Falling through fall

Well, Heather is buttoned up and hopefully safe from bad weather and rodents in the barn, I’m buttoned up and safe from fun and adventures with soggy snow outside the window. The definition of an armchair sailor, although I actually don’t even get an armchair, just a super comfy couch. It’s a hard life.

The sailing season wrapped up early this year, hauling Heather in late August due to time constraints. A summer of sailing her, especially in the notoriously choppy and kinda scary Columbia river bar area, was a great way to learn the ins and outs. A few things that I’ve learned:

-On port tack, the outboard goes almost entirely under water

-On starboard tack the outboard doesn’t touch the water

-The current goes up to 5 knots, which is faster than heather

-Ships move super fast

-Jib sheets will bind in the cheap genoa leads I bought

-And, sailing is super fun!

Best of all, Heather sails beautifully, just as Chuck Paine promises on his website (although I haven’t seen a design where he doesn’t promise that). With the summer gone and the fall busy, I hope to have some time this winter to dig into a few minor additional projects. The biggest of these is drilling and adding three keel bolts- preventitive maint since she hasn’t had any keel bolt attention since launched in 1982. I have no idea what condition the old ones are in, but Chuck Paine’s advice was to add additional given that the old ones were poured into the lead keel and would be impossible to replace even if I could inspect them.

The plan is to drill the holes from inside using a very long bit and bit jig. I can access the bottoms of 2 of them to countersink the nuts on the bottom end, but the third will require a very carefully measured and cut window, measured off of the preceding bolts. Sounds stressful and I haven’t even started working on it.

Other minor stuff is to get the water system working, re-paint the bilge, caulk the heck out of the mast step (after removing the old caulk), reinforce the sliding hatch, install the dodger, and sew some nice bunk bags and sail covers. Lots of varnish and some deck paint. Another coat of antifouling before she goes in. And, a new mainsail if it ever comes! Wait, that isn’t such a tiny list. Good thing she is beautiful, that makes doing all of the work so much more enjoyable.

Having spent the fall in Boston, cooped up in an apartment with unlimited internet access, I have to admit to some boat oogling. Wouldn’t a 39′ round bilged aluminum Koopmans from Netherlands be sweet for cruising far north? Hmmmm. I better get back to sailing and boat work before this gets out of hand.

Anyways, some boat pictures from the fall haul out, as well as a short video that I made this fall about locations of sawmill infrastructure. If you want to talk about sawmills, wood, carbon, climate change, or infrastructure, hit me up 🙂

Morning of the haulout- pretty as usual.
I don’t know if you could make a boat with a nicer shape.
Aren’t we missing something? Like a boom? Hope the engine doesn’t crap out this time. That damn thing.
Always impressed by the marina guys- super nice and organized. And they wear their lifejackets.
Back to the barn. Oh shoot, the mast is too high to fit through the door.
Hmmm, I don’t remember it being this tight of a fit last time.
Scooted the mast to the side and she fits. If only we had a cement floor.
And settled in with her buddies, Prospero the whitehall and the Blue Rowboat for the winter

Short interlude- I was determined this time to keep the (#*$&$(# (#*#* @*@#* rodents out. They had just gotten into the cabin down the hill where I live, which was driving me nuts, and I just couldn’t have them on the boat. I determined all possible points of entry- mast, ladder, rudder, thru hulls, parachuting down from the rafters, power cord. I could get rid of all of these except the power cord, which keeps a small dehumidifier running inside. So, I super strategically dangled myself from a rafter to string the cord. So far it has a 10′ vertical run, thoroughly coated in silicon gel (slippery). It then loops over a glue trap on the rafter, and then loops back down to the boat. There are still mouse feces on the boat but my theory is that they are falling from the rafters above. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Found some cool boats on a bike ride.
And a great cartoon that explains why we all do what we do (BS)
It got pretty windy.
No wood shells here, just badass 70 year old women- HOCR
And some guys dressed as Waldo.
Not boat related, but I did get to build a pretty sweet map out of a tree round.
Back home for some hottub time.

And the mapping video: