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Almost ready…

July 23, 2013

It has been so long since I’ve addressed this site, that I’ve forgotten how to use it! Suffice it to say, we have had a very busy spring, and the mere fact that I’m still thinking we are wrapping up spring, when in fact, we are just about to head into August, will give you an idea of how all-consuming this project has become.

First, on Mother’s Day weekend, we were treated to an incredible visit from the Wards (former owners of the boat) – SO much fun, words can’t describe, and while we wished the weather had been nicer, it really didn’t matter at all. They all shared so many tales and stories, photos, details – just a fabulous time, followed by one of the best meals we’ve enjoyed to date in Portland (proving once again that the company you’re with has more to do with the enjoyment of the meal, than anything else).

the-wards_med-3With the Wards at dinner in Portland.

Next up was really finishing the hull so that when warmer weather showed up, we could remove the shed, and the boat could be exposed to the weather. This involved Henry finishing the topside and below the waterline to be ready to take paint, and me finishing the deck seams. All in all, this spring has been a process of just keeping our heads down, focused on the project before us, and finding the discipline to go at it every day. We haven’t taken a day off from this for many a month now (except yesterday and the day before, taking an amazing break by heading to Providence for the New England Summer Boot Camp, which was a blast!).

Deck seams do appear to be mostly dry, but I’ve got the technique down now, so one plan is to keep the tools on board so that if I need to address something at a later date, I’ll be able to.

jen-decking_med-3Jen caulking seams on deck

The deck seams went on endlessly, and I must say it’s one of the best physical workouts I’ve every participated in, so no real complaints. It is amazing how much physical work I can do and also tolerate when I’m motivated by a dry bunk and a dry seat!

We also had other leaks we knew of, such as the deck prisms, and re-bedding those was a bit of an undertaking. The deck has worn down over the years, and little repairs were done here and there. After addressing the prisms, I understand why no one did them completely before – a much bigger project than first meets the eye.

port-deck-prism-removed_med-3Port forward deck prism removed

The deck prisms are set into the deck, which has, over the years, worn away. So in order to create a new, dry installation, the prisms had to be removed, which was traumatic in and of itself, and required a hydraulic jack to push the prism up out of the deck! Water is so powerful – these prisms were really well seated into the deck – it took a few hours to extract each one, and yet we KNEW that they leaked like sieves! Something can clearly be well-attached and yet have plenty of space for water to find a way through it and around it! We have (hopefully) solved this issue, but we won’t really know until we spend some time aboard, but as with the deck seams, we are now feeling pretty empowered that if those things dare to leak again, we’ll be able to address them Our new motto is, ‘We’ll get our man!’, and I must admit that we’ve both discovered that we’re pretty determined about certain things, in the course of this project.

I do sometimes look at the boat, particularly now that she’s out from under the cover, and wonder what we were thinking to even consider taking on this project. While so much has been done, and she will be launched soon, there is still so much left to do. I’ve had to come to peace with the idea that everything can’t possibly be completely finished, and now understand more fully than ever, Disney’s motto of ‘green side up’. We are both giving this everything we’ve got, but in the end, there are just the two of us, and the boat needs to get into the water.

side-shot_med-3Shed down

So, while spars are painted (rolling the main was another feat), and the hull is ready, this will be one of those projects that provides years of entertainment. Our goal now is to simply get the boat in the water, make sure she floats – dry from below, dry from above – and then we’ll see. Current plans have the boat being picked up by the truck next Thursday, but we still don’t know yet which yard she’ll be taken to. Our spars are long (the main mast is 65′), and so finding a yard which can launch and rig is taking a moment. We may be launching in Yarmouth, where they can easily step the masts, but then they have no mooring, so we’d need to find a place for the boat in another location. In Portland, they can give us a mooring, or have us at the docks, but they need to step the masts ashore, and then the trucker needs to return to launch the boat. Funny what you assume – I just didn’t think there’d be any issue with launching. But the Brewer’s yard here in Freeport can’t fit her in their Travellift, and the other yard doesn’t have a good vibe, so we’re seeking other options. Like everything else, this will all work out. In the meantime, it is exciting to be thinking that I might have my days back, to do with them what I please, instead of having one large project after another looming before me!

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