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 10 has arrived

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The weather forecast today called for strong to severe thunderstorms in the early afternoon, so I decided not to take Chip Ahoy out sailing today. Sure enough, at about 2:30 pm the nasty clouds rolled in from the west, followed by a deluge, two-and-a-half inches of pounding rain in ninety minutes that caused much flash flooding locally.  (Jul. 10, 2010)


See:  A Day Drying-Out on the Mooring

I took Chip Ahoy down through the Cape Cod Canal and back for this year's extended singlehand cruise, July 21 - Aug 5, 2010. Reaching Buzzard's Bay on the other end of the canal produced an experience I was fortunate to survive. For a time, I hadn't expected that I would.

See:  Cruise journal/log, photos, chart and GPS track

After four days of a nor'easter and torrential rain, I went out to check on Chip Ahoy, see how the leaky windows held up. The coffee percolator I put under the forward starboard side window was filled to about half an inch from its top, the pan under that aft window was dry, but the cabin sole was under about half an inch of water, the carpet saturated. Much of this water intrusion, I've concluded, came in between the gap in sliding hatch and top cribboard. The more I inspected and sponged out, the more water I found in all compartments. It took two days of drying out on the mooring to get the boat ready for the weekend and guests who'd be coming aboard.

While cleaning up, I heard a whirring sound -- thought it was coming from outside, finally discovered it was the bilge pump! The float switch (left) had become stuck in the up/on position, pumping air for who knows how long.

I can honestly say for the first time that I can't wait to do a project over again; the windows resealing project, Part II comes next spring!  (Aug. 29, 2010)

After years of invitations, our friends Jeff and Laura Jacoby and their sons, Caleb and Micah, finally came up to Marblehead for a visit.  Caleb, their 13-year old son (left, front), has been taking sailing lessons for three years. Apparently it was time for him to sail aboard a bigger little boat.

The morning began with a picnic table breakfast of bagels, lox, and cream cheese, with perfect weather in the forecast:  Sunny and reaching 90 with a NNW breeze of 10 mph gusting to 18. Unfortunately, the wind remained light and variable all day.

Jeff, Caleb, Micah, and I took the launch out to Chip Ahoy at about 10:45, were ready to set out in about 20 minutes.

My biggest surprise was when I tried electric starting the outboard to leave the mooring. Nothing, not even a grunt. This was a first: apparently when the bilge pump float switch stuck in the up/on position during the recent torrential rain, it killed the batteries -- both of them. I got the motor running using its pull start. (Aug. 29, 2010)

We left the mooring area, where I turned the tiller over to Caleb for the rest of the day, hoisted the sails. We went out around Eagle Island, up to Baker's Island, then back to the mooring by about 3:00 pm. The Jacobys had to be at a cub scout event by 5 pm (Micah graduates to Wolf scout), so it was a relatively short and quick trip -- but it was enjoyed by all, especially Caleb I suspect. He was a quick learner for his first time on the ocean, and he handled the tiller very well; a natural sailor.

With Hurricane Earl bearing up the coast at us, I went out and prepared Chip Ahoy to ride it out -- it's too early to haul out, and I've got plenty of insurance coverage.

Once aboard, first I attached another line through the mooring, ran it back to the cleats on each side of the bow. (I use the center cleat for the main mooring pennant, the towing bow eye for the secondary mooring line.)  While up at the bow, I also tighly wrapped a couple of bungie cords around the roller-furled genoa to keep it from unfurling in a blow.

Next, I wrapped the main sail cover (and sail beneath) with the spring line; removed the radar reflector from the spreaders; extra-cleated the jib sheets.

With the failed window resealing project, I duct-taped the leaky starboard-side windows and placed a couple of plastic buckets beneath them -- just in case. The bilge pump, its float switch, and the batteries seemed to work fine.

Finally, on leaving the boat, I duct-taped up the sliding hatch/top cribboard where they met, to keep out any rain; ran a line from the sliding hatch handle back to the traveler to keep the hatch closed tight.  (Sep. 2, 2010)

It's never-ending ... but Sailing Season '10 has arrived!


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