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.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


I've been neglecting to post here for a while now, but it's not because I've been off skiing or mountain biking somewhere and blowing off boat work.  I've been busy getting the boat ready to launch in two days and I just had a ton of little projects that were either partially completed or just never got to them last year.

First off, I finally finished the new hatch and got it installed.  Most of the work since the last post involved varnishing (6 coats), installing hardware, and final fitting.  All went well and I'm happy with how it turned out.

At the same time I was working on varnishing the brightwork, bolting on the builders plate (finally), and installing a new VHF cable that runs from the radio to the mast.  At any given point in the past month I've had 5-6 small projects going in various stages of completion.

There were a few larger projects that I should have done over the winter, but I just don't get much boat work done over the winter, so once again, I was under the gun once the weather warmed up and I was sure we were going to launch this season.

Last fall I had started putting bead board on the main bulkhead in the cabin, and I had finished the port side but didn't start the starboard side until last week.  It isn't a difficult project, and installing the bead board is quite easy, but cutting and fitting the trim just takes a lot of time.  In particular, the trim board covering the chainplate bolts took forever because I had to get longer chainplate bolts and I decided to use some old chainplates as a backing plate for the chainplate located on the other side of the bulkhead.  I finally got it done and I think it looks a lot better (See before and after photos below).

Bulkhead before
There were a lot of other projects that amounted to a pain in the ass and were time consuming but required no creativity or much skill.  I did consult the considerable talent amassed in the wooden boat forum to determine the best approach to repairing a split along a glue line in the boom.  I just wasn't sure what to do, but in the end it was quite simple to do (open up the glue line with a japanese pull saw, fill with epoxy and plug the end to keep the split from continuing).  Hopefully it will last and I plan on re-building the whole thing for next year.

Bulkhead completed, minus the clock that still needs to be installed.