Monday, April 29, 2013


I've been telling this to anyone who will listen (and many who won't) but B.O.A.T. is an acronym for Bring On Another Thousand.  Right.

At any rate, Tri-oomph has been, well, maybe not exactly tri-oomph-ant (sorry, sorry) thus far.  She's an old boat, things have to be replaced and maintained.  We've been trying to get out for a good sail for the past three weekends, but haven't been quite able to get everything to come together for us.

Weekend 1

We had a "Get Our Boat in the Water" party (with fun party themes like that it's a wonder we're not the most popular kids on the North Shore).  A couple friends came over to help us put some finishing touches on some pre-sail repairs, then we trailered it over to Conomo Point to step the mast and launch her.  Stepping the mast was much easier than we'd anticipated, and once in the water the floats folded right out and we were, well, floating!  The motor had been sitting a while and Cody mangled his elbow on the boom while wrestling with the cord, but eventually it started up and we motored back to the house to pick up our friends who were bringing the trailer back.  We picked up two more who had missed out on the repairs but were ready for the party.  Full house!  But with the trampolines we can easily accommodate all 8 bodies, especially if you leave the jib off so there's plenty of seating up front.  We celebrated with a spray of champagne and cigars, as is befitting a boat of such dignity.  It turned out not to be the best day for sailing, as it was cold, and there was little wind and lots of chop.  We mostly motored, but hey!  We were out on the boat.  We missed the tide to get in and I owe a lot of thanks to my brave friends who jumped into the freezing, thigh-deep water to push us off that sand bar!  Anyway, rock'n'roll, the boat was launched!

The next day we wanted to get out, just me and Cody, and have our first good sail together on our new toy.  Unfortunately, due to rot (and perhaps exacerbated by user-error) we snapped our tiller in half 3 minutes out.  Shit.  B.O.A.T.

Weekend 2

As it turned out, we spent next to nothing on Tiller 2.0, thanks to a generous donation of marine plywood and our existing supply of epoxy (remind me to tell you about Adventures in Epoxy Mixing Ratios!).  We fashioned a tiller in the design of the original and, to be safe, sunk a number of screws down the length of it for good measure.  I had to work Saturday so we headed out Sunday morning to spend the day on the water.  You can guess what happened.  5 minutes out this time, Tiller 2.0 snapped in the same spot.  Shit.  Good thing we have a reliable 8 horse motor or it would have been a long paddle home.  Cody, understandably frustrated at this point, said, "F#$% it, we're spending the day on the water."  We anchored off of Hog Island and hung out on our boat for a few hours.  We finished wiring the solar panel, made grilled cheese on our propane stove, played a game of backgammon on the magnetic board Cody's mom had given him, and smoked our last cigar.  Finally we decided we should go home and get to work on Tiller 3.0.  Unfortunately at that point we'd lost our tide and had to anchor at Conomo Point and walk home.  40 minutes later...

We'd learned our lesson (probably not) and decided to beef up the design of the tiller.  Double layer marine plywood, extra long and thick shims, and a different kind of glue.  Tiller 3.0 was not going to break.

Weekend 3

Cody's brother, sister-in-law, and their kids came up to visit for the weekend.  The temperature was finally starting to come up to the point where long underwear and down jackets wouldn't be necessary on the water.  We headed out with our friend Aaron, Cody's brother and his little boy (safely life-jacketed, of course).  We had a lovely sail around the bay  for an hour and made it home while the tide was high (minus the broken hatch cover on one of the floats, but that's an easy fix).  Tiller 3.0 held!  Hallelujah!

The boys drank some beers on the boat under the spreader-party-light  that night.  In the morning Cody told me that, despite our warnings to guests to not step on the edges of the trampolines, where they're weakest, mistakes had been made, yada yada yada, one edge of the tramp had been pulled out of the boat, leaving a big hole in the plywood and fiberglass where the screw had ripped out and bending the metal track it fastens to.  B.O.A.T.  Seriously, though, that one sucks, and is not going to be an easy fix.  New rule of sailing on Tri-oomph!  No stepping on the trampolines!  Sitting, laying, or crawling are totally fine, but no more stepping down off the boat onto them.

Not to be dissuaded, Cody and I decided we were finally going to get out on the water, just the two of us.  We'd already gotten all of our boat bad luck out of the way for the weekend, right?  No more broken stuff (haha, right...).

And we had an amazing sail!  The tiller worked beautifully.  We sailed north and came up level with Halibut Point before turning around so we wouldn't miss the tide on the way in.  It was rad!  Our knotometer fixed itself (the little turbine that measures speed in the water had been seized, and it came free without any intervention) and we hit 12 knots!  The fastest the previous owner had gotten it was 14.  Cody was steering and I climbed out on the floats and leaned out to help flatten us out.  At one point we had the up wind float close to 4 feet out of the water!  Sort of scary getting out there, but that's what makes it so fun.

The only thing that "broke" didn't really break, but it's sort of a really big deal.  We have an off-set centerboard that pulls up into the hull, and the compartment that it sits in has a strip of plexiglass across the top so you can see what's going on with the lines.  We've got water coming in around the plexi into the cabin of the boat.  Ruh roh.  We'll need to pull it off (hopefully the epoxy doesn't rip the wood apart) and reseal it.

Okay, hatch cover, fix trampoline, stop leaking out of centerboard compartment.  Anything else?  Undoubtedly.

We're extra excited to save money, quit our jobs, and sail to the caribbean after yesterday.  Who wants to cat-sit for me?!

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