The Underworld

The Stygian netherworld of Jupiter’s bottom is seldom seen, rarely exposed to dry daylight and prying eyes.

Recently, at Philbrooks Boatyard, Jupiter was hauled up the ways and balanced ashore. The boatyard’s Bottom Crew knows that a boat is like an iceberg – there is a lot below the waterline.

Jupiter is hauled up the boatyard railway on a high tide and braced for bottom service. During the ship’s annual haul-out, the full 80,000 pound displacement understructure is exposed. Juts, humps and bumps, hollows and holes are unceremoniously unveiled. Damage is detected.

“The upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, whether partially or fully submerged, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces and acts in the upward direction of the center of mass of the displaced fluid.”

Archimedes Principle
Jupiter’s rudders and props in their half-tunnels dominate the scene. Protection and stability are bolstered by her keel. Transom mounted Humphree Trim Stabilizers (retracted), the stern thruster and sacrificial anodes occupy the transom below the swim-if-you-dare ladder. Wet and quiet engine exhaust ports are built into the outboard bilges. The hull below and just above the waterline is pocked with more than 30 thru-hull apertures providing sea water intake and outflow for manifold systems. Depth and sonar transducers and a ground plate for sideband radio complete the full-moonscape.


Jupiter’s Robust stainless cutwater survives forestry products, ice and anchor chain.
Opportunist barnacles (Belanus glandulus) hitchhike on the line cutter.


Soon Jupiter’s crew joins their vessel in Sidney, BC. The boat points north by northwest in early May to destinations far and wide in the ocean’s bosom unespied.


  1. Sally Seymour says:

    Good to see the underworld looking well. Are boatyard railways common in the northwest? They certainly aren’t around the northeast anymore. Although Sally W was gently removed from her aqueous environs in 2009 for giddy new owners experiencing the protocol of inspection. Glad to see you have big plans for the months ahead.

    Sending big hugs,
    Sally and Allan

    • Great to hear from you! We think boatyard railways in the PNW are about as rare as on the Eastern Seaboard. In our Sidney yard there is little space to work and store vessels nearby on the hard. And most northwestern boats remain in the water all year owing to little ice and few freeze-ups. Great Island Boatyard in Maine has a tractor-trailer arrangement that tows vessels up a steep ramp on certain high tides, then positions and supports the boat normally in their shore-side yard or shed for maintenance; a railway without rails.

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