Monday, 20 May 2013

Splashed the Boat, Went Sailing!!!!

It was a big week.  I took the week off to go and get the boat into the water, get everything commissioned, and hopefully spend a lot of time cruising around Penobscot bay in Maine.  

Atlas (the boat) was stored in Journey’s End Marina’s storage and they were supposed to complete a list of winter work and have the boat ready to be splashed Monday morning.  I had given them the list of work in November of last year, and checked in a a few times to get feedback on progress, etc...  Unfortunately, when I arrived at the marina Monday morning it looked like maybe they had started the work on the boat late the previous week.  The woodwork was just getting the first clearcoat, the electronics were not done, the autopilot hadn’t even been started, the fiberglass hadn’t been done.  In short, nothing was completed.  I guess I should expect to be on “Boat Time” at the marina so there wasn’t much to do but just roll with it and try to get as much done during the week as possible.

The boat finally was put in the water late Tuesday, but everything was still taken apart so it basically went into the water and strait to the dock for the next few days.  The jobs slowly got done over the next few days.  Thursday, the electrical pannels were put back together enough that I could move the boat, so I went for a short sail that night.  It was good to get the boat out and everything seems to be in order.  Engine, Main, Genoa etc... all make the boat go and worked ok.  Doing everything singlehanded without an autopilot is a bit rough, but it can be done.  (they did it for centuries, I should be able to manage for a day)

Friday, the guys at the marina got the autopilot in.  My biggest fear was that it would all come together at the end of the day and there would be a glitch / problem and I’d be stuck without being able to use the boat for the weekend.  It all came together about 3PM.  There were a few glitches during the day.  We had to re-fabricate part of the bracket for the linear drive for the autopilot, but it was in at the end of the day and was able to move the rudder at the dock automatically at the end of he day.  We didn’t have time for a sea trial before the guys were off for the weekend, so I took it out that night.

What happens when you take untested equipment out for the first time by yourself in 20 knots of wind?  Well it worked great for about a minute, then a fuse blew and I lost all electronics at the helm.  Not the end of the world, but back to the dock after about 15 minutes away...  Total sailing time for the week, about 45 minutes.

I spent friday night troubleshooting the blown fuse issue.  I think I figured it out and got everything running again.  It looked like a bad connection on a wire and a really small fuse (2.5amp)  running about 3 screens.  After a few fixes and another trip to Wall Mart, everything looked to be up and running OK. This tie I cycled the autopilot really aggressively at the dock to ensure it was working.   

Saturday I left the dock and had a great sail to Pulpit harbor.  The boat was working good, the wind was doing it’s thing, and I made it into the harbor about 3PM and picked up a mooring.  It is a nice bay, and I took the dingy into the dock and went for a walk on the island.  After a nice walk I took the dingy for a bit of a drive under the bridge on the east side of Pulpit harbor.  Very pretty place!!!  I think it is just a quirky thing about this dingy, something I would have no way of knowing as I had just bought it from the boat owner... but apparently if you run the motor out of fuel, it stops...  Luckly I was just up a creek without a motor, I did have two paddles.  I was however about a mile away from my boat, against both the tide and the wind.  There was a rough spot going under the bridge as the pass is really narrow, so the effect of the tide was about double.  It was good exercise but I rowed back to the boat without much trouble.  

Most importantly I was able to have a nice sundowner drink on the boat while watching the sunset.  Step one - buy a boat = check, Step two -cruise to cool places and enjoy beverages abroad = check....

I’ll make a few detailed posts on the areas, boat projects etc... but Saturday and Sunday were spent cruising to Pulpit Harbor, North Haven, Long Harbor, and the Basin entrance.  I made it back to Rockland Sunday night, hit just about everything while backing into the slip by myself (but I did eventually make it without any help - with just some minor losses in paint..), and woke up Monday to put everything away in the rain and drive back to Montreal.   All in All, the week was a success.

Bob - The previous owner

Old Name Removed, Getting Ready for the new one.

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