Sunday, July 17, 2011

July update

In my last posting I said I would post photos if I was able to do some sailing.

Today was my first opportunity with some real wind. After these photos were taken the wind continued to pick up nearly burying the rail. I was a little too busy handling the boat to take pictures at that point.

Overall it has been a pretty windless spring. The week after the last posting I took Jenny out for an easy sail only to find the wind died right after leaving the harbor. We motorsailed with the main up and the engine idling for a few hours and just enjoyed bobbing around and taking a look at the new sailing grounds.

It was nice and we did get a little push from the wind but it wasn't real sailing. Let's call it 'pleasant boating' instead.

Last week I was in Maine on a sailboat rescue mission. No, I didn't bring the boat home. It was for a friend. We ran into some obstacles and didn't actually bring the boat home but we made the proper arrangements and I am happy to report that a diamond-in-the-rough Pearson Ensign will live to sail again. Judging from its derelict neighbors the boat was destined to become part of the decaying scenery until we got to her.

Yesterday was sunny but windless so I spent the afternoon taping up and applying a coat of varnish. Its a losing battle I am afraid. The weather was very unfriendly this spring to varnish work and I wasn't able to get any fresh varnish down before launch. The finish is really showing the lack of care now and some of it will be pealing by the end of the season.

My goal at this point is to minimize the damage. The original plan for today was a second coat of varnish but the wind was just too good to pass up. Next week.

My other little job yesterday was to attach a latch to the head locker doors. I never got around to it prior to launch and everytime the boat leaned a bit the doors would open and then crash shut; very annoying. When I built the shelf I didn't factor in the space created by the door frame. I had to add a bit of wood under the shelf that protruded out so that the latches could reach the doors. The doors stay shut quite nicely now and today's on-the-rail sailing proved it.

And that's it. No real plans other than sail whenever I can.

Things that have moved to the top of the priority list include:

Lazy jacks. My fully battened main spills out all over the place when I drop it and it is becoming a pain; especially with these short daysails. Somehow I could live with it when the main was up for 12 hours at a time cruising but for a 2-4 hour daysail the hassle is really annoying. Lazy jacks for sure next spring.

Better sail controls. When the point of the activity is just sailing (as opposed to cruising and focusing on destination) then tweaking the sails becomes a high priority. I definitely want to improve the ease of sail controls and get new running rigging cut to the right length. My mainsheet is Waaaaaaaayyyyyy too long as I was using a two speed mainsheet block last time with twice as much line as I need now. Finding places to secure the bitter ends is a must too. Right now the sheets just tie off to the nearest cleat which leads to a pile of lines on the jib sheet cleats. An easy project but one that will make the day much more pleasant. I didnt bother installing my cheesy boom vang this year and watching the boom fly up is really annoying. Now that I don't have a mainsheet traveler the problem is even worse.

Canvas. The sailmaker should be coming out to the boat next week to measure for the new sailcover. I think I want to have him make a cockpit awning too for those lazy days on the mooring.

As for the interior, I want to continue with the cherry surfaces but also put the galley countertop to the top of the list. That would add a lot of utility to the interior and I could also add a sink using an available (and unused) seacock. Somehow, when the boat was a patchwork of four different colors, washing the dishes over the side was okay. Now its simply unacceptable.

OH! and a cockpit table of some sort to set down lunch. Again, eating on my lap was okay when the boat was decrepid looking but now I have to step up my game. I am playing in the big leagues now :-)

Em Tasol wantoks. More good sailing to come!