Saturday, April 25, 2020

Life in Kingfisher Bay Marina - Demopolis, Alabama

We arrived at Kingfisher Bay Marina on April 1, 2020. I have not been that happy and relieved in a long time. I think I even did a happy dance. After getting tied up, we spent some time getting to know the marina. We are in a small basin, just off the river. We have very good wind and wake protection. The cost of the slip is $10 per foot per month. That is very reasonable by Florida standards. We also have access to a nice common room, bathroom and shower. They have a pool (that is not currently open, but looks nice for when it gets a bit warmer). The majority of the slips are covered, but they have plenty of uncovered slips for us sailboats with masts.

Kingfisher Bay Marina has nice concrete docks that are about 50 feet. This is the first time we have been on a fully wrap around floating dock. It makes it easy to get on/off the boat and work on all sides. 

Lots of turtles and fish around the docks. 

We spent the first few days getting ready to hunker down for the next few weeks.  The virus lockdown was getting very serious all around the country and was being taken very seriously in rural Alabama even though they had only one reported case in the county.

We took advantage of the free courtesy car to go to Walmart and buy groceries. That was a strange experience, but all went well and we were ready for the next month or more.

Byran and Mary stuck around for 4 days and then decided to head up the Tenn-Tom Waterway to get to their home. Their trip went well other than one scary night they got hit with very strong winds and drug anchor into shallow water. They finally got the boat free after a long sleepless night. They made it home in about a week from Demopolis. The trip was over 200 miles to the Tennessee river. The good news is they had very little current and were able to average over 6 knots.

I spent days going for walks and checking out the boat yard facilities. We are planning to haul the boat here and do some work on the bottom.

The Marina from across the basin. Notice the water level on the bulkhead.

The boatyard filled with all kinds of boats. Some are getting refitted by their owners, some are rotting away. They all represent someone's dreams. 

This is the Travelift, that we will use to put the boat on the hard. To haul the boat and block and stand it and put it back in the water will cost about $500 at this DIY yard. 
I spent my days working on the boat. I started by going over the engine. I found a dirty air filter, which could have been the reason for the black stripe on the transom. While doing some testing, I went to start the engine, it would not start. I was happy! I now had a symptom to work with. I hate intermittent problems. I traced the problem back to some corroded connections and a corroded fuse holder. I ordered a new waterproof fuse holder and bypasses all of the connections. Now the motor starts every time. I will also put in some oil treatment when I change the oil, which hopefully will help get the rings to seal better and reduce oil consumption. I ordered some things, but Amazon was delayed, so we had to wait.

We then cleaned the hull and taped the teak rail below the rub rail. We sanded and then varnished all the way around the boat. That is where the full wrap around dock is great. We had to use the dingy to do the transom. We then did a touch up on the rest of the teak on the boat. This boat has a lot of teak, but it looks great when it is freshly varnished.

I then put a coat of wax on the hull. That is the first time we have done that. It looks great, but boy is that hard work.

Well that is what we have been doing for the three weeks we stayed in the marina. We were watching the situation with the virus closely and were very eager to get back to Missouri to see the kids and grand kids. After three weeks we decided we did not to wait any longer. In my next entry, I will write about our trip back to Missouri and life on the ranch.

A beautiful sunrise from the cockpit of the boat. 


  1. Great diagnosis on the engine problem, those can he frustrating! How often do you have to take it out of the water and do the underside?

    1. Thanks for the comment. Generally you should paint the bottom with an anti-foul paint about every 2 years. We have a chip just below the water line that I want to fix and I would like to take a good look at the prop and rudder. We will probably do a light sanding and apply a couple coats of anti-foul while we have it out of the water.

  2. I think you have talked me out of wanting a boat. Looking at the photos of the places you have been that us land lovers will most likely never see plus the beautiful sunsets it's easy to get carried away. But I thought a 5th wheel required a lot of maintenance, whee!
    Anyway I know you are enjoying it. Loving reading your blog.
    Dick & Cathy

  3. There is a lot of maintenance on a boat and it is critical that you get it right. You really don't want to get stranded, but we have two forms of propulsion, so there is always a safety factor.