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 2012 preparations begin!

- Page 73 -

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After a record-breaking, extraordinarily mild winter with very little snow, the big day to uncover Chip Ahoy arrived, earlier than usual a month earlier than last year. Today was sunny, the temperature climbing into the low-70s, and more of the same is forecast for the week ahead.  (Mar. 18, 2012).


With the boat uncovered it's time to begin making it ready. This year's small projects began with removing the forward hatch so I can replace the weatherstripping and put a coat of paint or two on its underside.

Moving along and forward, I removed the old and non-functional Nicro 24-hour day/night solar vent, the first step in replacing it with with a new one.  (Apr. 7, 2012)


The new vent and forward hatch completed.  (Apr. 19, 2012)


The turnbuckles are now freed-up, cleaned, and greased, a shroud has been replaced, the furler drum's broken grease-fitting screw was extracted and replaced, a new jib pennant made — just need to add the VHF antenna and Windex at its top and the mast is ready to go.  (Apr. 26, 2012)


The month of May brought the monsoon rains we'd avoided earlier this spring, and slowed down work on Chip Ahoy. I plugged on with normal annual maintenance work as I could, such as cleaning and greasing the keel winch turning ball, and making a few adjustments such as tweaking the sliding hatch to eliminate the annoying screech.


On the final day of May I finished up polishing and waxing Chip Ahoy, polishing the chrome and other finishing touches. With the maintenance complete, it was time to load the boat and get ready to launch.  (Jun. 1, 2012)


Yesterday Wally Riddle and I towed Chip Ahoy to Riverhead Beach, where Roger Holmes met us to act as 'official launch party photographer.' This year Hooper Goodwin sent a couple of his guys over to help raise the mast, a worthwhile investment. By the end of a long day I had Chip Ahoy rigged and ready to launch.

Today, on the early afternoon high tide, Wally backed Chip Ahoy and me into Marblehead Harbor and launched us. With the threatening forecast of a severe thunderstom, I quickly motored around the peninsula to my waiting mooring in Salem Harbor. Just as I spotted the mooring a light shower began. I got the boat secured and closed up, caught the launch ashore, and made it up the hill and home minutes before the thunder and lightning arrived in full force.  (Jun. 8, 2012)


The first sail of Season 2012 was a four-day cruise down to Scituate Harbor and back in 100 temperature and some severe thunderstorms while on a mooring there. It included more headaches with the 5MileWifi system, and on the way back, with the Honda outboard. (Jun. 21-24, 2012)


With more hot weather in the (and the threat of showers and thunderstorms) forecast I abruptly decided to take off for the weekend, spent Friday night aboard, departed for Gloucester early the next morning, and sailed on early on Monday. (Jul. 6 - 9, 2012)


Late Friday, July 21, I loaded up Chip Ahoy for a sail across Massachusetts Bay from Marblehead to Provincetown, about 50 miles away over open ocean to the tip of Cape Cod. I slept aboard to get an early start on what I expected to take some ten hours.

It didn't work out as planned from the beginning. It started out as "a long weekend, 3 maybe 4 days. After departure early Saturday morning, I discovered there were no slips or moorings available there until Sunday evening. Apparently it was a big race week in Provincetown -- the Beringer Bowl, from Marblehead no less, and I hadn't heard a word about it. Instead, I made arrangements in Scituate for the night and changed course.

The trip across the Massachusetts/Cape Cod Bays from Scituate to Provincetown on Sunday became a real challenge when the forecasted 2-3 foot seas turned into 5-7 footers. My Raymarine tiller-pilot locked-up, burned out from working too hard, and by the time I arrived inside the Provincetown breakwater and onto a moorning the cabin looked like an explosion had gone off down below, with everything piled on the cabin sole.

The weather stuck Chip Ahoy and me in Provincetown much longer than anticipated (but did give me time to phone-order a new tiller-pilot and have it delivered overnight). Then it was back across to Scituate, where I was stuck for an additional day thanks to weather.

I made it home to Chip Ahoy's mooring on Monday, July 30 -- nine days after my departure! This over-extended "3-day sail" has become my "annual summer cruise" I'm afraid. No sail up the coast to Maine as planned for this year.


It's never-ending ... onward to Sailing Season 2012!

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