Friday, August 26, 2016

New Blog

I'm moving on and probably won't post much here anymore, but will leave the content up for those that are interested in plastic classic restoration.  I've started a new blog with new adventures about fixing up beat up boats, this time on a smaller scale.  I'm building a new shop that will be better suited for new projects, especially in the winter.  Visit for more.

My first project fell in my lap before I finished the shop. It's a 1977 Force 5 that followed me home from the interwebs (free boat on craigslist).  I sailed one as a kid at camp and have many fond memories.  I'm close to getting it back in the water, and then I will finish the shop.

After that, I am looking at a number of small boat designs that embrace beach cruising and camping.  The Maine Island Trail is something I've wanted to do for some time and I want to build a boat that would suit that type of sailing.  I've been looking at building a Caledonia Yawl, Ness Yawl, Goat Island Skiff, Core Sound 17 or 20, and a few designs of my own.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Magic has sold!

I'm both happy and sad to report that Magic has been sold.  The good Karma Gods must have been smiling down on her, because one of the new owners is the daughter of a former owner and sailed on Magic when she was young.  I can't help but think that I've passed Magic into good hands, and will enjoy and take care of her.  Fair winds.

The End!
(or the beginning)

My last sail as owner of Magic.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Magic For Sale!

It's with mixed emotions I've decided to put Magic up for sale.  If you've been following this blog then it may come as a surprise, but as much as I've enjoyed the fruits of 4 years of labor this summer, I decided that it's time to take on a new challenge.  I'm realistic and know that I will never get the labor and time that I put into her and am selling her for $22,000.  Overall she is in excellent condition and I've detailed her extensive restoration on this blog.  There is lots of information here as well as more images and links to videos of Magic sailing.

Her storage is paid up until summer and she is shrink wrapped and winterized.  Listing details are here: Listing Details. Feel free to contact me at if you want more information.

During the first years after I bought Magic in 2001, the circumstances of my life were significantly different.  My kids were just toddlers and could be packed away in the car for the 2.5 hour trip without much of a fuss. Additionally, my parents lived down on the Cape so we were traveling down from New Hampshire regularly anyway.

Times have changed though; my kids both like sailing but now that they are 15 and 13 respectively, they are beginning to have lives of their own and it has become difficult to plan family getaways. With that said, we had a great week sailing down on the Cape and Martha's Vineyard this summer and a few weekends that I wouldn't trade for the world.  I was able to sail quite a bit this summer, but much of that time was spent solo and I started to come to terms with the fact that it didn't make sense to spend so much time and money (mooring and hauling costs) on a big boat that I was for the most part day sailing.

I still love sailing and I have a number of friends with big boats that I'll crew on going forward, and back in late July I spent a day sailing a few boats in the Small Reach Regatta up in Brooklin Maine and fell in love with one in particular. The Caledonia Yawl designed by Iain Oughtred.  It sails great, is trailerable (read: no mooring or hauling fees), and will satisfy my desire to sail the Maine Island Trail in a small boat.  The proceeds from the sale of Magic will go toward the cost of building a Caledonia Yawl or something similar.

Magic's last morning in the water this year.  Note the frost on the dock!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sleigh Ride

Here are a few videos from last weekend coming back from Vineyard Haven.  We were just outside of Wood's Hole on our way back to Marion and the SW wind made an awesome showing and we just flew back.  My only regret is I didn't have the spinnaker on board that weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


The boats been in the water for almost three weeks now and I have taken every opportunity to get out sailing.  We've had several family outings on the weekends and I've done a couple of mid week solo sails over the past few weeks.  I really love going out alone because it really helps me get to know how the boat behaves again.  Before the restoration I had gotten comfortable enough to sail on and off the mooring and maneuver through the very tight harbor without any help from the engine.  So far this year, I've been using the main to get off the mooring, but I've had the engine running just in case I screw up.  I'm surrounded by some very expensive boats whose owners would probably not appreciate me running into them and I don't feel totally confident yet to go without the motor when leaving or approaching the mooring.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

First Sail 2015

We had a fantastic first sail last weekend, with the temperature in the low 80s and a nice 10-12 knot breeze.  It was completely uneventful except that nothing went wrong (when does that happen on the first time out) and the whole family had a good time.  With a South East breeze we were able to sail down to Mattapoisett before tacking out to Cleveland ledge and back across the bay to Marion. No marathon, just a great Sunday afternoon sail.  To top it all off, my 15 year old son was excited to get hoisted up the mast to install a wire above the spreader to hopefully keep the birds off.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Salty Again

Finally, the boat is back in salt water.  Last year's soak in Lake Winnipesaukee was done because it was really close to home and I could run up after work to take care of some of the many unfinished projects.  Being close was nice, but I wasn't fond of the squirrelly winds and lack of destinations.  

One of the many projects
that needed completion.
It's funny how launch dates sneak up on you.  Two weeks ago it dawned on me that I had a huge number of things to do before the boat was picked up on June 3rd.  I started making lists and scrambling to get everything done, but of course I didn't quite finish everything.  The big thing I missed out on was getting 3 additional coats of varnish on everything; we got only got one on for a total of 6.  I'm planning on putting another coat on now that the boat is in this weekend, but boat work usually doesn't happen for me once the boat is splashed.

So pickup day on Wednesday was absolutely crazy.  The truck was scheduled to arrive at 1pm and finally crossed the last item off my list at 12:45 when I tossed a half cord of wood blocking the boat shed into my truck.  Jonathan from Brownell Systems showed up before I stopped sweating.  Close call.

Putting the boat on the trailer.
The loading was nerve wracking for me as usual, but Jonathan was completely at ease and had no trouble backing the big truck and trailer into the tight confines of the boat shed.  It took a little over an hour to load the boat and get the mast secured on the trailer's rack and then it was over.  The boat was gone, the shed was empty and I felt a huge sense of relief.  
The next morning I drove down to the Marion town launch and met Jonathan and his crane operator to step the mast and launch the boat.   Another nerve wracking hour for me; there is just something about a 250 pound (guess) mast hanging from a crane above your head while standing on the deck of a boat 15 feet off the ground on a trailer that just doesn't sit well with me.  

All went well though and once we got all the standing rigging attached I started to feel a bit better. The strap from the crane was dropped, the mast stayed up on its own and then it was time to back down the ramp.  I wish I had taken photos, but I was trying to pay attention.  Once the boat was in the water Jonathan gave me a minute to fire up the engine and it started right away.  Then he lowered the hydraulic rams that keep the boat on the trailer and the boat was free.  

I tied the boat off to the dock and thanked Jonathan for all his help and he was off.  I hopped back on board and headed out to the mooring.  It took a while to find it and ended up having Barden's Boatyard find it (it took them a while also).  It turns out that the float was partially submerged so I never saw the number. 
The rest of the day was uneventful and much more relaxing.  I made sure all the cotter pins were crimped (or whatever it is you call it when you bend them around the clevis pin), put the boom on and rigged the mainsheet.  Then I had some lunch and relaxed a bit before heading home.  Next up - Sailing... Finally.