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!

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Click thumbnails for a larger picture


Michael Sullivan ("Carpe Diem") came by today on his way up from his boat.  He lifted the two six-gallon gas tanks out of their cockpit lockers and lugged them down the ladder.  He was impressed with my special tool -- the funnel extension  (Jul. 17, 2007)

It makes pouring the old gas from the boat's plastic gas tanks into the Blazer as easy as possible with little spillage, the job made even easier this year with Mike's help.  Now I'll refill the tanks with fresh gas for the season.

Chip Ahoy, ready to launch on the tide tomorrow morning.  (Jul. 27, 2007)

-- See the mast-raising project --

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

Finally, a shot of Chip Ahoy on its mooring.  I replaced a turnbuckle this afternoon then tuned the rigging, ran the VHF coax cable below deck,  and am plugging away at other minor details.  Finally, now it can sail!  (Aug 1, 2007)

The starboard side upper shroud turnbuckle, using Louis Plaisance's "Benedict Pin" instead of cotter or "O" pins.  The shroud covers slip down and cover them.

Hold those shroud covers up and out of the way while you adjust the turnbuckles with Wally Riddle's simple solution:  a simple clothes pin!

Chip Ahoy on its seaweed-bearded mooring, rudder and outboard up.  Belatedly this year, but after today almost ready t0 sail at last!  (Aug. 1, 2007)

Chip Ahoy's and my first sail of Season 2007.  It almost happened yesterday, but after spending a few hours aboard on the mooring putting the finishing touches on the boat and its sails (e.g., finding a slug in the mast track upside-down, jamming the sail from being hoisted), my shoulder began to ache again.  I called it a day, but today was different.  I just went out this morning, got the boat ready to cast off, dropped the mooring and sailed for three or four hours, almost out to Misery Island and back singlehanded in a 10-12 mph breeze with gusts up to 16-20 doing 5 knots most of the way.  I've still got some sail adjustments to make, I discovered.  On my return, I was able to pick up my mooring alone first try and tie it off with no problem.  My shoulder is still a little stiff and sore, but it's working!  (Aug. 5, 2007)

Yesterday I headed out to Chip Ahoy on its mooring and spent an hour or so working to get the GPS working on boat battery power (it ceased working again, later under sail) and finally getting the main sail all the way up the mast (found a reefing line tangled in the halyard).  The wind was light out of the NE, maybe 5 mph, seas were calm ("less than a foot" according to NOAA).  I started the motor and headed out toward Misery Island, hoisted sails, shut off and raised the motor, and was finally satisfied that the main had gone all the way up the mast.  (Aug. 11, 2007)

This is the weekend at the end of which I will decide whether or not I'll take my annual cruise this year, depending on how my shoulder feels.  The light wind made adjustments  easy, but there weren't many to make.  It took an hour or more to almost reach Misery Island, but the light air was lessening.  Eventually I decided to tack and head back -- but by then I couldn't build enough way to come about.  I ended up doing a very lazy, gentle gybe.

I slowly sailed back toward the harbor and my mooring for over an hour, making barely any progress, gybing a lot as Chip Ahoy and I constantly were drifting closer to the coast of Beverly.  Finally, I decided to start the outboard and motor-sail the rest of the way to the mouth of the harbor, where I'd drop sails and motor in.  That's when the brand new, year-old Honda decided to not start -- I couldn't even pull-start it -- it had seized up hard!  I turned the boat back out toward Misery Island to give me time to think, maybe come up with a solution to get it running.  Nothing I tried, switching to Battery 2, yanking on the frozen pull-start cord, nothing.  I considered attempting to sail into the harbor but realized it gets only more congested the deeper in I go, the closer I get to my mooring . . .

And there was little if any moving air remaining, I'd have little if any steerage the tighter together the moorings and boats became, and my mooring is one of the furthest inside, among a pack of closely moored boats.  Chip Ahoy would become a victim of tide and current, an insurance claim waiting to happen.  I ended up calling MidHarbor Marine, which sent out a launch as I continued to crawl closer toward the mouth of the harbor, clawing almost no air just to avoid lobster pot and navigation buoys that slowly bobbed by close alongside.  The launch arrived half an hour later and towed Chip Ahoy side-by-side to my mooring.  I think the dead new motor, never mind my shoulder, just decided the future of this year's Maine coast cruise.  Yesterday (Aug. 11, 2007), after a decent start, was most frustrating.

It's never-ending ... but Sailing Season '07 is here!


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