Sunday, September 27, 2009

All's well that ends well.

Jenny is back on safe dry land again. The day was not without its adventures though.

I was out a bit early to strip what little rigging was installed (boom, etc.). The wind was blowing pretty good 10 gusting 20 right out of the north which would prove interesting later. Because of the wind I was not able to check out my genoa lead locations. I will have to rely on pictures for that.

I had some time so I thought I would take a little river cruise before haul-out. It was a nice sunny day motoring up river. A nice looking classic plastic (maybe a Bill Tripp design?) gave me a big thumbs up when I went by. I opened the engine up to give it some work for the first time in several years. The boat quickly came up to speed and shortly after the engine started to smoke as a result of the dust burning off. The exhaust was a bit smoky too but I think that is to be expected the first time the engine got up to operating temperature in several years.

So I was following a route that I had taken on launch day with slightly more tide- that is, I had slightly more water under the keel than before- which didn't seem to matter when I blundered into a rock garden.

Thankfully, I had come off the throttle as was doing an easy 4.5 knots when I clocked a boulder which brought poor Jenny to an immediate stop and lifted her up a few inches- a truly sickening feeling in case you haven't been there before. After idling the engine and putting it in neutral I had a look around and was shocked to see rocky knobs all the way around me. Luckily the tide was on its way in so I knew I just had to wait a bit.

A few minutes later, the boat was free. Then, the 20 knots gusts of wind put me immediately on the adjacent rock with another sickening crunch.

A few minutes later, the boat was free. Then, the 20 knots gusts of wind put me immediately on the adjacent rock with another sickening crunch.

A few minutes later, the boat was free. Then, the 20 knots gusts of wind put me immediately on the adjacent rock with another sickening crunch.

A few minutes later, the boat was free. Then, the 20 knots gusts of wind put me immediately on the adjacent rock with another sickening crunch.

A few minutes later, the boat was free. Then, the 20 knots gusts of wind put me immediately on the adjacent rock with another sickening crunch ...

The wind pushed me all the way through the rock garden. Eventually, the rocks got tired of their games and spit me out. I noticed during this episode that my reverse gear linkage was a bit off and that I wasn't getting any reverse. I made a note to adjust that soon before I forgot at the next launching (that partially explains my 'aggresive' approach to the mooring dock last spring- no reverse braking)

So running a bit late and with the launch operator on my cell phone (3 times in ten minutes) I arrived back at the haul-out ramp near the end of my scheduled haul-out window. Note: I was not late, just at the end of my window.

So, I am approaching the dock alongside the ramp. The current is moving at about 2 knots left to right (upriver) which is making me come in with a significant crab angle. I needed to keep some power in to maintain steerage and the trick was going to be cutting the power far enough away to slow down and close enough not to get blown off course. I cut the power and put it in neutral about 50 feet off the dock.

Did I mention that the wind was directly out of the north and pushing me straight into the ramp? I didn't slow down a bit and instead made a bonzai approach into the dock - probably about 3 knots. The yard crew was extremely polite and forgiving and accomadating and didn't say a word. I really really need to buy those guys a case of beer. It was ugly.

Oh well, all's well that ends well. Safe on dry land at last.

and then I saw this for the first time.

Not the best day in recent memory.

On a good note, as the boat was being hauled-out a woman approached me and asked if Jenny was a Hinckley. 'She is absolutely beautiful!!' and she gushed a bit. I have to be careful or I could get a big head over stuff like that. I still haven't adjusted from having an ugly project boat that causes people to shake their heads and that I need to apologize for all the time.

I had intended to go back to the yard and start unloading the boat but instead decided to take myself out to an early dinner and some mindless distractions.

Saturday morning I went out to the yard and started the fall cleanup. I bit the bullet and had the yard crew pressure wash the hull. They did a great job, cleaned up the river scum well and left the paint intact. 18 hours later I had a bill in my mailbox for $91 - ouch- I would say the yard must be a little cash starved to invoice me so fast and raise the rates in the process. Oh well, they did a good job.

So here she is.

I spent the morning during a thorough cleanup and she looked much better after some attention. I hadn't realized how gray the decks had gone after a summer without a freshwater scrub. They shine again now. The hull too looked better after a real bath.

So, the scuff mark, looks better after cleaning. Some of the scrape marks turned out to be rubber transfering off the fenders and on to the hull. My plan to cover the fenders with terry cloth was an utter failure. The terry cloth wore through and ripped after a few weeks.

There are two spots where the paint wore completely away and I am looking at primer. There is another area where the paint has gone dull from rubbing. The real fix is going to be a re-spray. In the meantime I am going to contact Awl-Grip about repair procedures with the Awlcraft (acrylic) that I used and see if I can make it look better. Note: the photos were taken before I cleaned the hull. Those white 'scrape' marks are actually material from the fenders that rubbed right off. Actual damage is something less than it appears in the photos. The missing paint is real though.

and then there is the result of my frolic through the rock garden. Early in the project I discovered some poorly repaired damage on the leading edge of the keel. Its documented on the real website so I won't go into it again. Basically, during the first repair of the original repair I added a few extra layers of biax cloth as insurance against future groundings. On friday I called in that insurance.

From the looks of it, my first repair wasn't stellar anyway and now I will have a chance to make it better. It was one of the first composite repairs I had ever done. It worked, but now I can do it better. I am already toying with the idea of vacuum bagging this time. Maybe even explore a more exotic fiber in this impact prone region. I like exploring rocky shores so this is probably not the last repair I will ever make sadly.

Today is rainy so I won't be starting the winter shelter. Instead I plan on spending some time sorting out the stuff that came off the boat and getting the bamboo cabin sole ready to install. The sole isn't really the first thing I need to attend to but I can prep it and stay dry at the same time and it will be nice to put something pretty on the boat to cheer me up.

That was my interesting weekend. How was yours?


brushfiremedia said...

Geez, Luise!

Ariel | CD 36 said...

Ouch! Sounds like one heck of a conclusion to the season. Good luck on the winter projects!