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 2011 has arrived . . . well, almost

- Page 68 -

Click thumbnails for a larger picture

After an exceptionally tough winter, the big day is finally here. Fortunately we haven't suffered the usual monsoon season this year, with only occasional rain -- the last being yesterday's storm.

Today is partly cloudy, in the low 60s. At last it was time to get Chip Ahoy moved out front from its winter location alongside the house, uncover it and get this year's projects underway.  (Apr. 14, 2011)

A month of typical New England spring weather (aka, "monsoon season"), but today I finished resealing and reinstalling the leaky starboard side windows, just before the next rain moves in — it's supposed to stretch on for another wet, gray, and chilly week at least through next weekend.

Between relentless rain showers this week I took the two cabin windows out, cleaned up the cabin shelves while their trim was off, installed the windows and replaced the refinished shelf trim. The coming week of forecasted rain will be a good test of how leak-proof the windows are now.

Before closing up the boat for the duration, I took the coaming pocket trim rings off, will refinish them indoors while waiting for the sun to appear next week. Hoping to launch by Memorial Day Weekend looks like another lost cause  — last year was the first and only time I've hit that perennial goal since owning Chip Ahoy, thanks to a near-perfect 2010 spring and summer.  (May 14, 2011)

The inner and outer edges of coaming pocket trim rings have become scraped up from use since I refinished them in 2008, so a little sanding and Cetol now will keep them looking good. On the left they're ready to sand; on the right they've been sanded and are ready for varnish.  (May 15, 2011)


The Monsoon Season that Won't Quit

In most other parts of the country, the long weekend at the end of May marks the unofficial start of summer.
Here, we're grateful if it signals the end of winter.

Salem News editorial - May 19, 2011

“Spring? I don’t remember spring. We have winters and summers only here.”
Alan Dunham, a meteorologist at National Weather Service in Taunton

The sun came out today, it warmed into the mid-60s, so I cleared out the clogged cockpit scuppers, scrubbed and waxed the cockpit, and fastened the trim rings.  (May 21, 2011)

Since my first season (2003) sailing Chip Ahoy, avoiding the bloody shin-bash, too common when coming in and out of the cabin, has been a goal. I finally had enough. In 2009 I ran a strip of self-adhering weather-stripping along the companionway step.  I gradually learned that it just doesn't last long.

It needed replacement, again.  I thought I'd come up with an improvement:  fastening a new strip onto the step with screws and finishing washers. After completing the task, I didn't like the result; the screws puckering the weather-stripping. It might work, but I doubt much longer than without the screws.

I used a remnant piece of the vinyl window finish molding, but that left the screw heads and washers exposed – which would likely do more shin damage if kicked than the wood step. In the end, I ran a piece of weather-stripping over the molding and screws. If it falls off, the vinyl strip will be there until I can run another length of weather-stripping. (May 22, 2011)

Spring arrived today at last:  Mostly sunny, the temperature hit 80° even here along the coast (thanks to a SW breeze). Wearing shorts for the first time this year I was prepared to get wet cleaning out the cabin, but found the cockpit drains clogged. Unable to clear them with a garden hose or using a toilet plunger, I pulled their drain hoses to clean out whatever was obstructing the flow.

I tried closing the Marelon ball valve, replaced in 2003, but it wouldn't budge. After removal I found it beyond repair. I cleaned out the drain hoses then ordered a new ball valve from West Marine; should be in in two days. At the boatyard where I borrowed a bench vice and pipe wrench I was able to separate the brass fitting from the ball valve. Tommy the yard manager told me he'd just replaced one on his boat – added that they must be worked a few times each year to keep them from freezing up like this.

With weather moving in – a thunderstorm on its way – before closing up the cabin I replaced the hoses and put a couple of buckets beneath them. The weather forecast for tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same, so I'll get back to cleaning the cabin then.  (May 24, 2011)

— Continued Here —

While waiting for the ball valve to arrive, I decided to touch up the teak trim  wearing thin since the 2008 refinishing project.  (May 26, 2011)

— More Details —

The beautiful actual spring weather continues, and looks like it'll run at least through the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. With the new ball valve installed and cockpit scupper drains working, I spent most of today scrubbing the cabin.  (May 27, 2011)

— More Details —

Getting Ready for Sailing Season 2011!


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