Spring is coming so it’s high time to get the boat ready. I’ve built a new mast partner out of aluminum which is currently off being powder coated coated green. You can see more pictures of building it here.
I’ve also repaired the splits in the mast which happened at the same time my mast partner cracked. I kerfed the problem areas with an oscillating saw, saturated the gap with neat epoxy, and then troweled in thickened epoxy until it was full. While I was at it I got the mast closer to round and shortened the snotter cleat to a minimum.
And finally I’ve been busy varnishing. It’s too cold out in the garage so I took over the living room while my wife is out of town. I put 8 coats on the mast and 2 on everything else since the varnish was in pretty good shape. Don’t mind that half finished breakfast nook in the background that my wife wants!
There’s still quite a bit to do on the hull, but I need to have warmer weather to do some epoxying and painting. I need to:
- Over drill all the fitting holes and fill with epoxy before redrilling for the fasteners
- Rebed all the fittings
- Install the mast partner
- Epoxy a pad on the centerboard case for a snotter cleat
- Epoxy ledgers to the thwarts for side benches
- Make side benches
- Paint everything
- The keel is getting a little chewed up from the trailer rollers
- Build a flat bed on the trailer so the keel is supported better
- Repack the trailer bearings
- Possibly lower the spring weight on the trailer.
A lot to do!
Recently my wife and I went on a week vacation down to Hatteras on the Outer Banks. I took my boat along with some grand ideas for sailing adventures, but it just didn’t work out. Most days had thunderstorms and rain, and the one day that was clear we changed locations since our neighbors were loud. At the second location I had to park my boat outside and with all the rain we had I probably bailed 50 gallons of water out every day. I also learned that the hatches aren’t totally watertight. I’m sure they’re fine in a capsize, but not with water sitting against the seal all day.
At the end of our vacation I noticed the mast partner had cracked as well as one of the staves in the hollow birdsmouth mast. I had the same problem with the mast partner in 2019 when we went down to Ocracoke, but I attributed it to poor workmanship when I originally built the boat. But now I’m beginning to suspect it has something to do with the wood moving around the incompressible bronze belaying pins. I usually keep the boat garaged and I’ve seen no evidence of cracks all summer and I’ve had the boat out in some rough weather.
The mast partner is a lamination of two 3/4″ yellow pine boards with a layer of 6oz fiberglass in between. The grain is fairly large and the fiberglass is along the neutral axis so it’s really not doing much. Either way, I’m not going to try repairing it again since it’s clear the materials aren’t up to the task.
I do metalworking for a living, so I’m planning to TIG weld up a new partner from aluminum and have it powder coated. Maybe green, maybe white… not sure yet. It’ll have four belaying pins welded on and possibly an integral bullseye for the snotter so I can run it back to the cockpit. I think it’ll have threaded studs welded on that go through the bulkhead to be secured with nuts and a backing plate. And I’ll probably mill a shallow groove all around for a wad of butyl tape to keep the water out.
I’m done messing around with dead tree carcass! haha
Last Friday I decided to go for a super long daysail from Windmill Point to Gloucester Point. I went 40.8 miles in just over 10 hours with an average speed of 4.1 mph and a max speed of 7.9 mph. It was a long, but uneventful day.
A few days ago my wife and I sailed out to the Wolf Trap light in the Chesapeake Bay. This was my second time and her first. After rounding the light we stopped at a sandbar for the afternoon where my homemade anchor was put to the test. We went exactly 23 miles in 5.25 hours for an average speed of 4.4 mph.
I’ve finally gotten around to painting the name on the transom, it’s only been just over a year! I’ve had the name picked out since before I finished building her, but I’ve spent my free time building and improving the more practical things on the boat.
A few weeks ago my wife and I took the boat out to a sand bar on the eastern end of Gwynn’s Island for a beach day. The trip was only 6 miles, but we had a great day on the sand and some excitement on the way home. It was a good test for my homemade anchor in light and flukey winds.
A few weeks ago I took my boat out from Windmill Point at the Rappahannock River. I planned to go north and explore Fleet’s Bay, but changed my mind and went where the wind blew. I went 26.2 miles in 5.5 hours with an average speed of 4.8mph and a max of 7.8mph.
Yesterday I took my boat out from a boat ramp on Carter’s Creek in Irvington to two islands in the Rappahannock River. I went 20.5 miles in 6 hours with an average speed of 3.4mph and a max of 7.3mph.
Last week I took my boat out from the public boat ramp on the East River in Mathews to the New Point Comfort lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay. I went 23.2 miles in exactly 5 hours with an average speed of 4.6 mph and a max of 8.1 mph.
Yesterday I took my boat out from Gwynn’s Island to Wolf Trap Light in the Chesapeake Bay. I went 21.1 miles in 5.5 hours with an average speed of 3.9 mph and a max of 6.8 mph.