Thursday, December 28, 2006

Moving a Sailboat 4 - 498

Now that the mast is out, I have spent a week taking anything out of the interior that could rattle, rub, break loose, shift, or cause mayhem. This list includes a large part of the vessels interior. The boom and the gaff had to be packed inside the boat and all the lifelines and blocks had to be tied and seized so they wouldn't come loose during travel and wear a hole in something. For me it was a great week all by myself. I slept in the boat at night and had the entire seashore to myself. It was a time of reflection and rejuvenation, and of course a great time spent messing about in a boat.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The boatyard is a playground.

My children think it is normal to spend the day at a boatyard playing. It is amazing what they find to play with. Bianca is a caped horse rider. She looks really bored because we don't own a TV and have a gaming system. What a deprived child. I am sure her development is being stunted.

Moving a Vessel 3 - 504

The mast has to be removed and packed up for transport. I removed every single piece of wire and line so that there would not be any chafing.
The mast still had to be bubble wrapped so that the roller furling foil would not rub against it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Moving a Boat Part 2 - 505

The next step to transporting a wooden boat is to pressure wash the bottom of the boat (gently so you don't blast the cotton caulking out) and apply linseed oil. I used a mixture of 75% linseed oil to 25% mineral spirits. (The recipe given me by my surveyor.) About half of the "experts" tell me I should use boiled linseed oil. The other half tell me to use regular linseed oil. This tells me that it doesn't make a difference. Use what you can get - in my case boiled. I applied five gallons of this mixture in four coats. I learned that the easiest way to apply is with a thick nap paint roller applied from the bottom of the boat and rolling up, then the side of the boat doesn't drip all over you. The linseed oil keeps the boat from drying out quickly, and it looks good.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Moving a Ship Part 1 - 507

This is the first step to getting a boat from Massachusets to Michigan. You have to get it out of the water. The first thing I found out is that everybody is not willing to lift a wooden boat. Apparently many wooden boats are soft mush piles that have been neglected and in some state of sinking for many years and the last thing you want to do is stress the boat by lifting. No amount of talking could convince some marinas to lift me out and set my vessel on a semi. Foster Rigging and Yacht Service is one place that convinced me they had the know how to lift my boat without damaging it and set it on a semi. They are EXTREMELY expensive though.
Everything went well.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Repairing the Rot - 508

The great part about a wooden boat is that it is made up of individual pieces. Each piece can be inspected and if necessary, replaced. In this case, luckily the plank was pretty short and can be removed relatively easy and replaced. Notice the lack of fiberglass dust, grinding, epoxy or fiberglass resin or face masks and tyvec suits. Just some sawdust, a piece of wood, and some cotton. Ahhhhhhh. . . .
Edit: When the board was removed, it wasn't actually rotten. The outer layer of wood had separated on the edge making it feel soft. If I had known better, I would have left this piece alone. Especially since the end of this wood just covers over another solid piece of wood.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Listening to the Surveyor - 510

This X mark so unceremoniously scratched on the hull of our boat is a rotten spot. The boat is not perfect. Stomach churns. Owner shifts weight from foot to foot. World shifts on axis. Etc. I did what everyone else suffering from Sailboat seizure does - I bought the boat anyway.
Edit: When the board was removed, it wasn't actually rotten. The outer layer of wood had separated on the edge making it feel soft. If I had known better, I would have left this piece alone. Especially since the end of this wood just covers over another solid piece of wood.

Friday, December 15, 2006

How to Buy a Boat 3 - Day 511

When you finally find a surveyor that you think you can trust - pay him or her well. This person is your only defense against a disease that has you completely in your grips. You are at this exact moment suffering from a sailboat seizure (keel induced infarction). The signs that you are suffering from this insipid disease are: 1. You are talking to someone about spending all your money on something that MIGHT hold its value, will most likely lose value and will either end up on a reef or stuck in the mud. 2. You are standing next to a boat that you don't own and would like to own. 3. You have looked at or have entered a building with the word "broker" anywhere on it.

The surveyor (as soon as he or she is paid) will do something THAT YOU CANNOT DO AT THIS POINT. The surveyor will inspect your vessel and tell you what condition it is really in. The reason you need this is you are suffering from a sailboat seizure, the owner doesn't really know and wouldn't tell you anyway if he did, and the broker may know but he isn't telling the owner or especially you what he knows. (See previous post).

The surveyor does all this with a magical little device called a hammer. He will tap the hammer in a pattern that manages to touch the boat every two square inches. It is amazing to watch, and only someone who is suffering a keel induced infarction will be able to watch another person tap a 30 foot object all day every two square inches with a hammer. But to you at this point it will seem amazing and sound musical.
NEXT, the hard part - listening to the words coming out of the surveyors mouth.