We're back from our first sail aboard Hello World! I can't remember a better weekend. Just... I dunno. I ran out of adjectives long ago. Fisher and my buddy, Ryan, from CA crewed and we met Ben and Gina aboard his Westsail 28 at the south end of Blake Island.
I've rock climbed. I've even skydived. That's all well and good but I do not like heights. I don't like 'em, no sir. Never have. Never will. So when we needed to get someone up our mast to fix our spreader endcap, I cashed in the boy,-I'm-too-heavy card and got out of mast climbing duty. Of course, Christy is fearless and was nearly shoving me out of the way to get hauled up the mast. (How do you not love this girl?) So haul her we did.
Here's the setup we used. We tied our jib halyard off to the bosun's chair using a figure-eight loopback knot and then attached the shackle back to the chair to prevent the knot from slipping through. We used our spinnaker halyard as safety and attached it to her climbing harness using the same knot/shackle backup. With this setup, the only single point of failure we had was the mast itself. Either halyard could fail and the other would back it up. The halyards were on separate sheaves on separate pins. The chair could fail and the harness would back it up. The shackle would prevent the knot from slipping through. The shackle could open but the knot would be the primary attachment point.
Fisher tailed the safety halyard on the mast winch while I hauled her up on the cabin top winch. Les stopped by and tailed the jib halyard for me on the primary sheet winch. Ben was good enough to warn me that he had been properly lubricated on Jack&coke so we put him on photograph duty. And like ever, his photos kick ass. Nice to know he can photograph under the influence.
Checking out the ailing spreader endcap.
We got the jib halyard secured off on a rope clutch, the cabin top self-tailing winch, the port side primary self-tailing winch and the starboard side primary self-tailing winch and then I handled the safety line while Fisher ran to get some 4200 so we could seal up the end cap good and keep it on the spreader until we can get a replacement. (My junior year English teacher, Mrs. Chenoweth, would be aghast at that run-on sentence. Sorry, Mrs. Chenoweth! I really did pay attention in your class. Most of the time.) (She also hated parentheticals. Man, did I ever stray from the grammatical path she laid out for us.)
It's been a month and a half since Hello World showed up from Mexico. During that time, pretty much every evening after work we go straight over to the boat and work on it until bed time. Most weekends we've spent doing boat work. We've turned down a truckload of invites to do fun things with fun people in fun places. This amount of work has clearly been wearing on us. At this point, we go over to the boat and do about an hour's worth of work and spend the rest of the time scratching our heads at projects we should be doing but can't seem to motivate ourselves. I'm worn down and ready to be done with the all-work/no-sail part of boat ownership. We still haven't actually sailed this beautiful boat.
I can't tell y'all how much I want to sail this boat. We put the staysail on last night and I damned near wet myself to see a sail on our sailboat. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I really can. It's quite possible we can sail this weekend, if we can knock off this last punchlist:
send Christy up the mast to fix the starboard spreader end cap that came loose during the mast step and angle the spreaders correctly
tune the rig at the dock
get all the cotter pins in and secured
pull the boom off so we can run the main outhaul line inside the boom (because we didn't run a messenger line when we pulled it off in Mexico)
put the boom back on
hoist the genoa
unfurl and re-furl the main - we have no idea what the trip on a truck from Mexico did to the furled sail inside
Fisher and I poured Spartite into the hole where the mast goes through the deck (I know there's a salty nautical term for this boat feature but I don't know what it is so I'll just call it mast hole, k?) on Tuesday night. This stuff is supposed to seal said mast hole from water entry and hold the mast in position so it isn't rattling around in the hole chewing up the deck. We made an absolute mess of things, primarily because I screwed around too long before and while doing the pouring. It set up on us before we got half done. Fortunately, I bought the large kit with two cans (actually four - it's a two part compound). So on Wednesday we pulled out the last bit and poured over the previous attempt. This came out way better. The trick? Tape visqueen around the mast partners and get the area sealed off really well. Then just pour gobs of that shit into the hole while it still has liquid properties. You'll make a mess onto the visqueen but it will spread out into all the nooks and crannies it needs to. Then after the spartite has a chance to harden for a couple hours, do your cleanup. It will be in a state where it can be cut to make the pour clean but it will come up off of stuff pretty easily.
Once the spartite cures (three or four days), I'll run a bead of polysulfide over the top of it in case it shrank during curing. Then I'll roll mast boot tape over the whole install mainly to keep UV off of the spartite.
Our sailboat has a sail on it! I can't wait to get out there and try out our stays'l.
I promised an update on the re-naming party beyond a picture of me eating the GPS reciever. Here's some more pictures from the event. It was wicked fun and we were really honored that people came by to ring in this new boat of ours.
After the crap Auguary weather, it was nice to have a beautiful September evening.
We overtook our finger pier so apologies to Ian, our neighbor to the west sharing this finger pier. I promise we're not always like this.
Ken and Erin pondering our complete lack of boom.
Like all of our parties, Christy MC'd and I just poured champagne everywhere like a howler monkey flinging poo.
Boat warming gifts from friends. "Cardboard flavored sesame seed horse feed cookies?? You shouldn't have. Really. No really. You really shouldn't have."
Poor Alison, she's always the island of lucidity in a sea of liquored fools.
Fisher measuring out the exact amount of mixer to go with his rum.
OK, let's dispense with it right up front. The process of inserting a keel stepped mast through the mast partners and down into the lubricated mast step inside the boat is rife with opportunities for puerile comments and bawdry double entendres. "Are you sure it will fit?" "Don't think about it too much, Jason!" "Don't worry, it happens to all guys." C'mon, people. Both my mom and Christy's mom read this blog so let's take the high road here, OK? (penis! hehehe)
We brought the boat back to Canal Boatyard to step the mast last Wednesday and finally be done with boat yard work. They had to use their monster crane because the stick was too big (what?) for their regular crane. They hooked up the mast to the crane and lifted it up and over the mast partners on deck. These guys are really good at what they do and had it ready to drop into the mast step in no time. The rest of the time, we spent trying to get the wiring out of the mast. After what felt like hours of battling with the mast wiring, Christy finally got all the wiring run correctly so we could drop the mast the rest of the way down.
"Dear Santa, if you can get this in our boat without punching a hole in the bottom of the boat, I promise I'll never put Tabasco in Dad's Preparation H again!"
The yard guys hook up the mast to the crane.
Of course, we tied off the shrouds and furlers too high so Kim had to climb up the mast while it was hanging off the crane to untie it.
CHRISTY: "How's it going down there?"
JASON: [unending stream of blistering swear words]
Once we got the mast stepped, it was time to run around and attach all the stays and shrouds to make sure the mast stayed vertical.
CHRISTY: "Are the spreaders supposed to point down at a 45 degree angle?"
JASON: [unending stream of blistering swear words]
Since we'd already put the yard way off schedule by taking too long to step the mast, we decided to dock the boat over on their seawall and then deal with the spreaders.
I'm looking at the 45' space on the wall that I'm supposed to dock in directly between two boats that are way more expensive than ours. Me? Nervous?
She's a sailboat again!
Once we got docked on the seawall, we tied a messenger line to a halyard and clipped it on to each outer shroud and hauled up on it to straighten out the spreaders and that worked pretty well. We have some last minute straightening to do but we need to send someone up the mast anyways.
We just caused our first traffic jam opening the Ballard Bridge!
Fisher and Christy working the locks.
Once again, this only got done because of the help of friends. A huge bucket of thanks go out to Ben, Gina, and Kim. Fisher, true to his MO, showed up just in time for us to be done and head out for beers - the bastard. But we gave him a pass because he's still probably done more work on our boat than I have.
Gina did a brilliant job photographing the whole process for us. Ben posted the pics on flickr but flickr has that patented guaranteed-to-aggravate Random Sort algorithm that drives me crazy so I re-posted the pics on our Smugmug account here in an order that satiates my OCD.