The Boatyard Vava’u, Tonga

All boat owners share the same two desires when they haul out:

  1. Get your stuff done
  2. Get back in the water

Boatyards are pretty much a means to an end and certainly not a place to linger if your psychological or financial health are important to you.

The Boatyard Vava'u

Boats safely stored for the cyclone season in the Boatyard Vava’u

 

So when we hauled out at the boatyard in Vava’u, we were surprised to find that once we had got the essentials done (new engine and antifouling) that we were in no desperate hurry to get back in the water.

Sure, we were not going to dawdle there forever (after all, there are no free days) but the people who run that boatyard had made the experience so pleasant that we found ourselves in the rare position of not actually being desperate to leave.

 

Jasna checking the sails in the Boatyard Vava'u

Unusually for a boatyard, there is plenty of loan to spread out the sails

The boatyard guys get creative - lowering the engine down to Rick gearbox first

The boatyard guys get creative – lowering the engine down to Rick gearbox first

The carpenter Cyril trying out his last masterpiece - a boat shaped cradle

The carpenter Cyril trying out his last masterpiece – a boat shaped cradle

Jasna getting help sanding the windlass

Jasna getting help sanding the windlass

There is very good snorkeling just off the boat ramp

There is very good snorkeling just off the boat ramp

The Boatyard Vava’u in Tonga is owned and run by two couples – one Brit and one South African – and despite being open a mere 2 years is certainly the nicest boatyard we have ever hauled in.

Set on a lush green lawn in the lee of a mountain, the idyllic setting is complimented by a good little chandlery and that rarest of boatyard beasts, the hot shower.

For those that prefer not to get dirty, there are great services here too – mechanics, carpenters, painters, sanders and fibreglass experts. But what makes this little corner of paradise truly special is the helpful nature of everybody there.  Not once did we even get a hint of the ‘don’t bother me’ attitude that is increasingly common in such places.

The secret of their success lies in their background. The owners (Joe, Kate, Al and Bo) all arrived here under sail  – their boats are hauled out in the yard. Their previous experience as boatyard customers means they know exactly what a sailor needs and the conditions we are operating under.  While landlubber tradesmen might lose patience with the inevitable barrage of questions that arrive with every new sailor, these guys have not forgotten what it is like to be constantly attempting the impossible in an environment so unfamiliar you don’t even know where to buy a pencil.

So a big thank you to Vava’u Boatyard for introducing us to a rare experience – being slightly sad to go back in the water.

 

Us with The Boatyard Vava'u Crew

Us with The Boatyard Vava’u Crew

Click below to watch a short video of us hauling out in Tonga.

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4 Responses to The Boatyard Vava’u, Tonga

  1. Steve says:

    Wow, beautiful area. Best wishes and smooth sailing.

  2. Chris says:

    I would love to hear what engine you put in ou Union 36’…

  3. Chris says:

    I would love to hear what engine you put in your Union 36’…

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