Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Summer that Wasn't

For the second week in a row, rain has prevented me from accomplishing much. Today, I fiddled with some minor mechanical stuff, checked the bilge and ran the engine to top off the battery (which really didn't need it).

I am waiting for the opportunity to mount deck hardware but it just isn't happening. Hopefully, the weather patterns will change soon. At this point I am looking at a first sail around early September.

At least I am enjoying some nice picnics on the boat and I have had a chance to do some non-boat stuff for the first time in many months. I chafe about not getting work done on the boat but at the same time I am enjoying not having to work on the boat all the time.

Like every time I get out to the boat. I find an avian party in progress.

They don't like me crashing their party.

I guess I should be happy they they seem to pick just one corner on the aft deck to tear their dinners apart. Cleaning up is never a problem. The regular deluge for the past month hasn't hurt much either in that regard. I am finding that I have to be careful when I walk on deck in bare feet. Most of the skeletal remains are easy to spot but those little blocky vertibrae are killer when you step on them just right and nearly impossible to see against the bright white deck.

Last week, with the rain about to fall I took the skiff on a ride just to enjoy the scenery and have some fun 'boating'. I came across this Alerion 28 and was interested to see that the builders had the same problems trying to figure out how to run the lines to the stern cleats as I do.

The 'problem' is the toerail. I really love the look but it really gets in the way of running lines off the boat. The Alerion builders chose to just end the toerail short of the stern to make running the stern line easier. I can't say as I like the solution myself but I am really stumped as to how to proceed. Its a small 'flaw' in the design that I had not anticipated. I am not particularly happy with the cleats-on-blocks solution. The leverage works against me and its not particularly attractive. Besides the stern lines, the spring lines tend to work themselves up and down the length of the toerail. A rub strip of half-oval bronze would work but trying to cover every point where the lines cross the toerail leaves a good part of the toerail covered in bronze. A few short sections would be okay but I don't want to have it everywhere. I am still trying to work that out. Custom cast bronze chocks that fit into the toerail is the real solution but I am not really ready to spend that kind of money just yet.

Sorry there is nothing here but then there really isn't anything productive happening on the boat either. I am pretty much over the 'work on the mooring' option and I don't think I am going to launch next year in favor of better working conditions as I 'finish' up the project.

I will be trying again next week. Crossing my fingers.


Zach said...

Hmm.... good point on the shortened toe rail of the Alerion. I had forgotten about that!


Britton said...

I think I have to remember that my current mooring option is not really going to be the standard going forward. Going forward, I expect tying to docks to be a rarity; only for resupply, occasional washings and passenger transfers. The reality is that 99% of the time the boat will be on an anchor of some sort. I really shouldn't sweat the dock line situation.

My thinking at this point is that I would like to get the cleats directly on the aft deck and off the blocks. That would make for a stronger installation. I could either use a chock or a bronze rub strip at the toerail for the lines to pass over. Spring lines I still wonder about but if I just avoid tying to docks then it really isn't much of an issue. An occasional line over the toerail for a short period of time isn't really a problem.

yeah, the devil is in the details. There are TONS of minor details I would do differently next time.

and no, I don't think there will ever be a 'next time'. :-)