Baidee’s Dry Dock Vacation
maintenance for lady Baidee – a full body SPA treatment
May is a popular time for vacationers to arrive on Koh Samui — the island breeze makes it cooler here than in much of Thailand during the dry season, college students in most of the world are just ending their semesters, and hotel prices are lower than in the peak month of January.
Our boat Baidee, a 30-meter bugis phinisi, or Indonesian schooner, will be going on vacation this month too. She’ll be taking a trip to the dry dock on the mainland, where she’ll enjoy a full-body spa treatment to get her back into tip-top shape for our guests.
Plenty of careful maintenance
Baidee is constructed according to centuries-old Indonesian standards with traditional materials such as ironwood and teak. This makes her a strikingly beautiful and functional boat, but it also requires her to receive plenty of careful maintenance. In order to carry this out, we sail her to a special structure called a dry dock.
Here, the high tide drives her onto a massive roller system, where she is pulled out of the water and secured through the yanks of a winch. Once Baidee is fastened in place, her entire hull is revealed; a side of her we rarely get to see.
Beauty – from inside out
Much of Baidee’s dry dock maintenance involves caring for this hull, as well as the other wooden elements, including the deck, saloon, and railings. In order to preserve the wood’s strength and rich color, she’ll be scrubbed of barnacles and other unwanted critters, sanded, oiled, painted, and varnished until she glows like she’s just completed a rigorous skincare routine.
Beauty isn’t just skin-deep, though; we also have to make sure that all of Baidee’s inner workings are functioning properly. That involves checks and, if necessary, overhauls of the engine, gearbox, shaft, and propeller. Once all that is completed, we’ll work on getting her dressed to receive guests.
She’ll return to the waves with a clean bimini top and plenty of chairs, couches, and Thai triangle cushions for optimal lounging.