Saturday, April 24, 2004

Launch Preparations

With the purchase of our boat, we spent that first spring over in that dark warehouse nearly every weekend. We had scheduled an inspection prior to making our down payment, March 27th, and on the 28th we received the following phone call from Mel the 'survey guy':

"Very very nice boat - nothing serious wrong with her - a few small things, which considering all the pluses make for very minor problems. A little higher than normal moisture readings on the port deck near the 2nd to last stanchion near the tiller. Some cracks on deck. A few safety things, cloudy compass, broken antenae bracket, remove wire nuts from wiring... " - and then the phone call got cut off - so we waited for the full report. Not much more than that - a few minor cosmetic issues, but structurally sound.

Visited the boat again on April 1, this time bringing Keenan with us. Put a down payment on the boat and spent some time poking around the boat, cupboards, sail lockers etc, familiarizing ourself with what needs to be done. Found the antique winch handles, brass, simple to use, sturdy - found a butane grill, an autohelm, a small wet vac, a sail cover with the name 'Radiance' stitched on it in huge letters. Figured out where the 6th bunk was (a mystery to us previously after reading the specs) which slides out into the middle of the floor on rails. We met a few guys from the service department, John & Phil who took a look at the boat for us and gave us a few recommendations regarding items on the survey.

We are getting very excited, and becoming quite obsessive about anything to do with boat preparations - and I'm sure we are boring our family and friends to death with all our 'boat blather'. I lay awake at night worried that I've forgotten all the skills we learned last summer, trying to remember knots and how to raise the sails etc etc. Terri has made up a 'boat info folder' and filled it with whatever paperwork she can get her hands on, photos, plans, brochures etc etc. Keenan is excited about actually 'going sailing' in the spring, but looks upon all the preparations and hard work to come with a lot of 'heavy sighs'. Launch Date is scheduled for May 13. Bottom Scuffing and Painting is planned for April 24-25 and we will pay off the balance on April 6.

Eventually received the complete report from the inspector in the mail, the tanks are good, engine looks good, he liked the paint job, but would like to see the deck restored to as nice as the topsides & hull (not likely to happen anytime soon) - Need to purchase two batteries, flares, PDF type I, fire extinguishers. Tim plans on working on the teak work which is looking a little rough, not sure if he wants to go the 'teak oil' route or go with 'varnish'. Registration paperwork goes through on 4/6. Been doing a lot of shopping at Marine Stores, comparing prices. Shocked at the price of anti-fouling paint, and not sure how much to buy the first time, and have heard a few suggestions from neighboring boat owners about methods of applying it. Terri is planning on getting a 'sail cover kit' from a mail order company and sewing it herself (navy blue).

April 6 - Finalized the sale this morning. Spent all morning digging through all the cupboards and making a 'to do' list. Need to bring some honest to goodness tools & supplies next time we come, in order to start some of the projects. Dragged out that icky carpet that was covering the floor inside. Dragged home the spinnaker, the grill, the wet vac, organized the docklines, spring lines, sheets etc - will return the following weekend to start cleaning and scraping the deck brightwork. Registration numbers should arrive by mail soon, then we can put the numbers on the bow. Just over a month till launch.

April 10 -Visited the boat again, and took some supplies. Tim took off a lot of hardware from the stern toerail, then sanded and scraped, mostly the teak, but quite a bit of damage to his hands as well. The wood looks real nice once it is cleaned up. Terri unhooked the electric for the refrigeration, put bleach in the icebox. Big area inside there, need to trace the drain to see where it goes. Really want to clean with water and soap, but will have to wait until launch. We are wondering about a swim ladder, try to fix the metal one or look into a rope ladder? -- after taking down a lot of the deck hardware, am liking how much cleaner and less cluttered it looks without a lot of it, and am thinking of leaving off the stereo speakers, the loran mount. too much gizmos - we also sanded the cowl vents, we should figure out some sort of paint to clean those up a bit. Thinking of building some sort of 'line handling' storage solution for the sail locker - I saw something in one of the 'project' books of Terri's that looks doable.

April 18 - Candy visited the boat today for some 'voluntary scud work' as she dubbed it. We did more teak scraping, cowl sanding, general cleaning. Located a 'hull vent' for the methane hose from the holding tank & installed it (a major pain, very awkward moving around back behind the wall of the head). Terri and Candy did the taping and the scuffing in preparation for next week's antifouling project.

April 24 & 25 - Tired Tired Tired - all three of us painted on Saturday. Then just Tim & Terri on Sunday. Got the bottom painted with VC-17, some more scraping and sanding on the teak, Terri found a quarter under where the mast is stepped, so old you can't tell what year. Put some of the hardware back on the stern rails. Been working on a swim ladder mount made of teak for the port side. 18 more days til launch. Still a bit frustrating working in this dark & cold warehouse, want to get her out on the water so we can at least clean her up, it is so dirty and dingy in here. A little puzzled about the copper color of our 'blue bottom paint' - does it turn blue after being in the water (we would later discover the answer is 'yes it does')... Visited again on 5/1, on 5/8, 5/10, each time doing a little bit more on the boat, the swim ladder mount, waxing the sides, refinishing the galley table, a lot of unecessary projects. Don't even really know what needs to be done, but full of nervous energy and the need to 'do something even if is wrong'.

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