for it to be comfortable, safe, and reliable. Sailing up to the Great Barrier, Fiji, New Caledonia and beyond was not going to be an easy feat and we needed to make sure everything was right. We could not do all the work ourselves and knew we could use some help. After eight months of fibreglassing, replacing the seacocks, cutlass bearing and much more, we put her in the water and made our way to Horizon Shores.

I had heard that Horizon Shores was a good place to go to get your boat repaired: short-term berthing options, fairly priced marine mechanics, and beautiful areas to explore nearby. After four hours, we knew we were getting close. There were several moored boats scattered around, mangroves with buoys bobbing around them, masts from ships at dock, and sheds that I knew our boat would eventually see.

After checking in at the office and getting to our berth, we decided to go for a walk. We stumbled upon Horizon Shores Boat Sales and popped in to get an estimate on the worth of Wit, and to get some recommendations for repairs we could make and what vendors to use. My partner and I were already dreaming of a bigger boat to raise a family on so we knew we needed to be looking at Wit as more than a means to get around; it was an investment for our future.

Luke, who took over Horizon Shores Boat Sales in 2016, was a really friendly guy who was genuinely excited about working with us and helping estimate our repairs. The three of us walked down to the boat. After about an hour of chatting and looking over the inside and outside, we walked back to his office and discussed his opinions and recommendations. He said the boat was in pretty good condition, but needed a few things to make it more reliable, comfortable, and profitable.

Luke pointed out, for starters, that we needed to replace our engine mounts. He noticed a couple were rusted; if the mounts continued to weaken, then our engine could run out of alignment, which is very dangerous. He told us Onshore Marine was the place to go. Next, he suggested that we get the boat out of the water and get it sandblasted, epoxied and antifouled at Morgan Vine Marine. Our boat has a polyester gel coat and while our boat was ok right now, in the long run we would save our boat from environmental degradation if we epoxy it.

Another thing was our bow rail. We were already thinking of getting it replaced. Luke was awesome at suggesting what we could do with it. He recommended we head over to East Coast Stainless Steel to get specifics and an estimate.

Next was the issue with the toilet. When we had the boat up on the hard at Victoria Point, we took the holding tank out and found a few rust spots, which were really weak. We could stick a screwdriver through with a small amount of pressure. We needed a new tank put in. Luke said that Marine Team was the place to go.

There were a couple of other things we wanted to get done, and by then we knew that Luke would know where to go and who to ask. First, we needed a new navigation system. While ours was ok, it was a bit dated and weathered. Luckily, right next to Luke’s business was Marine and RV Technology, which could help us find exactly what we were looking for. Lastly, we had recently bought a MAC 2.7 tender and needed a good motor for it. He told us that Onshore Marine could provide us with a good Mercury outboard.

After a two-hour sit down, my partner and I stepped out of the office with a list of recommended repairs and businesses in hand. Tired from our day and feeling pretty hungry, we decided to wait until the morning to take care of business.

Waking up with the birds and the sun, Horizon Shores provided us a peaceful sleep and a beautiful morning. Knowing our day would be busy, my partner and I headed over to The Anchorage Cafe for some breakfast and coffee. Once we were done, we pulled out the list Luke made us and began our journey. Located next door to the cafe was our first stop: Marine and RV Electrical.

In Marine and RV Electronics, you will find Eddy, who also runs Marinetronics in Hope Island and has more than 20 years of experience in the business. In the store, there were various products from companies such as Raymarine, Victron, Fusion, and Garmin. He told us how important it is to stay in touch with the ever evolving technological world. His confidence and knowledge was reassuring and I knew he was the person to ask about navigation and sound systems. Going through what we want from our devices and how much we want to spend, Eddy helped us work out what was best for us. We left happy and knew we would be back.

Our next stop was Morgan Vine Marine. Morgan specialises in fibreglass, boat repair, antifouling and more. We told him we wanted to get the boat out of the water, sandblasted, epoxied, and antifouled. He jotted some things down and asked us if we planned to get any other work done to it. We told him our plans and he said our best bet was to contact the riggers, and line up all the work for the same time. He was super helpful with quotes and made us realise that we needed to have our repairs all lined up before we got the boat out of the water. It would save us time and money. We knew, walking out, we would be back to set the plan in motion.

Next door to Morgan is East Coast Stainless and Trim. Rod, who owns the shop, helped us out. After catching up a bit, we told him our plans for new lifelines and stanchions and showed him pictures of our boat, not forgetting to mention that we want to keep the dog safe. Rod pulled out a piece of paper and made us an illustration of what he would suggest: stainless steel all around and a netting at the bottom to keep the dog in. Perfect! He gave us an estimate and told us to give him a call when we were ready to go forward.

Our next stop was Onshore Marine. We met with Bob, the workshop’s manager, who provided us a quote on the Yanmar engine mounts and suggested a few motors for our tender. The shop had some displays and there was a workshop in the back. He said they could come to our boat and fix the mounts whenever we are ready.

Our last stop was Marine Team, where we met Dave and Jane. They helped us figure out the plumbing and holding tank situation. They also offered fibreglass repairs, detailing, antifoul, and much more. Dave told us if we wanted to we could help them with the repairs so we could learn to do it ourselves. We thought that was awesome! He also gave us a few tips on where to throw our crab pots.

We reached the end of Luke’s list and were really excited about our repairs. Everyone we spoke to at Horizon Shores was super helpful and made us feel welcomed. I was happy to be here. The sun was setting over Moreton Bay and it was definitely time to open a bottle of wine and sit on the boat. We would put the plans in motion the next day, but for that afternoon, it was time to relax.

By Sarah Schwaner

Published in the August – November 2020 print edition.

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