Saturday was the day on the lake this year and haul out day. It was a perfect 70 degree day in Southern NM, and there were only a handful other boats out on the lake. After some cruising around and lunch, it was a stop at an open marina to top off the fuel tank, empty the port-a-potty and winterize the sink.
Once back at the Marina where our slip is, I opted to attempt hauling it via beach instead of driving around five miles to the one ramp still currently in the water. Because the trailer lives on a concrete pad in my parent’s driveway (I acquired an ownership interest in the boat via rebuilding the engine 10 years ago and about 15 years of maintenance and upkeep), they towed it down from Albuquerque via my olde escalade that they now own. Because the escalade was here, and GMT 400 escalades have a real 4x4 system with a low range, beach launching is an option on firm enough ground.
Elephant Butte is know for very deep, soft sand beaches along most of the shoreline, but there are places where it is much firmer sand. Combine firmer ground with a place with enough drop off at the waterline to get a big boat on the trailer without having to stick the tow vehicle too far down in the mud, and it is possible haul out 6000+lbs of boat and trailer from the beach. I’ve done it probably a dozen times over the years, and once actually won a bet from a park ranger over doing it successfully. Few people attempt to beach launch or retrieve boats this heavy at this lake.
After fogging the engine, the retrieval was successful, and it was undoubtedly the first time the Escalade had low range engaged since I owned it.
Once out the water, the winterization was completed by draining the cooling system via pulling the plugs on the exhaust manifolds, criculating water pump supply hose, two lower block drains and pulling the oil cooler hose. The boat was a left a few miles away at the fibreglass shop for fresh bottom paint for next year. He’ll lift it off the trailer, sand down to gel coat, reapply the epoxy barrier coat and then two coats of ablative anti fouling paint. The outdrive gets sanded down and a couple of coats of non-copper containing anti fouling paint, because galvanic corrosion is very much a thing.