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

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Leaving Salem Sound past Bakers Island (Aug. 20, 2003), singlehanding my way to Gloucester on a beautiful day-sail.

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The entrance to Gloucester Harbor along the Manchester-by-the-Sea coast. Just outside of Gloucester the wind died, so I headed further out, picked up a bit of wind, and headed home. Exploring Gloucester Harbor will have to wait for another day.

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Today (Aug. 30) my old friend David Hudson and I took Chip Ahoy out for the afternoon after installing the reefing hardware that I recently recognized was missing from the boom. There was no sun but it didn't rain, and the winds were 10-15 knots steady from the NW, so it was one of the best summer days for sailing in this miserable season.

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"Shin an' a shin of a sailor" (my apologies to Jimmy Buffett). Singlehanding this season taught me a whole lot: like next year all lines -- all everything -- will lead back to the cockpit and I need an autohelm! Racing back and forth from bow to tiller is just too much, and sooner or later you will bash something ... usually often and repeatedly. Today (Sep 7, 2003) my shins escaped (I've been trying real hard to avoid this lately); it was my forearm that got whacked on a traveler adjustment thumbscrew and drew blood as I scrambled back and grabbed the tiller.  Next year, my promise to myself is, no more running from bow to stern.

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With Hurricane Isabel approaching the mid-Atlantic coast and anxiety mounting locally, I expedited the work Fraser Welding was doing on my trailer; looked like I'd need to haul out before mid-October as planned! I had the cross-member and keel pad replaced along with the two middle vertical bunk supports. It was ready for me on Sep. 17, just in time to haul out.

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Along with the welding, I replaced the winch and cable. The old winch was rusted to the point of uselessness (see photo) and rotted rope was all that held Chip Ahoy to the trailer. I never intended to be a trailer sailor ... until now with the boatyard in high gear hauling boats ahead of the hurricane and finding myself #84 on the yard's list.

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By mid-afternoon, Sep. 17, 2003 I was ready to roll with the plan to haul out at high tide, 4:33 pm, at the Riverhead Beach boat ramp off the causeway to Marblehead Neck.

End of the 2003 boating season for Chip Ahoy ... hauling out
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With Hurricane Isabel storming up the eastern seaboard and heading our way, after days of indecision I finally blinked in the last moment, the day before she was supposed to storm ashore. A few buddies were quickly  assembled, a plan put in the works to trailer out and home. Here's Chip Ahoy approaching the Riverhead Beach boat ramp through Marblehead Harbor.  (Sep. 17, 2003)

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And getting closer. . .

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The haul out team:  C22 owner Wally Riddle of Nahant was at the wheel of my Explorer and brought along the trailering experience, Jonathan Lederman brought the waders, and Barbara did the photography as I brought Chip Ahoy in.


It's never-ending ... and the best times have ended again for now!


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