We were running behind schedule, which is truly an arbitrary thing for us when doing any projects. We plan for a certain amount of time, double that and then add another 50% just to be safe. Which usually means we are only slightly behind our intended target date.
It certainly comes in handy to have a strapping young man just waiting to help out with whatever you throw his way. And we threw, hard! Since he had just finished his first year at college, we decided to enlist our youngest offspring for some much needed help with the boat… and face time with him, of course. Ethan worked his tail off for the week and helped us make so much progress that we were able to have the boat in the water the day that we’d actually planned! When the week was up, we compared sunburns one last time, then sent him off to MN to spend the summer working hard for someone else. He left a nice little fan club behind at the marina and the talk of our young Ethan lingered on into the following week.
The boat was finally back in the water with a repaired rudder (which took a couple of tries… grrr), new cutlass bearing, a shiny new feathering prop, bottom paint touch-ups and a newly mounted engine. She had no mast, sails or rigging and quite frankly looked a mess for a girl going on an adventure but she was now safely nestled back in her intended environment and she seemed happy.
The next five days she received a much needed bath and attention to her top sides, interior and rigging. Before we could erect the mast, Shane needed to finish the wiring, attach the new roller furling, …. let’s simplify this…. there were about twenty new things to attach, run and test before we could step the mast. This is where we fell back behind schedule. I could say that there were just too many things to do but we’d made some new friends at the marina and really didn’t want to leave ;).
The day finally came to crane the mast into place (there are no photos of this as all hands were on deck) and bring her one step closer to being a sailboat again. Nerves were high as Shane scurried below to guide the mast into place with Pete (the lift operator) on the crane and Terry (Pete’s right hand man) and I holding steady on the deck and relaying info back and forth between Pete and Shane. Our cherished teak table suffered a minor wound but all in all, it went fairly smoothly for our first time! We’ll make sure to remove the table before the next mast step.
As is everything in life, we needed to move on (before we seriously became one with that dock). So on a very grey Sunday morning, before the marina woke up, we started our engine, cast off the dock lines and Shane motored her out of the marina. Yep, I said it, he motored her up to the new marina. The mast was up but when it came time to attach the new rigging, the split back stay (the wire that holds up the mast) was too short… by several inches. This was the primary reason it took us so long to get going. After a bit of “Shane-genuity”, a temporary back stay was rigged up with some Dyneema (a very strong rope) so that we could motor on and not overstay our welcome. I drove the van to the new marina where I would catch the dock lines as he arrived. I’m a nervous wreck with docking so I was basically a nutty mess while I waited but Shane pulled in like a champ and definitely eased my nervousness about doing it again! The new marina is nice and has a family feel to it but we made some good memories at Jefferson Beach that won’t soon be forgotten!