It’s why we do the work

We got a message today from the family that took over the Coronado 15. Liam and his dad got on the horse to fix their new ship, and it’s already out sailing! The original owner is thrilled to see this result. Here’s the new owner taking his grandfather out on a lake a couple hours north of San Francisco.

It was a little overwhelming taking the five boats from this Sacramento family, but seeing them getting used again makes it all totally worth it. I love these rehab stories (and figure Sewell Mt. Bob does too!)

Meanwhile, our thoughts have turned southwards… we’ve made the big decision, due to COVID disruption, to postpone tropical cruising and sail Ravenswing back home to San Francisco this month. Colin is on his way to California, and we will fly to Mexico together in a few days. We’ll start with a 300 mile trip in the wrong direction, to get around the corner at Cabo San Lucas to the Pacific coast. The 1,200 miles from Cabo to California is considered the Baja Bash. We of course will be hoping for a nice southerly push. Sometimes it happens! Normally, it’s a long upwind slog. We’ll probably take a bit of a rest in the Los Angeles area before the 400 mile leg back to SF.

I will let you guys know when the real-time boat tracker is going live.

Right now, it’s the pre-voyage mad scrum. My main worry is that we have to start with a boat repair. When I sailed in March from Puerto Vallarta back to Baja, the port side mainsheet anchor point had caused some skin delamination from the hull. Sharp eyes might catch this coming up in the next video; watch for the black-line barber hauler being used to steady the mainsheet block. This is the part in question.

The triangle shape thick carbon piece is very securely attached to the hull, but I didn’t build sufficient reinforcement onto the hull in this area. That will be our task before setting sail next week. So I’m packing a suitcase of West Systems epoxy, various cloths, festool sander, cutoff saw, and all the working supplies.

Supposedly I have the boat all set up to simply drop in without packing. But there’s always a list. Beyond the composites repair stuff this time, the bag includes:

a dozen new vinyl-graphics feathers to extend the Ravenswing logo on each hull side :)

backup solar charging controller

jackline that came home to get 15″ chopped out (to tighten it up) and resewn

spare maintenance parts for the suzuki main engine

an extra water bladder to carry another 13 gallons of fresh for the long trip

dog latch cams to hold the dodger windshield closed

2nd attempt at a proper pin for the boom’s new reef-lines sheave box (there’s been a temporary bolt in use, and the one I fab’d and took last time was 3/8″ too short)

another propellor. Recall last year we switched to a larger (10″ vs 9″) 4 blade (vs. stock 3 blade). The Suzuki people recommended the 5″ pitch; the new prop was game-changing good for low speed maneuvering, but being so shallow it cut our max motoring speed too much. This new one is a 10″ x 7″. Sounds quite similar, but I’m expecting to get another knot of cruising speed. That can really matter if we spend a couple days motoring northbound!

We also made some 3″ inspection ports for the forward bulkheads inside the float hulls. The forward solar panels sit on top of the occasional-access ports on the forward float decks. So we need a new way of accessing those watertight areas for airing out, and draining if necessary. We’ve had great success with the Armstrong hatches, but they don’t offer them small enough. So we made these for just a few dollars.

You just slip the white bar through the new hole in the bulkhead, center it up, and wing-nut tighten the whole thing to press the watertight rubber ring against the bulkhead. So yeah, I’ve packed a 3″ hole saw in the suitcase, and there’s already epoxy work happening so we’ll seal up the newly exposed foam edges before installing these little ports.

OK, I’m certainly anxious about preparing and executing the very long upwind trip. Been watching the weather everyday, and thankfully the tropical cyclonic activity in the Pacific is calming down. But we’ll stay ever diligent, and expect that here in 2020 we’ll be dealing with some crappy weather issues. Or some other calamity. And of course, all the worries about traveling during the ‘it ain’t getting no better yet’ pandemic :(

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