Launched, Unexpectedly . . .

Nice boot stripe, huh?

Nice boot stripe, huh?

I was hoping to paint my boot stripe before launching. So on the Friday morning of the week I was scheduled to launch (8 April, actually), I drove into the boat yard. . . and my boat was gone from its parking place. I looked around, because sometimes they have to move a boat to get to another one deeper in the stack. Nope. Cay of Sea was not lurking anywhere in the yard. I came across the yard manager, and I asked “did you move my boat?” “No” he said, “we launched it yesterday.” I said “you’re not jerking my chain? (he’s a fairly facile jokester).” “Oh no,” he assured me, “you were scheduled for launch yesterday, and we kept the schedule.” I knew the launch was scheduled for that week, but forgot which day. Well, no argument there. I really couldn’t complain, since I waited ’til Friday to speak up. Next time I won’t put off communicating with the yard. Excuse me while I smack myself in the forehead again.

Okay  – flagellation complete. I spent a few minutes collecting my ladder and extension cords, then returned the next day to commission the engine for its trip across the creek. The entire boat was a filthy mess from bottom prep, including the interior, as I stored the shop vac in the cabin while the sanding was progressing. Anytime the vac is moved it leaves sanding dust, so there’s a good bit sprinkled around inside. I began filth abatement today while organizing and cleaning out lockers.

I also installed a new 12-volt plug end on my newly acquired (but otherwise ancient) tiller pilot. I found a few treasures while rummaging around in a marine consignment shop. The Autohelm ah800 was $40. I couldn’t say no to something that would cost me north of $500 new. If I get a few years’ service out of it, it will have been worth the cost.

Autohelm ah800

Autohelm ah800

These aren’t great for sailing unless the wind is moderate and the sails are carefully balanced, but they work well for long stretches of motoring, and of course current draw isn’t an issue with the motor running.

I also picked up a set of LED running lights at the same time. Cay of Sea desperately needed a new set. I think the current set of lights is the original pair, and they’re just falling apart from UV damage, heat from the bulbs (plastic lenses), and old age. I’ll fabricate a new set of mounting boards from some scrap teak I have – the old boards are terribly weathered.

Finally, I motored out to the jetty and back just to get away from the pier for twenty minutes.

I have a long list of chores and projects that I started today, completion of which will keep Cay of Sea looking good, clean and tidy, safe to operate, and making progress against entropy.

  1. a. I had a tiller pilot on my last boat. You going to love it for motoring. It really helps with the boredom, and you can sit on the bow, away from the engine noise.

    b. Last time I was hauled, a friend sent an e-mail asking me how the through-hull install was going, since he knew I was thinking about AC. Dang, I’d forgotten, and I was duer to go back in within the hour. I told the yard manager I would be staying a few more days, bonded a backing plate and drilled a 1 1/2″ hole, and ran to West Marine (only a few hundred yards away) to get some parts. When I came back they were pulling the travel lift over the boat, hole in the bottom and all! A small communication problem within the staff. Oops.

    • A. I liked the old “Tiller Pilot” I had. . . until it began acting erratically. It was ancient – even older than this one I just bought.

      Just one problem with them all. They have this uncanny ability to steer toward crab pot floats. Really must be an amazing algorithm they have to be able to find them so consistently!

      B. At least you communicated with the yard manager. I was simply hoping he would read my mind, I guess.

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