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

Covering Chip Ahoy for Winter - 2009

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I got Chip Ahoy back from the boatyard with a fresh bottom on Monday, got the cabin windows out on Thursday and yesterday, and learned last night that our first snowfall was forecast for today. Darn, I needed a couple more days to be ready for it.  So early this morning I got out and began a rush job covering the boat. The first step was to fill the locker bins with charcoal, spread around the "Bounce Dryer Sheets," to reduce the musty smell of a boat closed up for the winter. The fresh smell in the spring when I open the boat is always a pleasant surprise.  (Dec. 5, 2009)

With the cribboards in place, the boat closed up for the coming winter, I wrestled the skeleton frame over the mast and secured it. The aft frame covering the cockpit was built by Wally Riddle; it's one piece. The forward PVC pipes are independent of each other. I marked each of them a few years ago so I know the order in which they're placed, saving time.

Once the skeleton frame was ready, the tarps came next -- each also pre-marked with its location (bow or stern) and direction (port or starboard). The lines, still attached to grommets from last winter, are the correct length and ready to be tied off. I had to make a few adjustments, add a few more lengths of line, but the job went pretty quickly.

Practice makes perfect. Even doing it unassisted this year I had the boat covered in under four hours, just as light showers began to fall. Some 2-4 inches of snow is forecast to fall later today and into tonight -- and I didn't think I'd be ready for it. One more winter preparation project accomplished -- in fact, the final one. I'm ready -- let it snow!


Better safe than sorry. Last night's snow was only an inch or two dusting, a teaser for what's ahead. At least the boat's covered, come what may -- and the forecasters' are calling for a big storm heading our way, due mid-week. The additional PVC pipe over the forward deck seems to be working, so far, keeping snow from pocketing in the lifelines.  (Dec. 6, 2009)

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