Jul 18 2008

Three sails: three broken items

Tag: boat work,failuresmattholmes @ 6:21 am

So the first three times we sailed Jon, Jonny, and I went out by ourselves. This turned out to be a smart idea, because three times in a row we went out and broke something.

On July 4th we broke our reefing hook–broke it right in half (the metal was corroded apparently). We were practicing reefing, we lowered the mainsail, Jon hooked the tack to the reefing hook, and when we started tightening the halyard back up half the hook just flew right off. Lesson learned: don’t trust even large, seemingly strong metal parts without good reason. So we replaced the reefing hooks; we even put one on each side so it’s easy to reef from either tack.

The next time out we blew up a rope clutch. I was unwinding the main halyard from the winch and as soon as the force was transferred to the rope clutch it just shattered, the top popped right off and the axle snapped out. Pretty dramatically. So we replaced all of our rope clutches, and our deck fairleads, and serviced the winches.

The third time the stitching on the luff of our jib came apart. This was to be expected I suppose, since the stitching that failed was the stuff that’s been sitting in the sun for a decade while the sail was wrapped around the furler. It cost $175 to have Pineapple Sails restitch it.

Ready to take people out.


Jul 17 2008

How to describe the first time I went sailing on my boat

Tag: musings,trips,victoriesJonathon Haradon @ 4:04 pm

What was it like to go sailing for the first time on my boat? It was a feeling not easily expressible in normal sentences; rather, much more elusively affective. And sensory. But read this and maybe you’ll catch a breeze of what I felt that day.

Liberating. Freeing. Bliss. Matt at the wheel, slightly nervous; he hasn’t steered our boat since barely getting into the dock a month ago.

Motoring out of the marina. All of us, grinning like sloppy newlyweds.

Jonny on the foredeck, watching for other boat traffic. I slap Matt across the back. Whoop! Holler! I’m giddy.

The hard work was worth it. 19 hour work days. No climbing. No biking. Just working. Doesn’t seem like work now.

Continue reading “How to describe the first time I went sailing on my boat”


Jul 16 2008

Not my best moments… Stoopid things I’ve done recently.

Tag: boat work,failures,humorousJonathon Haradon @ 5:34 am
Usually I think of myself as a somewhat intelligent individual. I did really well studying Chemical Engineering. I scored in the top 5% nationally on the GRE. I scored higher on a reading comprehension test than all the English teachers at my school. My parents tell me I’m smart. On the boat, however, I am constantly humbled at how many questions I have, how uninformed I am, and how many ridiculous things I’ve done recently. I love laughing at myself, and the boat has given me (and Matt and Jonny as well) plenty of occasion to do so. Some of those moments: Continue reading “Not my best moments… Stoopid things I’ve done recently.”

Jul 15 2008

IFAQ (infrequently asked questions) for the new boat owner

Tag: boat work,failuresmattholmes @ 6:54 am
Why is there water coming out of our cabinets??? We overfilled the water tanks and water came out of the vent hose which is nicely positioned in the cabinets right above the brand new stereo we just installed. When I looked over and saw our new radio hidden behind a waterfall I was extremely confused. How many grommets does it take to secure a windlass cover? The boat originally had 5, but Jonny determined that the best answer was 12. We can be assured that our new windlass cover will not be lost overboard. Ever. (n.b. the cover for our entire mainsail only has 8 grommets.) How many hundreds of dollars of epoxy and hundreds of hours of time does it take to build and fiberglass wooden water tanks?? Roughly $1200 and 300 hours. We are now thoroughly convinced without one shred of doubt that we should have never torn apart our steel water tanks and we should have hired a welder instead. Is it possible to start your engine with your arm and an errant wrench? Yes. Jon freaked out when he was laying on top of the engine, working on the fuel filter, when he unexpectedly received a painful burn and the engine started cranking underneath him. Thereby accidentally discovering how to short the starter solenoid. Why is water squeezing up from between our floorboards when we walk around? Jury hasn’t yet returned a verdict on this one. Most likely explanation is a defective foot pump. No matter what, I can tell you this: it will require at least three more trips to the chandlery, approximately $1000 in unforeseen expenses, two gallons of epoxy, 300 rubber gloves, two days of sanding, and a whole lot of work we didn’t anticipate.

Jul 15 2008

Why is there a waterfall in our cabinet???(!!)

Tag: boat workmattholmes @ 6:41 am
I feel that this event merits a second, more detailed telling. Here’s how it went down from my viewpoint: I’m standing in the galley at about 10pm, all is quiet and still in the marina, and I’m lost deep in thought about why our engine refuses to start (which was a long, unproductive, confusing thought). Somewhere deep in my subconscious I noted a strange sucking, airy sort of sound, but my reverie was deep and this sound failed to warrant my attention . . . So I’m still deep in thought for another minute, when I notice something extraordinarily strange at the edge of my vision. A sheet of water about 2 ft wide has emerged from underneath one of our cabinets, at head height, and is pouring over the drawers onto the settee. On its way from cabinet to settee, it also happens to be passing over our newly installed stereo. And this is no drip. It’s a veritable waterfall. I mean volume. Like the rate at which one could empty a pitcher–quickly. This sight is so astoundingly implausible that my mind refuses to react to it with anything more than a grunting, guttural, medium-volumed “wha??” Continue reading “Why is there a waterfall in our cabinet???(!!)”

Jul 09 2008

Labor. Manual labor. Lots of manual labor.

Tag: boat work,failuresJonathon Haradon @ 7:51 am
“Fuck this hose!” It was 1 AM, and I’d been working for 17 straight hours on our damn water tanks. The hose we’d bought was inflexible yet annoyingly curvy, and slightly larger than our old hose, making it extremely difficult to shove it onto the fittings. One fitting that was supposed to attach to the water inlet hose was so tight that I spent 20 minutes, splayed out on the floor, with my arms scrunched into a tight crevice between the water tank and a bulkhead, struggling, pushing, pulling, leverlng, to no avail. Swearing seemed to be called for. Continue reading “Labor. Manual labor. Lots of manual labor.”