Work Day: Wind, Speed, and a Dry V-Berth

May 30, 2010

The principal objective of the day was to get the kids away from 264 Jessie so that Victoria could sell our stuff. The loose plan was to load them into the car as early as I could muster and go towards the boat. I had several stops planned along the way but I was hoping to actually get a little bit of work done on the boat as well.

The first stop was Svendsons Chandlery. The pretense for this was that my LunaSea order had come in, but the truth is that I have no intention of scaling the mast to install those bulbs any time soon, and I was really just giddy about visiting the store. Turns out the kids loved it too. Ruby was at my side and Miles on my back as I wandered around the place. They peppered me with questions about parts and uses, and I was positively delighted to fill in the gaps.

From Svendsons we headed up to Emery Cove to pick up tools and things from the ManVan. After that surprisingly long stop we got a couple smoothies and headed up to Bay Marine via Allison’s house (to pick up the generously donated spedo) and then to West Marine to exchange the 15′ dock lines for 25’rs.

By the time we got to the boat and got everything from the car that I needed the kids were pretty poached. After a few futile chastisements and needless (albeit minor) injuries, I put them down for naps and got to work.

The first order of business was to replace the old—moisture damaged—spedo with the newish one that Allison gave us. This was a straightforward swap and I was just delighted as pie to see 0.0 show up when I flicked the DC breaker. Next came the significantly larger task of replacing the old ST50 wind header with the ST60 one that Rufus dropped on me as a “gift of transfer*”.  The trouble with this seemingly slight task is that the recessed bit of the ST60 is about twice as large (in diameter) as the ST50 that its replacing. “Why, that’s no trouble, just widen the hole,” you might say, as did I. That is until I actually tried using a hole saw on an existing hole.

The problem here lies in the mechanics of a hole saw.  You see a hole saw has a little pilot bit (in this case about 1/2″) that keeps the saw lined up. If your existing hole is more like 1 1/2″ there’s nothing to keep the rest of the saw from running merry about your cabin trunk. I was lucky/brave/steady enough that I actually got a decent bite about 1/8″ from where I intended to be. In retrospect this was very dumb, and I should have backed the hole with a bit of fir or something that the pilot could bite into. So I learned something about boat work, and myself and still came out with a result that most people won’t notice as slightly flawed.

The good news is that—at the end of the day— I had a working set of instruments. And to put a cherry on it, I have wind now, which I never had before.

I did all of this while the kids were sleeping. As Ruby was waking up I optioned the hail mary. The forward hatch was as good as a giant hole in our deck on our last sail, and I was pretty confident that the 1/4″ closed cell foam that I picked up on a lark at Svendsons earlier would plug that leak in a jiffy. I opened up the hatch, cleaned the surface with a moist cloth and got to work cutting and laying in the foam. When it was all mitered and stuck I dropped the hatch to see if the foam’s loft was going to permit a good seal. I almost whooped when the hatched closed snugly and latched shut.

With a happy heart I cleaned up my work areas, carried the gobs of tools back to the car, loaded everyone up, and headed off to Picante where I had my usual carne assado tacos and pineapple agua fresca.

After dinner I took the kids for a well earned run around the Berkeley Marina. We climbed the hills, estimated the tide (that was Ruby) and watched the kites fly. Its only Saturday night and I could call this a weekend. I can’t wait for tomorrow.

* Rufus’ gifts of transfer probably deserve their own chapter.

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