Kudat Haul Out

Kudat Marina(Small)

One of the worst places to haul a yacht out of the water is at Serangan, south east Bali. Avoid that place at all cost. It is expensive and the operators are pirates. But just 1,200 sailing miles to the north, on the north end of Borneo, is the small Malaysian city Kudat. In the well protected, but small, harbor is the Marina Jetty, Kudat. The marina has comfortable docking but very limited power plug ins on the two docks. Water on the dock is free and safe to drink without adding chlorine. The normally expected shower amenities and a small restaurant are in the two story facilities building. https://www.facebook.com/Marina-Jetty-Kudat-506851892774691/ It is a 20 minute walk into town. This is not a modern city like Kota Kinabalu or Miri but rather “traditional”. A bicycle is a big help for getting around but stand by the road and very soon a person in a private vehicle will stop to take you into town for R2 (U.S. 50cents).TravelLift

Next to the marina is a military contingent with plenty of small patrol boats. When we were there, well armed men, dressed in black and flack jackets toting M-16s made daily trips along the coast and did not return for 3-4 hours. A much larger Coast Guard boat left the harbor about every other day but always returned the same day. So even though the Philippines are only 70 miles to the north, where the bad guys live, we felt safe in the harbor of Kudat. The east coast of Borneo is also a no go zone for yachts.

We actually came to Kudat for the haul out facilities called Penuwasa Sdn.Bhd. penuwasa@gmail.com . A lot of heavy wood Philippine fishing boats come here to haul out so the Travel-Lift has to be big. It has a capacity of 150 tons and can take a boat 26’ wide so most catamarans are not a problem. In January, 2016, the lifting straps were nearly new and quite the overkill for a 14ton sailboat. They used far more straps than necessary doubled over or, on some sailboats, set side by side. This was one time I had no worries about our boat being dropped. The Travel-Lift is so big, we did not have to remove the head stay. To service the bent prop shafts and torn up propellers of the fishing boats, there is a full machine shop with 304 and 316 stainless available. If they are to busy to take care of your little job there is another machine shop about 2 miles away. IMG_0451 (Small)

To support boats on the hard, they use big concrete blocks which are normally used to build sea walls. Set with a forklift in 4 spots, large wood wedges are then driven between the hull and concrete to support the boat. Two wedges are used at each block support so when painting or sanding is done, one wedge can be removed at a time.IMG_0499

They have a real pressure washer to clean the hull. To get the pressure up they use a zero degree rotating tip and it does a good job.IMG_0348

For our 40’ sailboat, It cost us $250 for the haul and relaunch plus $15 per day to be on the hard, including electricity. We were stored in the dirt area which made cleanup not a question. We just picked up sanding discs, plastic etc although the Philippine fishermen seemed to have a competition who could leave the biggest and best scattered trash behind.

There is a concrete area a boat can be stored on and that cost $25 per day which can be a big advantage in the rainy season.

Each hauled boat is assigned their own shower/bathroom space with a lockable door. But the block of bathrooms assigned to the concrete area are much larger and better decorated than those used by the dirt area. The function is the same but the larger bathrooms do afford a degree of off the boat storage.

The Helper labor rates run R60 per day equals U.S. $15. About the same as at Vuda Point, Fiji.

This is what the yard charges for their help and they pay the help around $10 per day. We hired an “outside” helper and ended up paying the yard a small amount per day. We paid our helper Wan the full $15 plus several sodas during the day. Since he was there, Wan was gifted a lot of clothes, tools, and odds and ends which were no longer needed on Brick House. Wan made out quite well for himself.

Like anywhere, you have to tell the help that since they are working for a European, 8AM means 8AM, not ten after and quitting time is 5: not 4:30 or 4:45. Our man Wan understood this and did a fine job for us for the month we were hauled out. We expected him to work 7 days a week and most weeks he did.   Be sure to supply safety equipment for your helpers, Tyvek suite, respirators, safety glasses, ear plugs etc. We gave all that equipment to Wan when we were relaunched. IMG_0363

One of the best things about hauling in Kudat is that the haul out facility is not there to pounce on your wallet at every opportunity. After setting our boat on the hard, I finally decided the aft keel support needed to be moved 18” forward. It took 5 of their men, hydraulic jacks and a forklift, to do the work but there was no extra charge. And if you are launched and find there is a leak or other problem which means you have to be set back on the hard, all is done at a reduced rate.

Polyester resin and some epoxy resin is available plus cloth and painting supplies are available at the chandlery but it is far better to bring all supplies with you.

If needed, we would travel a long way, out of our way, to haul again in Kudat.IMG_0567

      The ladies in the office who keep things running.