Monday, August 14, 2017

Launching, err, 'floating' Party!

We've been working all summer in preparation to launch the boat, and really, for the past 6 years, we've been preparing to put the boat in the water.  That finally happened last Saturday, August 12th.  While somewhat far from being complete, the boat was painted and plugged and, well, seaworthy.

In the morning, my Dad drove the trailer down to the far end of the lake, where the boat launch is.  I drove the powerboat over.  Once we had the boat in the water and hooked up, we switched and Dad drove the powerboat, towing the sailboat with me in it.  Yes, I got the first ride! :)  Later in the day we had some neighbors and friends over to see the launch, and I ad-libbed a christening 'ceremony.'  It was great fun, and so awesome to see the boat finally in the water!  She's sleek and ... hydrodynamic.  It's a nice, low-slung, look in the water, that is somehow reminiscent of a duck (the plans call her the "Eider" but we decided on the name "Wind Runner."

Here are some photos from the day and a video of the christening if I can upload the whole thing... (I'll try to do this for later...)

And here's the video of my little speech...

Sunday, August 6, 2017


This was something of an adventure.  We didn't know ahead of time if the trailer would fit.  We thought it would, because we'd made measurements, but there's a lot that goes into it, and in the end, it proved difficult to know whether something unexpected would foil our attempt.

Initially, the boat was on four stands, on which it has stood, more or less, for the past five years.  Trailering entailed removing one stand and replacing it with a car jack, backing the trailer up as far as we could... then moving that jack, removing a second stand, adjusting the rear stands, replacing the car jack in a different location ... you get the picture.  Trying to keep the keel from scraping against the steel cross-pieces of the boat trailer was the hardest part, but it escaped with only a couple of little crunches.  It was a tough process, and a tiring one, both emotionally and physically, but I have to hand it to my Dad -- he really thought through the process, and in the end, it worked out well.

It was amazing to see the boat on a trailer and outside of the garage for the first time!  It looked smaller (being down lower), but it was also awesome to just sit back and her smooth lines... and then it was on to working that accent stripe on the side... (yup, more taping...)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Exciting Day... Brightwork Revealed!

Today we took an easy day, due to doctors appointments and such.  Since we just put the final (ahem, is it ever the 'final' ?) coat of topside paint on, we decided we could finally remove all the masking tape that had been protecting and hiding the woodwork on the boat.  Most of the woodwork (brightwork) is already varnished, but not quite all of it.  Here are some photos!

We also installed the centerboard in its box (from the bottom up)

Taking off the tape...

The cockpit.  The side pieces are cedar from the property and are called the 'coaming pieces'.

The cockpit with the hatch covers on.

So pretty!

Topside Painted!

After days upon days of painting, sanding, re-painting, re-sanding, mixing paint with flattening agent for portions of the boat (to reduce gloss), re-painting, mixing paint with no-skid additive for stepping surfaces... it is finally painted!

In the end, I went back on my initial thoughts.  I thought I preferred the off-white, because it was a bit warmer, with a slightly creamy tone.  I thought it would look better with the wood, but I think it might have been a bit too close in tone to the wood.  So we ended up going with the Matterhorn White, which has a bit of grey in it.  It looks sharp with the wood, and with a flattening agent added on the topsides, it's less glossy.  I like it.

Here are some photos from the process...

1. Finding (more) drips.  It's amazing how boat paint isn't designed to hide defects.  It so brings them out!

2. So we sand...

This is a close-up of the surface of the cabin, which has some "non-skid" additive to provide grip for bare feet.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Topside Paint II - "Off-White"

We managed to find a quart of Interlux's "Off White" from West Marine in Anacortes, where we went yesterday to pick up the paint and stroll among the boats moored there.  We were looking a different paint schemes, as well as some of the rigging equipment on the various boats, to get ideas and confirmation of our (Dad's) ideas.

Today involved putting a coat of the off-white on about half the boat, painting the upper hull, and doing some odds and ends (such as epoxy sealing portions of the hatch covers that we'd routed off, cutting the mast to length and drilling a hole (and then sealing it) in the upper mast for the gaffe rope.  Now we have something of a two-faced boat, with about half done in off-white (starboard) and half done in matterhorn white (port).  Now to pick...

I think this last one (of the cockpit) reminds me a little bit of the Space Shuttle Cargo Bay... you know, at 1/20 the scale...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Topside Paint 1 - "Matterhorn White"

Let's see if you can tell the difference between the primer (white-ish) and the topside paint (white-ish).  I am getting a bit tired of sanding all these nooks & crannies in between coats of primer or topside paint.  But it's looking more and more finished!  There is one other topside paint we'd like to try ("Off-White") and I'll see if I can post something that shows the difference.



Sand and Varnish. Sand and Varnish.

The mast, boom and gaffe are called 'spars,' and they're part of what constitutes the brightwork in our boat.  Epoxy seals them to water, but epoxy breaks down when exposed to UV light.  So that's why we varnish after we've sealed them.  The spars now have about 4 coats of varnish on them, having been sanded in between coats.  It's tough work for a perfectionist, I say.  We did the same thing for the keel piece.