Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Season 07 is officially launched!

Raising the Mast at last!
-- July 27, 2007 --

Click thumbnails for a larger picture


Yesterday had an inauspicious start.  My crew of buddies arrived while I was out searching for a new 5/16" x 3-1/2" bolt for the base of the mast:  no luck finding one.  I'd forgotten that we'd damaged it last fall taking down the mast, again.  So I filed the stripped threads and made it work.  We got the mast atop the boat, everything secure and loaded up, the trailer hitched to the Blazer (the lights not working!), and were on our way the mile to Riverhead Beach and the launch ramp.
I didn't move the trailer more than two feet before the screeching began -- ah geez, something wrong with a wheel bearing on the left side.  How can this be?  I just rebuilt the whole system axle to bearings a mere two years ago?!?  (Jul. 27, 2007)

I had only a mile to go, so decided to keep driving.  With my entourage (Wally Riddle in the lead driving his MG Mini convertible with Mike Sullivan's son, Paul, riding shotgun; Mike followed in his pickup with Chip Ahoy's motor aboard; John Graichen ran interference as our motorcycle escort, and; Barbara came along as the official photographer for the event), we made it to Riverhead Beach -- just in time.  The screeching got louder, higher pitched the whole way.  When we parked, the wheel was about to fall off!

Pondering the situation.  Michael went right to work on our trailer, spent most of the day trying to replace the blown bearings.  My first run back home was to retrieve my entire toolbox -- who thought we'd be replacing wheel bearings?!?  I also brought back a cooler full of iced beer and bottled water -- something else I intended but forgot.  Then it was another trip home for the sail bags:  how could I have forgotten them?!?  Thank goodness Riverhead Beach is only a mile away from home!

With two projects going at once, thank God I had lots of help.  While Michael worked on the wheel bearing and axle, the rest of us got to the task or raising the mast -- the initial purpose of being there.

But none of us could ignore the axle situation as Mike plugged on trying to repair it.

Finally, the mast was ready to be raised.  With Wally doing the heavy lifting (again, as usual), John Graichen giving him a hand, Mike's son Paul at the foot of the mast, me on the line from the roller-furler holding it out and taut (a first and probably the best I could do with my shoulder situation), we were ready to raise it.

Up it went.

Ah, the real work is over; the mast is up!

Now to attach the roller-furler forestay.

With the forestay attached, the rest of the pre-launching project moved on:  other lines, tightening shrouds, mounting the outboard and connecting it to the battery, etc.  Mike kept plugging away on the wheel bearing situation.
Then the strangest thing occurred:  A car pulled up and parked among our entourage, the driver wandered over and asked if one of us was Chip Ford.  Uh, that would be me.  It turned out that Pete Lesser, of Scottsdale Arizona ("Sudden Impact"), had been to this website and recognized the boat as he happened to be driving by on vacation!  What a small world.

The mast-raising crew (except for photographer Paul), from left to right:  Paul's dad, Michael Sullivan ("Carpe Diem"), Wally Riddle, Pete Lesser ("Sudden Impact"), me, and John Graichen ("Malacass").  What a great bunch of buddies!

The anchor and its new jaw clamps.  It might actually work!

On the mooring in action, it seems to be a big improvement over last year!  (belatedly, Sep. 6, 2007)

Chip Ahoy ready to launch, more or less.  After the crew left, I kept working at it until about 6:30 pm when my shoulder began to bother me again.  Wrestling the bilge exhaust host into the aft cowl vent incredibly took an hour to finally attach; the contortions required to accomplish it wore me out.  I was hurting but got it done.  More to come later today . . .

Chip Ahoy was launched on July 28, 2007 on the 11:00 am high tide.

It's never-ending ... but Sailing Season '07 has officially begun!


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