Sunday, November 10, 2013

End of season 2013

Jenny, is home.She arrived at the boatyard dock three weeks ago with the last nice sailing weekend fading fast.  It was a three day trip bringing her home this time and there was some fabulous sailing which made up for a rather depressing second half to the sailing season.

It wasn't all bad.  There was a sail party with three of my friends (who all have intimate knowledge of classic plastic rebuild projects) and the sail home was the best sail since my three month cruise.

It was that broken tiller head that did me in though.  In hindsight, I have no idea why I chose to start fixing a highly critical part that was still working while the boat was on the mooring instead of waiting for the end of the season when I could have worked on it at my leisure.

The solution to the worn tiller head that I killed was a new tiller head.  I will say it looks beautiful and works well.

The only issue I had was that the slot for the key was on the opposite side from the original.  That mean I had to cut a new slot, on the mooring, by hand, flat on my belly, with the boat wakes making my boat and tiller shaft go back and forth, back and forth...  Of course there was the fear of making the slot too big, or crooked, or lopsided, or... any one of a hundred ways I could really mess up and cause a lot of trouble (like having to tow  my boat to a haulout facility and drop the rudder to replace the shaft...) so I had to go very slow and check often. 

There was really no need for that nonsense and I should have left it alone until the end of the season.  Lesson learned. For those of you that have to know, I put a rotary file on a drill motor and cut narrow slots smaller than the width of the keyway.  I then used a handfile to slowing deepen and open the keyway up to the required dimensions. Thankfully the shaft is bronze and not stainless. It still took several hours of work over two weekends.

The month of September would normally be my haulout period but moving a family member, bad weather and 'other social obligations' meant I didn't bring Jenny home until the third weekend of October.  Day one of the trip was beautiful with perfect sailing weather.  Day two the winds were not as forecasted, quite strong,with a few hundred miles of fetch instead of the land breaze expected.  The conditions just too rough and I had to wait out the day in Rockport harbor.  Day three was a light wind day with the winds coming just as they were supposed to on day two.  An easy sail to the mouth of the Merrimac river and motor at high tide up to the boatyard dock.  That is where I left Jenny as the boatyard staff wasn't sure where they were going to put her for a few days.

Because I was out so late most of the boatyard was filled up by the time I got there and my location is less than ideal this year.

Jenny is buried in the midst of boats with no water or electricity close by.  I am not terribly happy about the location but there isn't much I can do about it either.

One thing I noted in my first walkaround was how many dings and scratches Jenny picked up this year.  The mooring ball did a lot of damage to the bow section as in the previous year in Salem but in addition, there are several scrapes from what looks like other boats getting too close and perhaps oarlocks from curious people in dinghies.  Judging from what I saw when I spent some nights aboard I am not too surprised but that is even more to be unhappy about.

The weather is fast going bad and I am racing to get Jenny ready for the winter.  Four pickup truck loads of stuff have come out of her so far and the systems are all winterized.  At this point I just need to get a cover on and I can't do it soon enough.  The weather in October was pretty nice for sailing over all but being this close to the winter and not having Jenny put away is worrying.  Next time I will try harder to get her out earlier.  The nice weather back then just isn't worth the worry now.

And that is where it is at.  There are more details to talk about but the push is on and there is not enough time to make long blog posts.  When the snow flies I will try to come back and cover some of the stories.

More blog posts coming soon.