April 2008 Archives

The Mast is Up and...

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Averisera is dressed in her new rigging.

We spent the morning, well, sort of waiting for Kevin and John of Northeast Rigging Systems. I got out the Collonite Fiberglass Boat Cleaner, and started working on the cockpit, and the fiberglass parts of the deck, the little bits that aren't covered in TreadMaster anti-slip deck covering. We love our TreadMaster. Anyway, just about 11:45am, we got the signal to bring the boat over to the travel lift slip. Kevin was about to arrive with the boom crane. We pulled Averisera out of her slip, but had some difficulty getting her pointed down the channel, into the wind. The wind kept blowing the bow down before I could get her bow into the wind. So we resorted to backing her out in reverse, which worked out much better. A few bad words may have been uttered during this period. We got her into the travel lift slip with little issue. Kevin, and John the rigger arrived, and we began laying out the new wire rigging, and the new spectra backstay and running backstays. Very spiffy.

The backstay was a little too short to connect; Kevin explained that the boat may have settled a bit at both ends over the winter, with the mast off. We tied it off, and brought her back to the slip. Wil and I continued working on the rig, running the halyards through the organizers. After an hour or so, Kevin and John made their way back to us. By unwinding one turn on the backstay adjuster, we were able to get enough length to connect the new backstay. Kevin then used the backstay adjuster to tighten it down. When the boat has settled back into her usual shape, we will be able to add the turn back on the backstay adjuster wheel.

One thing Kevin noticed, which we corrected, was that we were using sliprings in the clevis pins, at the headstay and the backstay. He told us some stories of rigs coming down due to the round ring getting caught in a sheet or a line, and getting pulled free, thus dismasting the boat. Scary stuff. So we replaced the slip rings with cotter pins.

As we were finishing up the messengers, we discovered something that explains why it was so difficult to raise the mainsail last year. Hmmm. It wasn't that I am getting old and weak. We were putting the last line in, the cunningham, which we had left for last since it comes out the mast about eye height. So Wil and I were trying to thread this line through and it just wouldn't go, when it got the sheaves at the bottom. John started to take out the sheaves to see what was blocking the cunningham. And, surprise, surprise, the sheave that the main halyard goes around ------ well, it was melted and deformed. It wasn't turning at all, because a green messenger that we had seen at the top of the mast, but couldn't figure out what it was for, well this green messenger had gotten tangled around the bolt that went through the center of the sheaves, right around the main halyard sheave. So the sheave wasn't moving around, and the friction of the halyard on the sheave had actually caused the plastic to melt and reform. That's a lot of friction, in addition to raising the weight of the main sail. No wonder it was so so difficult.

Since the messenger is still attached at the top of the mast, we couldn't remove it from inside the mast, but I moved it back to the rear-most sheave which isn't used, and we tied it off. So another job on the list of jobs to do up the mast.
Now we were ready to head out of Admiral's Hill Marina and start back to Constitution Marina in Charlestown. It was almost 3:00pm and we wanted to make sure we got going before the tide got too low. We kept to the right of the channel, where it was deepest.
Admiral's Hill was to our left as we came out of the channel. I was amazed out how picturesque it is down there. Kids riding bicycles, a playground, small townhouse type residences. All green and lovely looking. What a surprise!
We headed out of the channel into the Mystic River. Yesterday, during our work party, the movie Mystic River had come up in conversation. We had driven into the little downtown that is nearby, looking for a place to get lunch. And Tom and Wil started talking about how this was the neighborhood that set the scene for the movie. One of the interesting little businesses we saw was Dillon's Russian Steam Baths, in business since 1885! Who knew?? Anyway, now I'll have to put the movie in my queue at NetFlix, having never seen it.
The Tobin Bridge was ahead of us. I had never gone this far up the Mystic River before. Norm had taken the boat over in the fall, by himself. So this was the first time I had seen the city from this angle.
As we came out from under the bridge and hung a right, to head into upper Boston Harbor, we could see the city skyline. It's kind of amazing what a presence the Custom's House Clocktower has over the city, almost from every angle. We use the clocktower as a range when we return from the outer harbor and want to use the small boat channel. And it is just as visible coming down from the Mystic River, under the Tobin Bridge. Cool!
The tugboat dock was to our left. I think they were having some kind of a social. All the orange and black tugs looked very cheery at the top of the harbor.
As we rounded the bend, we could see that Courageous Sailing Center had their Rhodes 19s all ready to race. And a couple of J-22s were floating on their moorings as well. Courageous runs an interesting program, for kids and adults. They run a free kids sailing and leadership program and try to make sailing an accessible sport to city folk.
At Constitution Marina, we put the boom on, and attached the boom vang. Then we tied up her neatly and prepared to leave her in her summer home. Here's Wil standing on the finger pier, as we got ready to head for home.
One last picture of Averisera as the sun is heading lower in the sky. She still needs a good cleaning, inside and out, but she looks content enough for now.

Averisera Work Party

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The first thing we tackled was the top of the mast. This will be the most inaccessible place, once the mast has been stepped. I've been up the mast, and boy it is much easier to do work on the tippy top, when the mast is horizontal, not vertical. The first thing we got hooked up was the AWI (apparent wind indicator), although Tom claimed that we really don't need this gizmo.
Here Tom and Wil are admiring their handiwork. We've got all the pieces attached now. The AWI, the new Metz antenna, and the Windex. We moved the location of the VHF antenna off to the side. We have always had trouble with our built-in VHF radio, reception is usually very poor. So Tom had brought a new antenna. When we saw where the old one was, we could see that it had rubbed against the wires for the AWI.
On the theory that electrical impulses can interfere with radio reception, we moved the antenna off to the side. It will also be less prone to damage by rubbing against the mast. Here is a closeup of the new antenna.
A head on view of the top end of the mast. This is for posterity, so there won't be as much confusion about what goes where in subsequent years.
In order to run all the halyards, it made sense to remove the rest of the mast supports, to lower it a bit. We also moved the boat kitty-corner in its slip, so we could reach both ends of the mast.
John joined us at mid-day, just in time to make decisions about which halyard went where. Thanks to John for his good memory of running the foredeck and knowing which color halyard we used for jib vs spinnaker.
Here I am with the finished halyards. Norm had run messengers through the mast, for each halyard. We have 2 jib halyards and a spinnaker halyard coming through the sheaves on the port side, and the topping lift and main halyard coming out the sheaves on the starboard side.
You may notice that all the wood structure to hold the mast in place has been removed as well. We were able to get the spreaders attached too. A quick bottom scrub was done. The mast and the boom were washed and waxed. We use Collonite Boat Fiberglass Boat Wax, and their fiberglass cleaner as well. And the whole boat was washed down with soap and water. Averisera is ready for the riggers tomorrow.

After our work was done and the tools and paraphernalia were put away, we headed over to Redbones in Somerville for BBQ, Tom's special request for a Boston treat.

Getting the mast ready

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Averisera has had her winter garment removed, and is now awaiting the big day, Monday April 21st, when she will be re-rigged, with her new rigging.
The top of the mast appears to be damaged somewhat, at least there is a bare wire that is sticking out, apparently for the VHF antenna. I don't know where the fitting has gotten to.
Here are some pics of the top end of the mast.
You can see the bare wire coming out of the end of the mast
A side angle view
This is the base of the antenna whip
Another angle of the same part that needs to be attached before the mast gets stepped
Sleep tight baby!

Averisera Crew Shirts

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I thought I should post a picture of our very stylish (we think so) crew shirts. My brother-in-law, a T-shirt graphic artist, did the art work. We love our shirts. So does the crew.

On the back, he has screenprinted the line drawing of the Aphrodite 101.

Deni works at Merchant Direct. We were very happy with the screenprinting and the quality of the shirts. Look for us on the race course.

Wait, wait, what is this? A crew shirt on a catamaran, in the Caribbean???? Who could have left this draped over a salon berth??? Norman? Wut?

Such a hard life, teaching sailing in a tropical paradise....

Say Hello to the Ruddy Turnstones. They should be arriving here in Massachusetts in very short order.
Well, the sun has been out for 2 days in a row, and the wind is not so gusty as it has been for the last few weeks. This April has been almost constantly windy. Crocuses and grape hyacinths are in bloom, and alongside some south facing walls there are brave tulips and daffodils blooming.

Tasks for Averisera are filling my calendar. Today, I got a call from the marina where she is wintering, Admiral's Hill. This started the ball rolling, since their end date, and our summer marina's start date are about 2 weeks apart. Hmmm.

To get her ready for commissioning, I have a long list of things to do. First, we have to remove the tarp and the framework. Wil is going to meet me at the marina tomorrow to begin that process. We'll have to jockey her around a bit to get at the assembly from all angles.

Once the tarp and frame are off, we can make sure the mast is still secure in the cross-frames. They are a separate assembly just to cradle the mast.

Our next step will be to start the engine. The weather is still very cold at night, last night was 34 degrees, so it may not start due to just being cold. I'll bring a hair dryer to the marina with us, to help warm the engine block up by hand. I'll open the seacock that supplies water to the cooling circulation. Then hopefully, there will be some power left in the batteries to turn the engine over. Once it has started, we'll let it run to charge up the batteries.

I'll soak the halyards overnight tonight, to get the salt water out. Then they'll be fresh to bring down tomorrow, or Monday, when the mast will be stepped.

Between tomorrow and Monday, Admiral's Hill will find a time to do the power-wash of the bottom and change the zincs.

On Sunday, good friend Tom may come help out with his jeep. We can transport the boom from it's winter storage in the basement to the boat. Any other last minute tasks can be done on Sunday as well.

Monday, the 21st is the day for Northeast Rigging to bring over the new rigging, attach it to the mast, step the mast, and run the halyards. There is also some work to do with the instrument pods, but I haven't figured out what yet.

I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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