Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quit 'yer bitchin

I realized that I have been doing quite a bit of complaining lately. Sorry about that. Nothing is duller than reading someone's complaints. I am all done now. I will present facts and successes only from now on.

I love the simplicity and sound of a well designed rowboat. No motors to service. No noise to shout over. Slow enough to enjoy the scenery and not scare away the wildlife. I really like my nutshell although it is looking like its starting to ask for some TLC.

So it isn't impossible to row out to the boat. Its just a bit more challenging. I timed the tides and weather this morning and had a quick look over and checked the bilge (nothing out of the bilge pump).

Here is a picture of the burn mark from the 'fireworks' two weeks ago. I am sure now that it was from one of the boats at the marina across the river firing their old flares. From that congested mess in the marina slips I bet my side of the river looked quite deserted and safe for flares. It wasn't though.

I noticed that the line that holds the four fenders I have strapped along the dockside sagged a bit. Between the sag and some wave/wind action I have managed to secure a spot in the "is Awlcraft 2000 repairable?" class this fall. Looks like the wood docksides and my freshly painted hull sides introduced themselves. I really have nothing good to say about docks these days.

I bet my neighbor doesn't either.

It looks like one of the chocks he was tied off to broke free and the next available one was a stretch.

I added an extra fender over the scuff mark in case something shifts again or the boat is rocked extra violently. Its not doing anything now but if the fender on the line moves then the vertical fender will drop down and (hopefully) protect what's left of the hull paint. I should add that the paint isn't scratched through. Just scuffed up and dull.

Once I had settled down and checked things out I had time to contemplate the geometry in the rigging.

After half an hour enjoying the morning the tide swung around and the breeze started picking up which was my cue to head back for some skiff repair work.

The motor mount as repaird by my cousin some years ago.

The inside always bothered me especially. It's not adding much support.

When I grabbed the wood it was obvious that I had let it go a bit too long. This took about 15 seconds with no tools.

In two minutes I had it all off.

Nothing but the best for my great grandfather's skiff. 3/4" marine grade okoume plywood costing somewhere around $170 a sheet last time I checked. Yeah, I forgot to drill some of the holes. The shape I chose as much to look good as to be functional. Square slabs would have worked just as well I think. I coated the inside faces and outer edges with epoxy to help seal it. I will probably do the same on the outer faces and then finish it bright with some Epifanes Gloss Wood Finish I have just lying around. Silly, I know, but that's the kind of guy I am.

While I would really like the new inflatable I think I would rather have sailing hardware and a chance to sail this season. I think I will limp along with the aluminum skiff (and pram perhaps) this season. The solution is to change my mooring next time rather than buy a boat just for this mooring situation, which as anyone that has been reading this blog knows, I absolutely detest. Lesson learned. I have always been a small boat and trailer sailer so the whole mooring thing was a new for me. I am much better educated now. Moorings good; Docks bad; transportation to the mooring is an extremely important part of the equation and it needs to be thought out and executed well. No half-assed measures like I took this year.

I will continue to keep my eyes open for a used inflatable but they seem to be quite scarce and pricey at the moment.

I am getting over the hump with the last minute shopping sprees I was on last month as part of the launching process. I hope to put in a new order for deck hardware soon. Maybe I will have something to show in the near future besides the slow degradation of my beautiful boat and repairs to a 50 year old aluminum skiff that really belong in the scrap pile.

Here's hoping.

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