FINALLY, a boat posting!

I know some of you are trying to be patient with the whole yard makeover deal.

So Ravenswing sits on her mooring, and I got a call from a friend of a friend… her dad has three small sailboats that need new homes. There’s an 11’ Snark (lanteen rig) that’s complete, but will need a new sail sewn up or bought. We have the paperwork showing the boat was won in a 1985!Safeway grocery store raffle. Cool provenance!

#2 is bigger, a 16’ Chrysler LoneStar. This was the family sailing workhorse. It’s a huge cockpit, comfortable for 4+. Has twin swing up center boards. Maybe one for each upwind tack? I saw at least a mainsail, but didn’t inspect closely yet.

The Snark and LoneStar need new homes, for free, and I’ll help make that happen here in the Bay Area. They’re going to need cleaning and all new lines. The LoneStar sits on its decent, original road-ready trailer. Snark is a car topper.

#3 is the Carters’ keeper. The 84yr old gentleman I met yesterday went to a boat show in 2006 and fell for a lovely little Lido 14. He bought it new, very well equipped, and placed it at his dock lakeside in suburban Sacramento. It joined the fleet (the two listed above) plus his Laser and his ElToro. And for some reason the Lido didn’t get sailed. The hull topsides are badly sunburned and the bottom is really dirty. The forestay wire unraveled. But with some elbow grease, I think we’ve found treasure!

Anton probably already noticed the very nice Pacific galvanized trailer. I think this must have been parked inside a storage unit for the past 14 years. Looks new.

And we know it wasn’t sailed because of these:

Main and jib, in their class #’d bag, crisp as one of Eggleston’s freshly printed Benjamins.

After the yard is done, and I finish a couple other projects, we’ll give this sweet Lido a makeover and launch her at the ramp a mile from home. I’ve been wanting a quick-rigging day sailer for the Petaluma River because it’s so close to the house. Yea, I know it’s only one hull. But you gotta love SoCal’s Schock boats!

For now, this little gem will sit under her nice cover. Hopefully soon we can fulfill our promise to her donate-tor that we’ll use her to take kids and newcomers sailing, and spread the joy of wind & water.

Let me know of potential homes for #1 & #2.

And with a little luck, next time I’ll tell you about two more found watercraft…

Shed shenanigans

Last time we showed you the gardening shed in front of the house, making way for the final grading work out back. For my fourth tractor rental this year, we got the bigger 550 model bobcat, and paid a pro $400 to drive it for a day.

It was amazing to watch Ari whip this thing around, making my splotchy hack work all smooth. He turned our excess dirt into a great level workshop area, and created drive-able paths on to our otherwise inaccessible hillside.

I did however make a huge mistake, neglecting to tell him where the electricity and gas enter the lot, and where he COULD NOT further scrape the earth wall next to the new gates. I had hand dug this area per Pacific Gas & Electric orders when the utilities locator guy came and flagged it for us. So while Ari was bobcatting (new verb?) the RV parking area and I had my back turned, I heard the hiss of escaping gas. The sharp bucket blade severed the gas line and the 200amp electric cables. Within an hour we had 7 PG&E trucks in front of the house. Of course we blew the breaker at the transformer and knocked out power for numerous neighbors. The work-at-home crowd came it out to glare at me (rightly so). The fixes were relatively easy and very fast. All of that will now get entombed under new retaining walls.

Today was time to put the garden shed on its new pad. But the long wheelbase truck and very short utility trailer are a bit of a maneuvering nightmare, so this was good reason to finish getting that new receiver hitch up front. Loving wife knew this was an excellent birthday present, especially as we kept the winch from the lemon-law EcoDiesel surrendered truck.

Pull the winch & tray out of the receiver and replace with a tow bar, and hook up your garden shed!

The front hitch gives much quicker turning, and allowed us to pretty much jackknife the shed in to final position. Then came a flat sheet and furniture dolly so we could push it the final bits in to position.

Things got more treacherous as the wind picked up and the corner blocking grew tall enough to pull the trailer out by hand.

In the end we landed just fine, but this exercise took most of the day and frayed some marital nerves. We don’t want to move more buildings any time soon.

Yesterday I went to Tractor Supply to start on the hillside walls. Get ready to learn here about DIY gabion construction. These are big rocks in wire cages. We’re using this method in lieu of very expensive concrete or block walls. It starts here, with 16’ long welded wire hog fence panels. Yep, I got 25 of these huge things on the pickup and drove 15 miles without anyone having to call 911. The damn potholes on CA-116 bounced the load bad enough to crack the 2×4 over the cab, but luckily it all held together. So glad we pay all those road taxes in our $3.50/gallon fuel here :(

So you’ll keep getting yard updates for a while here. The Ravenswing watchers cleaned the bottom Saturday and sent me photos of the boat comfortably on the mooring. Looks beautiful there but MX is struggling mightily with COVID. I’m going to try to stop worrying about the boat and turn that energy to deciding what I’m personally to do to end racism in America. Credit to the protestors – it’s time for me to end my silent complicity… God I wish I could take everybody sailing right now. The sea would show us what equality looks like.

Good night, good people.

Momma, there’s some hillbillie in the driveway!

Still not a boat post, but this little 6×12 TuffShed is the same one that got whacked by the oak tree fall in Santa Rosa. It was disassembled for the move to Novato. Jeanne and I struggled those panels back together and reroofed it to hold all the garden / yard gear. But it’s in the way of makeover progress, so today was a total “don’t try this at home, kids” kind of deal.

First we spent a couple hours emptying the contents all around the yard edges and dump pile. Gotta be as light as possible. First we had to drag it a few feet into trailer loading position. One misplaced rope split a wall panel off the framing. Oh well, I expected some patch up work after this move.

With its fenders removed we could just squeeze the venerable $300 Harbor Freight trailer under there.

Trailer is rated for about 950lbs load. We’re thinking the shed is way above that. The yellow straps are there just to make it all more spectacular when the springs fail and the whole thing rolls. We CREPT along around the house and out to the front driveway. Amazingly we didn’t have to put suspension cancellation blocks between the axle and frame. Now it’s completely out of the way for the final grading work next week, and the shed’s new site pad, which goes out here once leveled out.

So there you go, neighbors; Carter’s version of tiny house done wrong. Just keeping it real, making sure everyone whipping by in the Lexus & Mercs remember we’re still in the country here. The ‘burbs start about a mile down the road.