Boatyard punchlist

Ravenswing came to the Spaulding Boatworks yard for minor repairs to the deck and port float hull from the mast fall. We had a small list of “well, while we’re here…” things to do. 

First up was maintenance and installation adjustments for the engine. In retrospect we should have bought an extra-long (30”) shaft, to get the propeller lower in the water and avoid some of the cavitation we’re experiencing in waves. With some surgery we could lower the motor 2.5” in its mount box. 


Then we bought longer control cables to facilitate routing them up higher out of the way in the equipment room. Also changed the lower unit oil for the first time; it was in good shape after the break in period. 
The big task turned out to be a redo of the escape hatch. It had been installed with the hinges on the forward edge, but when it opened, the swing was deep through the water. Also, the hull recess didn’t properly match the metal hatch frame, and I had offset the hinges a bit to compensate. Which of course had led to some water getting past the seal at high speeds. So what we thought was to be a couple hours maybe for hinge adjust and reset turned into a job across four days. The hull flange had to be chopped 3/4” along the top and then that offcut bonded down on the bottom edge. Then the hull had to be rebated around the hinges for the new (proper) swing pattern. We think the hatch will just clear the water now when opening. 

Those pics show you the new black Petit Trinidad bottom paint. Gone is the snazzy white look,  but this proper bottom black looks pretty serious. And we paid the yard pros to do a real boot stripe this time. (Straight, unlike our amateur wavy job last year).

We’re tackling our daggerboard vibration / howl issues in two ways. First is stopping the slop when the board is down. The trunk is 88milimeters wide inside, except for the top and bottom three inches that had extra glass wrapped over from the deck (and hull bottom) into the trunk. The hull builder did that for strength, but not to the plans, and it made the opening only 81.5mm. I made the daggerboard head (via shims) just a hair under 81mm to fit the opening, allowing 6.5mm slop once the Board was down. So to compensate we ripped long 3mm clear fir shims to bond on each side inside the trunk. They got epoxied coated and painted on the workbench, then epoxy-putty bonded in. That was tricky; buttering the 5’ long pieces and carefully sliding them up into the trunk, not letting the putty hit until the placement was right. Four went on each side. Bottom paint still needs to be applied to these inside the case, up to the waterline. 

Part two will be some reshaping of the board, to be tackled when we take it back home after weighing the boat. 

Final finish paint to the deck repairs went on Saturday so we could launch today.  But a 9am call from the manager informed us that paint didn’t get warm enough and had glazed over dull. So they’re redoing it, hopefully for a Wednesday launch. Also meaning we still don’t have the boat’s weight for the mast builder. 

On Friday afternoon I helped the project manager attend to the 54-yr old hydraulic scale. Turned out to be a simple low-on-fluid problem. As the sun was setting we hatched our plan to check the calibration. Here was our victim. 

The data plate shows its curb weight at …6,970lbs. Crazy to think that little forklift weighs close to our 40’ x 28’ boat. Anyway, up it went

And the scale shows …

… a very accurate match to the tagged weight. Certainly good enough for our mast-build needs, and we’ll put this scale in the crane rigging on Wednesday. 

As much as we need fall rain, we’ve had enough to totally screw up this haul out trip so just another 36 hours sans rain would be great. 

Anybody wanting to go for a motorboat ride Wednesday, Sausalito to Richmond, get in touch.  

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From the bottom up

We launched Ravenswing last year from a trailer. Everyone has had the visual perspective from the water level, or up from a high pier. Today we got to see the boat flying overhead. And it was nerve-wracking!  Thanks to Drew, Dean, Joe and RickH for humor that helped relieve the tension.

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Those shots show the white Petit Vivid bottom paint after 15 months in the water. To be fair, we hadn’t scrubbed since the mast came down in August. But that paint is NOT for stay-in-the-water boats, in my opinion. This week we’re going with Petit’s Trinidad with Ingersol anti-foulant. It’s on a high percentage of boats around here. And we’re going with black, so the boat will look a bit different.

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The boat stayed suspended in the slings during the crew’s lunch hour, and then a proper power wash to get rid of the growth.

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That’s Bryce in the plaid shirt. He ran the huge old electric crane, and expertly taped off a new boot-stripe / bottom paint line for the crew to start on tomorrow. Basically, when we painted for the first time last year the brushes “listed aft” a bit. The bow is fine, but the stern is about 3″ too low (at least it was just-barely above the standing waterline).

What didn’t happen was getting a weight. The plan was to use Myron Spaulding’s 1963 hydraulic load cell, in between the crane hook at the slings. IMG_5095

Unfortunately it hadn’t been used in at least five years and was low on fluid. And the load cell must be laid on its side to fill, which wasn’t going to work with a four ton boat hanging from it. So we’re scrambling to find a modern load cell to rent/borrow before launching next week.

We walked through the dismasting repairs with Bryce and work will start tomorrow. While the boat is out, I’ll focus on daggerboard further fairing and trunk shimming, re-orienting and fixing the hinge on the escape hatch so it swings up instead of aft, doing some motor maintenance, minor stress-crack fixes to overly thick fairing areas, and if there’s time, get some graphics onto the float hulls.

New to the website here is a collection of videos. The page will always be up in the top navigation bar, and hopefully this link will work so you can see Ravenswing in mid-air today:

https://cartersboat.com/ravenswing-videos/

 

On the mend

Like so many neighbors, we were wading through too much bad news in October. Santa Rosa firestorm came within 1.5miles of our house just after we finished the $150k+ insurance repair. We were spared but so many friends and acquaintances lost their homes. Living through large insurance claims is a surreal thing that many people never have to experience. Not fun :(. So it was especially relieving to hear from Geico last week that Ravenswing’s dismasting insurance claim settlement has been approved. We’re in process of spec’ing out the new carbon fiber mast build. More info to come once that contract is finalized. 

The boat has not been weighed yet, and that figure is needed to finalize the mast fiber layup schedule. We know the boat buoyancy figures can exert over 108,000 lb ft of pressure, but knowing the weight helps verify the necessary strength calculations. We also got approved to do the topsides repairs with the boat hauled out, because I can see some paint damage down at the waterline where the mast was rubbing against the hull for the hour before we got everything out of the water (on the breakage day). We were cleared to use the KKMI yard just a mile away from our marina, but the MOD70′ racing tri Orion was hauled before us using a special, very expensive rental crane. Orion has usurped the yard and the manager said last week, “it’ll be here through the winter so we will get to you in the spring”  Crap, need to find another solution and we’re too wide for any of the Bay Area travelifts. Big thanks to KKMI owner Ken Keefe for recommending Spaulding Boat Works in Sausalito because they have a big old fixed base crane.  We went to their office on Thursday and got an appointment for Monday! Scheduling gods decided to smile on us. We’re supposed to lift the boat at 10:30am Nov6, for any locals who want to watch RW swing through the sky. 

While the yard does the insurance repair work, we can tackle jobs including shimming out the dagger board case for a tighter fit, changing the orientation of the escape hatch, changing the boot stripe, motor maintenance, and hopefully getting some raven graphics onto the float hull topsides. 

This weekend we’re finally back to systems improvement projects. First up is moving the grey water plumbing tank and some water line rerouting. Then we’ll get the parts on order for controlling the lithium ion battery pack. I know some readers are anxious for those details, but I’m not there yet. Soon…

Proper consolation

After Ravenswing’s mast came down, Jim and I sat at the kitchen table that night lamenting that cruising to Mexico was shot for 2017. We’ve said it before, “there’s always next year”, but everyone’s getting older and the time is now. So how about a September trip to Washington’s San Juan Islands, and maybe a bit of British Colombia, aboard F27 Origami?  Jim went back to Oregon and got his boat ready for the road, and we met up again at his place on Sept. 15 to start a 9 day trip north. (Should have borrowed Dad’s new self-driving Acura, last seen on Tiburon Blvd!)

IMG_4843Origami tows well behind Jim’s big pickup, but we did need to replace some rotting trailer tires in Salem, OR. Amazingly we pulled in to a new tire shop that fit us in immediately with all four tires removed, new ones mounted, balanced and installed in 20 minutes. And on we drove to the Washington Park boat ramp in Anacortes, gateway to the San Juans. We were greeted with that northwest liquid sunshine. Once “at sea”, the first stop was Friday Harbor, docking just in time to take cover from a windy rain front.

IMG_4857The only other sailboat to visit that day was another F27! We met Jan from Wyoming who had bought his boat in San Diego three weeks earlier. His hull number was up near 450, one of the very last F27s built. We buddy boated on Monday out to Fishermans Cove on Lopez, then parted ways as Origami anchored in Blind Bay on Shaw Is.

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Don’t the steaks taste better when they’re cooked outside?

IMG_4864Across the channel lies Orcas Island, with a great little grocery store of quality foods. We got distracted and missed the opportunity for good looking deviled eggs (hold that thought).

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Around the corner from the ferry landing, up the West Sound, is the home port for the F36 that kept us alive in our build shop on many long winter nights. On Farrier’s website you’ll see MaxQ built and owned by the Websters. Mr. Webster apparently didn’t use the boat very much (just 150 hours on the engine!!!) and it was finally sold to John on Orcas. He recently married Melanie, and this charming couple was at the very end of refitting the boat for extended world cruising. They welcomed us to their dock for a look around, and John was a great sport about handing over a couple of must-get-done projects to us. There’s something about this very small community of F36/39 builder-owners; complete strangers feel perfectly ok trusting each other with these boats. For me it’s easy – if this other person was nuts enough to spend thousands of hours building it or hundreds of thousands $ choosing/buying it, you know they are “invested” and caring. Thank you John and Melanie for allowing two sailors to descend on your boat moments before your voyage began, and we will see you out there.

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Before we departed Orcas, John had us aboard while a professional navigation instruments caretaker inspected the boat’s primary manual compass. Cap’t Keith arrived by ferry, carrying this:

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The compass was spot-on, but did need to go home with the Captain for some physical smoothing of its rotation axis point. Jim and I just stood in amazement at the old-world maritime craftsmanship like this one can find throughout these islands. And as a bonus, John let me pilot his boat a bit to feel the steering and diesel-inboard performance. Interesting to feel the differences from Ravenswing’s smaller outboard and direct-steering tiller. John’s boat will behave much better around the crowded ports.

Just as we grew fairly sick of the rainy weather, the sun appeared at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. Chris and Dad, I trust these cabins will bring back good memories from 35 years (?) ago!

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We skipped the $58 overnight docking fee and anchored out in the quiet bay instead, but did spend the $1.50 on the nicest “boat showers” possible. Each one is a private suite – such luxury for a marina!

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RickWS insisted we hike to the island benefactor’s mausoleum, which is an outdoor structure in which the man’s immediately family has their ashes interred in the cement seats at their round table. Quite striking.

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We also strolled through the 20 acre sculpture garden, on the hunt for one of Rick’s installed pieces, and were successful in our search. Nice job, sir!

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Thursday morning we got passports ready and (motor)sailed to Canada. Destination was the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club, for that weekend’s CRASH Regatta. We heard about it from F-boat forum friends, and were enticed by the free entry for American boats. Their club is a pretty old building in a beautiful setting.

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With only a small guest dock, the SNSYC hosts this regatta at the nearby large muni marina of Port Sidney. Origami enjoyed three nights at the docks and a very well run regatta (with excellent food, we might add!). Our first night arrival was just as the office closed, so they let us stay next to the event tent, effectively making us party-crashers for a wedding rehearsal dinner. Once we offered up Origami’s big moveable stereo speakers to their iPods, we found ourselves meeting the bride’s family, telling stories and drinking their margaritas. Not a bad evening. And we re-learned how to tie a halyard hitch from the bartender / boat rigger, as we had done an emergency purchase of Origami’s new main halyard just in time for race weekend.

The best part, though, was being in BC meant we were just close enough to attract brother-in-law Stephane to drive over from Revelstoke for his first sailboat race. He knows Origami from some fantastic 16knot spinnaker sailing on Tahoe, so he was excited…

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Unfortunately that photo smacks of LIGHT wind, and on Saturday we had periods of 0.0 on the knot meter. In our multihull division of four, (2 F27’s, an F24 and an F25) we managed an uninspired last place, which we conveniently attributed to excess cruising cargo weight and our heavy air sails. The spinnaker was back at home, and the other boats had big light kites (and of course excellent light wind boat handling). To Tim, Eric and Greg, nice job guys and we loved hanging out with you at the parties. For the Sunday morning races, we saw more light forecast, so Origami retired as the reality of our long trip back to Anacortes sunk in. It was a fantastic 1.5 days with my favorite bro-in-law, and vows to get together again soon. And maybe next time he won’t have time in a sailboat race to actually fall asleep on the nets. 0.0 knots, geez.

We navigated this trip with a printed guide Jim’s daughter gave him 10+ years ago, and Navionics on the i-pad. It was fun to watch Jim fall-in with the new technology, especially since this will be used on Ravenswing as he co-pilots next year :). The ferries are frequent and fast, our primary watch-out through the islands.

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The final night at sea was spent squeezed onto the float at James Island state park, just across the Rosario Straight from Anacortes. What a great little stop if you’re going up that way. Nice little challenging hiking trails with great views.

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To get to James Island, we passed by Orcas again, which led to another stop at that market. Deviled eggs for pre-dinner that night!

Skipping the Sunday races meant we could afford a Monday evening in Gig Harbor to visit F39 Alice’s Restaurant. Builders Howard and Alice say this was the first F39 launched (story is on Farrier’s site). The boat is great, as is the F9a he built first and now owned by their son. These people are fantastic. Another F39’r welcoming perfect strangers aboard to compare notes. And then we spent a long evening eating their home cooked meal and polishing off way too much good scotch. Howard and Alice, you have impeccable taste!  And great kids. We foolishly declined their gracious offer to stay in the bayside cottage, and instead pushed the lama and goats out of the way to park Origami in their pasture, as a rolling condo.

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This is the view framed by the windows of their waterfront home; the three most recent boats Howard has built. Not bad.

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Alice’s Restaurant is well documented on the Farrier site, so I’ll just add two shots of his great little boarding ladder, so i can remember to build one this winter.

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And for those thinking about electric propulsion for your f-boat, wow does this boat have a prime setup. They’ve had quite the project going for a couple of years. We very much look forward to getting Ravenswing north to buddy-boat with these fine folks. PS – Garrett’s hunter green paint job on the F9 makes that boat look fantastic. I’m sure you PNW sailors see this one flying around.

We waved goodbye to our new Gig Harbor friends, and hit I-5 southbound. It was another excellent Fboat adventure, and we offer continued thanks to Mr. Farrier for designing these craft that continue to impact our lives so positively. Makes us even more anxious to get a new mast stepped and point Ravenswing’s bows out the gate soon.

It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times

We’re quoting Dickens this time, to summarize a recent weekend on Ravenswing. Saturday was a great sail with Griffin home during a short college summer break, Jim visiting from OR, and Charlie aboard. We had a great day outside the bay in the SF Approach shipping channel area, practicing navigation software stuff and watching for whales.  Best of Times. IMG_4774IMG_4775IMG_4778

 

Sunday morning we finished up the new bowsprit attachments, loaded up the big reacher sail and furler, and headed for the south bay for “speed trials”, aiming to push the boat hard and test performance. New crew of three aboard, with winds forecast in the 10-15kts range. Nearing Angel Island, we had 25 knots across the deck and we ducked in the island’s lee to reef the main. It was a handful, particularly with three people who hadn’t sailed this boat together before, but the reef was taken and we headed towards Point Blunt, the bay’s windiest spot at the south end of Angel Island. The full jib was sheeted out too powerfully, and I went down to that winch to spill off wind. A much bigger gust hit just as we buried the leeward float bow into a ship/ferry wake wave; I felt the rig load up badly and looked back up to see the windward running backstay not set after the reefing maneuver. As I began to climb up and around the driver there was a shotgun-sounding crack and within an instant the whole rig was in the water. Worst of Times.

Ravenswing dismasted in a relatively safe place, and the three crew were completely unhurt. But we were certainly rattled. After a quick ‘taking stock’, we realized the sails appeared undamaged and I called for all efforts to go into getting the main and jib back aboard. Numerous local boats came to our aid, and a Coast Guard motor life boat was nearby, and they responded. The jib was recovered easily, and we secured the upper section of mast (in the water) alongside the windward (port) hull. The lower half of the mast was still aboard, as the halyards exiting the bottom of the mast were holding it close to the deck organizers. I decided to get in the water, as necessary to finish removing the pins holding the main’s batten pockets to the sail track slides. This meant standing on the floating mast, in about a foot of water. The sea state was choppy, so this was tricky. And of course the fancy new Spinlock deck vest got wet enough to fire, which did a great job holding my head away from the work. Hold the recovery for a few minutes, climb aboard and go get a regular lifejacket. Then resume. It took about a half hour, but finally the main was free of the mast and bunched up on deck. We then waved over the Coasties, and the boat captain agreed to put two crew aboard to help us lift the mast up on deck. Huge commendations to that man as he deposited and retrieved crew with the utmost care not to bash that big 44′ powerful boat into our leeward float topsides. The whole ordeal took about an hour, and we “left no trace” in terms of losing any debris overboard. The motor run back to Richmond was surreal. Weather was fine and I went through various states of shock and grief. Here’s how things looked late that day:

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The deck and topsides (port float hull side) have some cosmetic-level damages, and hopefully the insurance company agrees it can go to KKMI next week for repairs. A new mast is going to take a long time. IMG_4836IMG_4835IMG_4831

Now we’re working on quotes for a new mast; the old one was deemed beyond repair, and suffered an ignominious fate… scores of thousands of dollars chopped up and carted off via the Marina Bay dumpster. We don’t wish this on ANYONE! But Ravenswing will recover and be out sailing again in 2018. Just no Mexico this season anyway. IMG_4837

Summer sailing

IMG_4706This is why Mark Twain said the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. When that central valley convection machine revs up and the fog backfills, we head out in to COLD breeze. Charlie and I saddled up in warm jackets for a mid July afternoon.

IMG_4710IMG_4711IMG_4708Grey whales were in town; every day numerous boats headed for the Golden Gate Bridge area. We had 20+ sightings, some very near the boat over by Baker Beach, and some with big fluke flapping activity. Very humbling to be around the biggest of beasts.

 

A few days later dear sister Allie came to visit. Leslie joined for a warm afternoon sail between Richmond and San Rafael / Tiburon. Jeanne practiced her tiller steering, Leslie focused on sail trim, Allie soaked up the warm sun and soft breeze, and the build-finisher just sat back and reveled in the nice day the ladies were enjoying.

IMG_4719With two great sailing days done, it was back to work on various upgrades.  Thanks again to Darren for calling out the bogus sheave choice (it was a salvaged halyard exit box) that was galling aluminum on steel as the mainsail clew pulled the outhaul side to side. This led to a re-think on the boom-end sheaves and line-guiding. Much cleaner now…IMG_4744At launch time last year, Dean rigged up some long skinny lines to turn the outboard when needed, and everyone who’s sailed the boat has hassled with them. I decided synchronous motor-with-rudder steering isn’t necessary, so we’ve skipped the complex solutions (ahem, Carlos & RickWS :). Kudos to Charlie for this very simple idea – turning blocks mounted inside the motor carrier box, and jam cleats up at deck level. Works perfectly as intended!

IMG_4743IMG_4742Another (potentially dangerous) annoyance has been the lead-angle of the mainsheets into their winches. The lines come in a bit high, and if we’re not careful it has caused override jams. A bit of staring and thinking realized the approach is all wrong, and let’s change the angles both vertically and horizontally. These cheek blocks are now installed, and will be test-sailed tomorrow:IMG_4741

We’ve had some big wind in the marina, making work-on-the-boat afternoons tough. See the blue tape on the hardtop, where the boom hit by accident. That fiberglass repair was done under duress of a stiff 20+ knot wind kicking up whitecaps inside the harbor. I actually got a bit seasick hanging off the back installing those motor steering lines. IMG_4745So with the summer chill in the bay, we said a big YES to Jim’s crew call for the 2017 Southern Cascades Regatta at Howard Prairie Lake above Ashland, OR. Headed up I-5 past Redding, thanking the inventors of automobile air conditioning… (ignore the speedo please)IMG_4764Look what we find on the road in Talent, OR – our never-fell-out-of-love Origami!!!IMG_4758When Jim took her back home to OR from Sausalito three years ago, new sails and a number of cosmetic must-dos were diligently tackled. This F27 is doing great, 26 years after launch, in full fighting form.origami under spinThe race committee put us in the Open Centerboard class, ironically making a well-sailed Lido 14 our primary competition for the weekend. We traded bullets through six races, and the final tally was a single point apart. Before we get to that, remember that mountain lake sailing often means waiting for the wind to fill. Trust me, there was only one boat in the regatta with portable cabin-top speakers blasting Crazy Train and Highway to Hell, trying to get the wind to blow. When that didn’t work, we buzzed the race comm, Ultimate 20 and Laser fleets with Kenny Rodgers karaoke. Apparently The Gambler was the ticket. kenny rodgers karoikeAfter enough screwing around, we focused in on clean racing and managed to bring home a nice first place trophy for the skipper. It’d been a long road of “first to finish, but you lost” handicapping, so this regatta win was sweet.  Thanks Eric and Jason for good times!first place

Back on the bay, Ravenswing sits ready in her slip for a weekend of sailing. It’s time to focus on coastal transit preparations, and submitting that BajaHaHa entry.  If any locals want to join Jim and Charlie for a sail Sunday, give us a shout. We’ll introduce you to our humble mascot – just right with a thrift-store price tag and balsa wood featherlight stance. IMG_4739PS – I can hear you from here, singing “son, if you don’t mind me sayin’, I can see you’re out of aces. For a taste of your whiskey, I’ll give you some advice…”

Who really ever finishes, anyway?

Dad, Joe and I stood on the Federal dock in Sausalito, joining thousands of fans watching the launch of the Matthew Turner. IMG_4319

Pretty sure we showed you this build in progress a couple years back, and it was truly amazing to see the community coming together to create a tall ship the old fashioned way. They recorded something nuts like 150,000+ hours of volunteer labor. We visited the build shed many times, but I always had to sit on my hands and not pick up a tool, because if I had, Ravenswing would have taken ANOTHER few years. So it became a quiet little footrace in my head instead. Gotta Launch Before the Turner. And it turns out to be another example of best intentions, but we put our boats in the water before they’re really done. Something about that expensive shop rent generally creeps in…

The Call of the Sea Foundation will have an incredible flagship soon, with the Matthew Turner as a working classroom. Check out this organization, what an amazing way to spend some vacation days.

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We used the rainy season to tackle the ‘bolt-on’ things that needed finishing and painting. Our damaged, empty house has become a paint studio. First we splattered orange highlight all over, and most recently it’s been grey and white for the interior redo of our little Nash travel trailer. The tree fell on the house exactly FOUR MONTHS ago and reconstruction has still not begun. Damn you, State Farm, for dragging the builders through a painful bidding process. But, complaining aside, decent looking boat parts have finally emerged for installation. First up tonight is the bow sprit.

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That’s the extreme forward end, with Keith’s beautifully machined and anodized aluminum doughnut. The spinnaker tack is exiting from inside the pole, and the ridge surrounding it holds the two whisker stays and bobstay.   Here’s the to-the-boat end:

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Spin. tack exits the pole and runs along the deck. The little blue line wraps around the delrin receiver at the bow. Drew was right, this small line did not hold up to the windstorm last week, and was replaced today with a bigger piece of dyneema. Finally installed this afternoon:

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Keith, the bobstay is perfect – thank you! I like the luggage-tag bottom end, and we’ll keep an eye on it for chafe against the bow stem. The delrin receiver at the bow definitely needs to be pinned to stop unwanted rotating; need to do that before we hoist the sail. I’m very concerned about how we’re going to get the reacher furler installed and removed underway. Farrier’s plans call for this pole to swing to the side, but it’s unlikely the setup will reach far enough for handling the extreme end. Eager to test this soon. Thinking of adding a centerline bow cleat dedicated to the two adjustable whisker stays, so we can easily move the pole tip side to side while standing on the bow. There’s a built in backing plate just above the captain’s forward berth, itching to be used.

Mrs. Carter called the ball on the hard top paint, and the orange highlight rocks!

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Sharp eyes saw six little dyneema loops sticking out of the orange top. Those are attachment points for a solar panel. No bolt holes needed now. The bits of rope were pulled through drill holes then flared out on the underside, and epoxy sealed.

If you go back to the February picture of us driving bundled up, you see the original height of the radar. Which would have sent microwaves into our brains. So thanks again to Sewell Mt. Bob for the windsurfer mast offcut that became a radar tower extension. Got it all painted and delivered to the marina. I set it down on the pavement while getting other things out of the pickup, and a little zephyr knocked it over. Nasty ding in the foam core and fancy paint:

IMG_4304That photo is the next day, back at home for touch up, interrupting work on the Nash (aka tinyhouse). A few days later, it was back to the boat, this time carried carefully.

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Just under the radar we’ve mounted two LED deck lights, which really flood the place with great work illumination. They can also be pointed up at the sail for visual signaling at sea.  It’s a lot of light for small power burn.

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Seeing the engine gauges reminds me we figured out how to change the motor oil with the outboard leg lowered down into the dinghy and a bucket. But suzuki does NOT make it owner-serviceable to change the oil filter. Argh. going to need to research that one, as I couldn’t find it poking around the various powerhead components (20hp 4 stroke EFI).

The steering is officially finished with the simplification project. Just a big ‘ol orange tiller now, with molded in receiver for the extension handle.

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The helm is extremely responsive and direct-feel. Time will tell if we’ve made the right choice, compared to all of the elegant, elaborate steering systems on the other F36/39’s.

For the note-to-self file, our new orange color (steering, bowsprit, dodger) is equal parts of these two Interlux colors. The Brightside one part is much softer and will wear out faster than two part Perfection, so next time we’ll look to see if the better paint comes in red and yellow.

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For my friends out there who will still be building F36/39 float hulls, perhaps you can make your center compartment soles early in your process. There have been many painful sessions doing various jobs finishing the floats, painful because of squashing ones feet and legs into the sharply pointed float bottoms. We have now built proper floors, and will enjoy them for a long time. I just wish we had done it BEFORE the big chainplates, beam sockets, hardware prep, etc. jobs.

We had to clamp up a 2×4 extension to the 8′ lamination table in order to make 99″ x 16″ floor sections. IMG_4305

Then in the hulls we ripped some of the leftover original cedar planking for 35-degree flooring sills. Puttied and taped those down and let them cure for an afternoon. IMG_4359

Note how they’re asymmetric to the hull shape. If we had done this job back in the build shop, we probably would have made it all parallel. But in the floating boat, we realized, hey, let’s make the soles level for user-comfort! We’re not going to permanently install these big boards. They’ll just rest on the stringers so things can be easily cleaned underneath, or even removed if we’re crazy about racing weight someday. And yes, we took a little more time to make bilge-access panels (that still need some primer).IMG_4360

Unfortunately, you’re seeing some mold spots on the right side of that photo. The floats get excessive condensation buildup, so we’ll add some solar-powered vent fans to the hatch covers this summer.

OK, that’s the update. Hopefully we’ll get back to more frequent posts including more sailing action reports. Congrats to Drew for driving his F27 Papillon to WINNING the Doublehanded Farallons 2017 multihull fleet. After hearing his great story, he suggested this year’s Delta Ditch be Raveneswing’s racing debut.  That’s a fine idea, Mr. Scott! Time to apply for that PHRF rating…

I know I promised the lithium battery system description – stay tuned, as Anton edited my schematic today and it’s not quite ready for prime time. Getting close.

Locals, let’s go sailing next week, once the rainstorm clears out. Maybe Thursday afternoon. Let me know if you can make it.