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

Sailing Season 09 comes to an end

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Click thumbnails for a larger picture


Yesterday I finally got Steve Epstein (left) and Heinz Muehlman (right) out for their promised sail. We had great weather for late September (as it's been for a week now with more forecast ahead through the weekend). Though the sky was mostly cloudy -- high, thin cover -- the breeze was 10-12 mph from the WSW for most of the day, the temperature in the mid-70s.  Heinz is quite a sailor, and had Chip Ahoy heeled over with rail awash a few times.  (Sep. 22, 2009)

We made it out to the inside coast of Bakers Island then back between Eagle Bar and Hardy Shoal in a westerly shifting breeze. Heinz took this photo with his cell phone camera.

After a seasonably cold week, and our first brief snow squall last Sunday, it was time to haul Chip Ahoy out and trailer it home for the winter.  (Oct. 21, 2009)

For more, see:  The 2009 Haul-Out

We're falling like the leaves now, boats coming out fast and furious. Today Vaughn McGrath and I took down his mast. Then he motored "French Curves" to the boatyard for hauling and winter storage. Marblehead Harbor looks as deserted as Salem Harbor on the other side of town did last week. Only the die-hards and procrastinators still have their boats on moorings. The general consensus I hear is, the 2009 boating season was much to short due to rain through July; almost not worth the effort . . . almost.  (Nov. 1, 2009)

Boy, I love the new 12v battery cable (starter motor/alternator) connector! I used to have to disconnect it from the buss in the cabin, then pull out the length of battery cable.  No more -- just unplug it along with the fuel line. Note the bronze-wool in the vents to keep out the wildlife critters, especially wasps. Today I moved on with unloading Chip Ahoy for the winter: it started out this morning below freezing.  I'm just about done now.  (Nov. 7, 2009)

-- Close-Up --
-- back to more details --

I trailered Chip Ahoy down to the boatyard this morning. The plan was to get the bottom pressure-washed, the many coats of bottom paint sanded down smooth, a new coat of bottom paint applied, the water line and boot stripe raised aft. This plan would have Chip Ahoy ready to launch from the trailer come Spring 2010.  (Nov. 20, 2009)

For more, see:  Post-Season Bottom Project

I brought Chip Ahoy with its new bottom job back home yesterday, parked it alongside the house where it'll rest for the next 4-5 months. Before covering it for the winter, I want to remove the cabin window frames and glass, work on them as my indoor winter project. I'm planning to replace the glass with tinted tempered safety glass, if the cost isn't too exorbitant. Come spring, I'll reinstall them with the new gasket kit I bought last year but put off installing.  (Dec. 1, 2009)

Today I finished up removing the windows for resealing in the spring and perhaps tinting over the winter. Yesterday I got the starboard side out and covered; today the port side got done, the windows removal completed.  (Dec. 3-4, 2009)

See:  The Windows Removal and Resealing Project

With the first snowfall forecast for later today, I rushed out early this morning and covered Chip Ahoy for winter 2009-10. This year I took pains setting up the PVC pipe skeleton to avoid heavy snow pockets from collecting at the lifelines.  (Dec. 5, 2009)

See:  Covering Chip Ahoy for Winter 2009-10

The first major snowstorm arrived last night just after midnight, dropping about a foot of snow before done around noon. Ironically, it arrived exactly one year to the day as last year's first winter storm. This year's covering of Chip Ahoy seems to be an improvement, with no pockets of snow collecting at the lifelines and straining the tarps. (Dec. 20, 2009)

In the past, when I've left Chip Ahoy's outboard for winter servicing I haven't heard back from Ryan Marine Service that it's ready until spring. It didn't matter; I wasn't in a hurry.  This year however, I got the call to pick it up a week ago, right after the first big snowstorm. Getting it out to the shed was going to be a problem; first with the snow piles, then with the soggy ground when an unexpected thaw arrived over Christmas-New Years week.

Note my "wind vane," one of Barbara's beat-up and cast-off garden wind wheels. It works great for me as a wind-speed indicator since it's been 'reefed' with many of its vanes missing!    (Dec. 30, 2009)

Timing was everything. I snowblowed a path on Saturday -- then the thaw melted everything but the biggest mounds of snow by the next day anyway. With a clear path and the Montreal Express dropping sub-freezing temperatures this week, now was the time.

I got Mark at Ryan Marine Service to open up his shop this morning (they're closed for 'holiday week vacation' it turned out) and help load the heavy Honda 8HP four-stroke. Back home, I used the snowblower ramp (built but not used for its purpose since creation of the lean-to out back, where I now store the snowthrower) to slide the outboard from the truck's bed into the shop. Vaughn McGrath ("French Curves") came by and lent a hand lifting it upright and standing it in a corner. Note the IdaSailor rudder and the old Tohatsu 9.9HP outboard on the back wall, center and right.

Uncovering Chip Ahoy for the 2010 sailing season.  (Apr. 3, 2010)

It's never-ending ... bring on Sailing Season 2010!


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