Beginning of Season

UPDATE 3/30/16
The last 6 months was exactly what the doctor ordered.

The 6 month break was desperatly needed for me. For at least another month my body needed to recover from the daily routine of deciding what needed to be done that day with the boat. I love working on her. I love how she looks. I love the day dreams I have of her finished and in the water with me at the helm and with family and freinds along for the ride. But, getting to that point has been a grouling exercise with both body and mind.

Since she was put in the boat yard, I have had a few episodes of panic attacks. Not sure why. The relief was tremendous once I had her in the shed at the yard but something still lingered. It proved a bit stressful to answer concerned parties questions regarding the boats status. Each question just brought me back to the high stress points of the summer season. As the questions died down, so did my anxiety. By late October, I was feeling rested and mentally off the merry-go-round. I could relax.

The winter was extremely mild right up until the end of December. In mid September, I got a new driveway put in. I wanted to store the boat in my yard but my driveway was a nightmare. It slopes down and the skirt was not built correctly. I would receive all of the run off from BOTH sides of the street down my driveway. As a result, where the driveway ends, there is a 2ft deep trench running to my back yard cut in from all the run off. Putting a boat on top of this was not a good idea. Also, I have several trees that would be hanging over the boat. My mindset at the time guaranteed that if I had the boat at my house, one of the trees was destined to fall on her. Hence, the decision to put her in a boat yard.

I was able to start building some blocks that I wanted. As mentioned at the close of the season, I wanted to create blocks that would allow me to raise the jib and mainsail from the cockpit rather than do it at the mast at her bow. This was fun. I am not entirely thrilled with the results but that seems to be the case with everything I build. It felt good to be back in my shop working on something.

The boat registration would be the next task. I abandoned the effort early in 2015 when I got involved in actually working on the boat. I contacted Albany concerning the process and what I needed to do and it seems I am fortunate in that since she was built before 1970, registration is not needed. This was a relief.

January and February had some cold days but I was able to sneak in some time in the shop for making 2 small pulleys I want to use for the jib sheet. As of today, they just need to be varnished up. I also made a new samson post for her bow. The current one is stainless steel and looks a bit small. I did a quick measurement just the other day and it seems my new foot print is a bit bigger than the current and I will need to drill new holes in deck to fasten it.

I received a letter in the mail from the boat yard asking for the schedule of when I wanted her in the water. It is a form letter that is sent to all boat owners at the yard. It basically asks when you want it in and what type / color bottom paint you wanted. Regulations demand that you as the owner cannot paint your own bottom with the anti fouling paint unless you are certified. The yard owner must do it. I knew mine would be a special case because I want the yard to do the bottom for me and it goes beyond just painting. She has been out of the water for over 6 years (with the exception of 2 weeks in 2014 up in Maine). Her planks are dry and the gaps are rather large. I did not take a detailed look but I suspect some cotton is missing between the planks and may need to be replaced. This is something that I am not willing to do myself. I want someone with experience to do this. The yard owner has the experience and I will let him do it.

The launch for a wooden boat that has been out for so long is not a simple drop in. More often than not, the boat needs to sit in the sling, resting at water line level, to allow the planks to swell a bit. This could be several days. If this was in my yard, I would set a set of water sprinklers under her for at least a week. In addition, I would run a drip line along the interior at her waterline and let it soak for even longer. But alas, she is in a yard and I cannot do that. I will have to rely on the experts to seal her up enough. I am perfectly OK with that. Heck, I would not even mind, if he had some shoreline with no bulkhead, to let her sink just below high tide to let her swell. She only draws 2ft.

Given this, the launch date may fall outside the usual schedule of boat launches. The plastic boats can be dropped in and off they go. I do not want to interfere with yards current schedule knowing I will be occupying the sling for a couple of days. I also need a month outside the shed to do some work on her. After that, I will leave the schedule of when she goes in at the yards discretion. I will be renting a slip from them for at least the first year. I talked to the yard owner just the other day about time frame. Seems I can get out of the shed before the end of April. This leaves me a month to work on her. I do not see anything that I will be working on that would interfere with getting her bottom ready. So, the best case is Late May, End of June the latest to get her in.

I will work on best case and say less than 2 months before she is in. What needs to be done? Well let's go through it...

1 - Engine;
A - Couplings need to be added between shaft and motor.
B - Install starter and wire up.
C - New fuel Line. I cut the old one short for some stupid reason.
D - Fire up to ensure Injector is not fouled.
2 - Rigging;
A - Create and install end caps with rubber grommets on spreaders
B - Get count of turnbuckles. I may be missing one or two.
C - Finish main sheet blocks and instal line.
D - Get count, purchase, and install any missing main sail track screws.
E - Find pins for Mast.
F - Instal spreaders.
G - Step mast and attach boom with sail.
H - Replace wood block mast fitting sits on. It is cracked.
3 - Deck,
A - Replace Samson post.
B - Fabricate new cleats. 4 total. 2 on cabin, 2 at stern.
C - remove forward hatch cover and refinish. Replace hinges. Seal deck.
D - Replace forward decks starboard rail. Rotten.
4 - Cabin;
A - Fit and install oak "studs" on interior to relieve stress
B - Router out cracked area and scarf in new wood.
C - Laminate thin strips of mahogany to exterior.
5 - Misc;
A - anchor
B - Inventory all lines needed.
C - Install fire extinguisher
D - Life vests.
E - Flares
F - Check Running lights.
G -Compass
H - Radio
I - Toilet

It looks like a lot (I have said this before) but doable. Engine and rigging are obvious priorities and most of the misc. items. With 2 months to do it, I am in good shape. It is all a matter of scheduling. For the duration of her being in the shed I can work on hatch, finishing blocks, create support for mast (2, H), new cleats, cut new rail, spreader blocks, etc. We are expecting a round of warm weather for the next week and I should be able to get a head start on these items.