Thursday, August 23, 2007

Update and a picture...

We've been getting out lots this Summer, and it is with a very familiar bittersweet feeling that the cool weather is already arriving in late August. No complaints though! It has been a really nice Summer!

I finally installed the handrails a couple of weeks ago and wrote it up last night on the Ariel Forum.

A new project has arisen, however. Last weekend while I was cleaning the boat up, I was checking the bilge while the engine warmed up and noticed a lot of vibration. I reached my hand in to check the engine mount bolt, and a rusty nub simply pulled off in my hand...

Anyway, here's the latest picture I have of the boat. She's looking much more complete with the handrails installed.

Monday, July 16, 2007

July 14, 2007

Had a fantastic sail on Saturday, July 14 with Scott and Jason. Jason really enjoyed himself. So did the rest of us! I added pictures to the Web Album on the right...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Two months (and a year) later...

When emailing Tim about finishing up the recore, he wrote, "I think we can get the boat into good condition and looking decent within the confines of your budget, even if it doesn't cover everything that we originally discussed."

And he did. He's a man of his word. And then some.

This is the boat now, exactly 2 months since my last post when it was hauled up to Tim's. It was a fantastic experience to work with him. I could go on and on about his professionalism, work ethic, communication, fairness, generosity, etc. ... I'm an even bigger fan of his now after this project. (So if you ever read this Tim, I'm sure you're sick of hearing it, but "many many many thanks"!)

And, as Tim pointed out, look where I was a year ago (see the June 2006 Archive). "It's good for the soul" indeed!

The last couple of days in the shop, before the launch, were really frantic and busy. Tim and the budget were done (though he was always there with helpful advice or a helping hand when needed). And once again, Scott came to the rescue and toiled away with me. I paid him with beer and food, and of course a reserved spot in the cockpit! We repainted my "purple" window frames (long story), installed the portlights, painted the bottom, redid the boot stripe and applied the new name. I failed to come up with the paint for the boot stripe, and Tim generously offered some up he had on hand as well as other miscellaneous supplies.

The next day, Scott even joined me for a wet and messy launch! It started earlier than expected since Tim scrubbed his launch that same morning because it was so snotty in Rockland. In desperation, I drove by Scott's house on the way to launching to see if he was there - and thank god he was! To put it briefly - the launch totally sucked. It was stormy and pouring rain. Scott showed up with his gortex and climbed right aboard! So, if I haven't said it enough to you Scott, a hearty "thank you" goes out to you too! I'd probably bobbing around somewhere in the North Atlantic if it weren't for your timely assistance!

But I digress. My whole point, at least when I started this post was: WE WENT SAILING SUNDAY! (June 24, 2007) I installed the minimal hardware needed to get out sailing, and we did! Woo hoo!

It was also a busy 2 months since the boat went to Tim's. I had plenty to do myself. I worked on the coamings and interior trim, serviced the winches, cleaned up and painted the window frames, bought engine parts, handrails, and many other things. After we launched, Dina and the kids gave me bronze stern cleats and coaming cleats for Father's Day which have since been installed (you can see them in the first picture above).

I still have a huge list of "to do's", but they'll get done in time. The remaining jobs seem so much more manageable and enjoyable now that the boat is back in the water and we can go sailing again. It was especially rewarding to install the coamings - they really show off Tim's excellent paint job. And it's really cool too, every time I'm at the boat now, I get compliments on how nice it looks...

So anyway, I put a link to the right for the latest web album. I'll probably add pictures to that more than update this Blog. It's been fun, but it's also very time consuming (whenever I DO get around to updating it!), and the season is waaaaaay too short!

Fair winds and thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Trip North

Well, the boat hauler, Steve Morse of Morse Overland Marine, arrived on the morning of April 25 and whisked her up to Tim's shop. I prepped the boat as much as I could. I stripped the rub rails and removed the portlights to save time any time I could. Then I loaded up the hardware and some supplies that he could use, like leftover epoxy and the like and stowed them below. Fortunately, we had a decent little weather window for the haul. However, rain is forecast throughout the weekend.

It sure is nice knowing that Sea Glass is sitting comfortably inside Tim's shop with work moving ahead regardless of the weather. Well, I don't know about "comfortable" from her perspective. I suppose having your decks drilled, sawed and ground is like a bad visit to the dentist for a boat. But, at least she's dry and being readied for an early June launch - a much different feeling than a year ago. This year, I can just check Tim's website and see that the deck work is getting done on the boat, getting done right, and getting done fast. Pretty cool.

Heh. I got an email today from my friend Scott. He helped me out many a day last Summer. Anyway, I had emailed him Tim's link for the Sea Glass project. This was his reply:
holy hell! he's done half of our summer's work in 8 hours...

Enough said.

So, here are a series of pictures of the haul. It was all new to me a few years back when I moved up here and got my first boat. It's a pretty neat process that happens twice a year, unless you store the boat at yard.

The trailer can be raised and lowered hydraulically. It's also got a support running between each set of wheels that can be removed so the keel and blocks on the ground fit between the wheels. After it is backed in position, the pads, also hydraulic, are adjusted so they until they fully support the boat. Then the jack stands are removed. The support is replaced between the trailer wheels and locked in place. Then the trailer is raised and the boat strapped down.

And there she goes! So, Tim has already been updating his site with his daily progress. In the meantime, I have many things to get ordered and much to be done before launch day...

(BTW, I have no idea what happened with the placement of these pictures. I'll try an fix it when I get a chance. Google has done a great job on this Blog thing, but the handling of images can use some help - or I can...)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A New Year...

Well, the winter wasn't too horrible, but decided to make a statement on its way out. Actually, it was Spring that made the statement. This is a picture of the house on April 5, 2007. The boat is under the green tarp to the right. We had two Spring snow storms, and a brutal Nor'Easter that hammered us for a few days around the 16th of April.

With the boating season around the corner, and already pressed for time with basketball games, opening day at Fenway, and birthday parties, I just couldn't see spending another Summer on the recore. In any event, anfter talking it over with my very sweet and understanding wife, we came to a decision. Long story short - it's Tim Lackey to the rescue. He was able to fit me into his schedule this Spring and said he could complete the rest of the deck job and get me launched within the budget I gave him. In fact, tomorrow the boat will be hauled to his shop in Whitefield, and the reconstruction will begin in earnest.

I'm fortunate enough that, at this point in time, we are able to squeak this luxury in. I am totally psyched about seeing the decks after Tim has worked his magic, and even more so at the prospect of going sailing again with the family this Summer!

Other goings on:

The boat has a new name. I finally threw one out there that everyone liked, so hopefully she is on her way to becoming part of the family. Oh, it's Sea Glass. We took a great vacation last Summer out to Chebeague Island, and combing the beach there for sea glass was just about our favorite thing to do. We got loads of it!

April 1: Upon uncovering the boat to clean it up for Tim, who was coming out to do a pre-haul inspection, I was greeted with an absolute mess down below. A squirrel had taken up residence in the v-berth, thoroughly trashed things, chewed a few access panels and other wood throughout, and to top it off, had babies - four of them. We delivered them to a local animal rescue guy who took them in. I named them O-Ring, Gasket, Filter and Impeller for obvious reasons. The boat name was almost changed to Squirrel.

Boat work: I got the lead pig out of the bilge, the portlights removed, the rub rail, everything to try and use Tim's time better. I could go on, but speaking of using time, I really need to get things together for tomorrow's haul. Way too much to do and too little time...

I'll add the link to Tim's site to the right. He'll log the progress better than I ever could.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

End of Season Retrospective

So there it is. One summer. Gone. Looking at this picture, it sure doesn't seem like much was accomplished, but that is simply not true. The original goal was to get the decks recored, faired and painted and the boat splashed by August . (Swing and a miss!) At least the side decks are recored and the recore learning curve is mostly behind me. All that's left for this season is to button the boat up for the winter and sneak in mini projects on the nice days until the cold weather is here to stay. I'm thinking I'll at leat set up some sort of workshop in the basement and attempt some varnshing over the winter. Discouraging? Yes. Feeling somewhat accomplished? Yes. I learned a lot.

Some observations/tips in no partcualr order:
1. Time. Tim L. said it, people on the forums said it, I now beleive it. It takes lots and it is a huge commitment. In hindsight, I would have gladly bitten the bullet and paid $$ to have it done whe I had the chance, and then enjoyed my Summer sailing with the family. On the flip side, when it's done, I'll be very proud of my little boat and apprecaite every moment that I'm out sailing with the family all the more.
2. Shelter. DO NOT think you can do it with simply a tarp - or at least resign yourself to the fact that you will spend a ton of invaluable project time covering and recovering and trying to figure out how to better cover and recover the boat. Even a canopy over the boat would be worlds better than my setup.
3. Staging. Good move. Spend the time up front, do it and save your back.
4. The 7535 Porter Cable sander has been great. Although at times (like when I was grinding through the POs deck paint, the original non-skid and the original gel coat) I wanted more bang for the buck. I used 60 grit sanding disks. I think I'll try out some 40 grit for the next go-round. Also, I'm wondering if a genuine "grinder" might be a good investment. I'd also consider a sander with a vacuum attachment. Never used one, but grinding sucks - anything to make it less annoying.
5. Dive in and just do it. Get what you think you need and just do it. It's not rocket science. Only I, and maybe a few others, could screw up mixing the epoxy. Even so, worst case, it can be undone and redone. For me, doing the best way to learn. You even learn when you screw up!

I am far from done.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Port Side Deck recored...

Well, yesterday evening after work, I started glassing the port side deck, and Scott came to my aid a little later. It sure is nice to have a helping hand. He is much appreciated.

By 6:30, I already had to go dig out the plug-in shop light and hang it over the boat so we could see. The sun is setting by 6:15 these days and the temperatures are beginning to plummet at night, so I'm thinking it is the end of deck work for the season. We finished by 7:30, shortly before the rain started.

Hopefully, I'll be able to tackle some other jobs over the Winter in the basement, and get back to the decks first thing in the Spring. I think I'd kill for indoor storage...