May 2010

If things went according to schedule like they did last year, my boat would already be in the water and I’d be enjoying Sunday sails with the sun on my face.  As it is, we’re still stuck in storage working on projects and maintenance.  We’re hoping to have Serendipity in the water by Memorial Day weekend to sail her up the coast to our mooring in Muskegon.  Having her in storage though, is getting so incredibly depressing.  As each week goes by I have to watch the weather get a little bit warmer, and watch all the boats surrounding us get moved from storage and into the water while we still sit on the hard.  Each time we arrive at the boat I listen to Matt rattle off a list of 50 things that HAVE to be done before she can hit water.  I silently curse myself for all the times I didn’t work a little bit harder or a little bit faster, and maybe that list could be about half that size right now.  Although I’ll still hold that the 15 minute secret nap I took in the v-berth a few weeks ago while Matt worked on the hull was pure heaven.

Luckily most of the projects we have left seem feasible and we should be able to check them off pretty quickly.  Of course everything always looks easier on paper. There were a few decent projects I was able to work on with Matt that just involved me holding something in place (like the davits) while he went around and secured them, so it was almost like a break for me.  Putting the new decals on the stern and watching her become our own was fun, but scraping off the MI registration decals (she’s Coast Guard registered and therefore doesn’t need them) from the bow while hanging upside-down was not so fun.  Matt took on the project of refinishing the floors in the cabin while I went back and re-sanded and re-glossed the toerails, a-gain.


Matt testing the strength of the davits



My grandparents helped to break up the monotony one night by taking us out to dinner while they were in town.  Joined with my brother, we all sat and talked about the boat along with what we were working on and what our plans were for the summer.  We mentioned that we were planning to take her to Milwaukee in July, something we were pretty excited about since we have never sailed a boat more than 10 miles from shore before.  There was a lost in translation moment when my grandpa asked again how big our boat is, and Matt thinking they asked the distance from Muskegon to Milwaukee replied, “70”.  The table went silent for a moment as my brother and I heard the correct question about length being asked, and kind of cocked our heads with puzzled looks on our face.  Then my grandma replied, “Well if you can afford a 70 foot boat, then what are we doing taking you out to dinner?”.  The table burst out laughing as Matt was now the one that was confused.  For the rest of the night he had jokes made at his expense about having loads of money that he wasn’t sharing with the family and how there would always have to be a room on our 70 foot boat for my grandparents any time they wanted it.

The last few weeks in May were spent cleaning the hull.  A project I assumed would only take half a day, but it turns out my lack of knowledge (and strength) about this project had me far off on this guess.  My assumption of a quick wipe-down with a single compound was not even close.  I had Matt write me a list of everything to be completed on the hulls just so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about.  (If detailed descriptions on boat projects bore you, I would skip to the next paragraph)  First we had to compound the hull with a Makita 9227 polisher and 3M’s fiberglass rubbing compound.  This had to be done two separate times as not to go too hard and accidentally burn the fiberglass with the buffer (something Matt accidentally did in the cockpit).  Removing the compound by hand with a microfiber cloth wasn’t too tough, but my arms would get incredibly tired if they were over my head for more than five minutes.  After the compound was removed we had to polish the hull until a mirror-like shine was produced.  We also had to polish all the deck hardware.  Finally came the waxing, which also needed two coats and had to be done by hand.

Due to my complete lack of upper body strength all of this waxing and polishing was torture on me.  I had no idea how large the hull of a boat could be until every inch of it had to be rubbed down multiple times.  My arms were sore and aching, and by the third day I had visions of burning the boat down in a blaze of glory while chanting and dancing around it.  Then with the insurance money I could buy a new boat that wouldn’t require any work.  But who am I kidding?  There aren’t any boats out there that don’t require work.  So I decided to suck it up and finish the work on mine.


rebedding the chainplates

Slowly we’re getting everything put back together and cleaned up.  The boat has been looking like a disaster area for quite some time after we disassembled just about everything and left it sitting on the cabin settees or strewn about in the cockpit.  Watching everything get put back in it’s place finally made it concrete that the end was near.  Vacuuming the deck and wiping down the interior were actually a joy because I knew they were the last things on our list before the boat is finally put in the water.

With the plan to get her in by Memorial Day weekend we’re really hoping Eldean’s will be able to get us in.  It’s supposed to be their busiest week with just about every remaining boat on the hard going into the water.  We’d like to use that Friday or Saturday to take her up to Muskegon and spend the rest of the weekend relaxing on her.  Our assumption is that the trip will take 4-6 hours, which will be our second longest trip in a boat after taking the Hunter from Muskegon to Silver Lake and back last year.  We’re planning on bringing our friends Becky and Tyler with us for the company and a reason to drink.  It should be an interesting trip since Becky has a fear of sailboats (think she had a bad experience on one before ?) and has admitted to getting seasick every time she’s been on Lake Michigan.  But she’s avoided going boating with us for 2 years and we decided it was time for her to face her fears.  I figure if worst comes to worst I’ll just drug her with chloroform and stash her in the v-berth.

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