It has seemed like the boat has been in a million pieces over the last few weeks. With the butterfly hatch restorations ending up a bigger job than initially hoped for. Extra repairs were necessary to a couple of the lids and all the usual stuff that comes up when you do a job. Once all the carpentry work is done it is still a huge job to then get the stains correct to match the existing woodwork on deck and the build up enough coats of varnish on to fill the grain and give it that amazing shine which compliments the fine carpentry that has taken so much skill and time.
The boys completed the hatches and several other jobs on Friday last week and now Krista and Bartollo have moved on board to finish the job. Krista was recommended to me when we first arrived in San Francisco as a first class wood finisher and varnish expert. She has done a few jobs for us already and has been first class, her helper Bartollo does the hard sanding work although Krista ensures me she has done her time on the sanding block which I am sure she has. The biggest sanding work has been inside Dorade’s galley and Nav station where we have decided to pull out the seam between the cabin top and the deck to make sure the joint is as strong as possible. There were definitely some signs that the cabin top had moved occasionally probably due to the high loads that go through the mainsheet winch on the cabin top. We dug out the old seam which had definitely seen better days and replaced it with a new wood seam which fits very snug and should not allow any movement. Unfortunately we had to remove every port light to do this and a massive sanding operation would have to commence to get all the surfaces flat for finishing. Bartollo emerged after hours of sanding over the last couple of days and announced he had finished, he looked like he was very happy to be out of the small dusty galley he had been in for so long. Now we just have to stain and varnish and it will look better than it ever did. Obviously, the main reason for doing this was to make sure the deck is secure so on Thursday we are putting in several extra lag bolts into the cabin top which will make it rock solid.
A few other wood jobs have been re caulking the deck in a couple of places where the old caulk was coming out. Dorade’s caulking has cotton under it which needs pounding in again before applying the teak deck system. Now it looks as good as new again. We like the details and have been lining limber holes in the cockpit with copper, building an additional flag locker in the saloon cupboard and creating more storage space in the galley.
The electronics are very nearly complete. We installed the last of the new instruments this week and I just tested them this evening to great success. We are still waiting for a new antenna and some things to be invented but I feel good about our electronics now. I ordered a couple of new Tough Books this week as our communication lap top and back up for everything lap top. Eric Steinberg will put in the infrastructure for them this week and next week Matt Wachowicz will be here to do the set up and configuration.
New Carbon fiber spinnaker poles are on order from Hall Spars and they should be here in the next couple of weeks. When they arrive we will faux paint them to look like wood which you can see in one of the pictures. These will be a huge weight saving and make handling on the foredeck when the boat is rolling heavily much nicer and safer. The pole beak will be a big improvement on the old beak providing enhanced reliability and ease of operation.
So, today I managed to turn the fore peak back into a forepeak from a work shop. Everybody has been using it for storing tools and supplies over the past few weeks which has been very useful but I must say it is nice to get things back to how they should be and today it was the cleanest place on the boat and even got some sails back in there. I have had to put a stop to any more sanding going on the boat as this weekend we have a busy schedule with racing and sail testing. Now begins the big task of cleaning everything and I am actually a little excited to get her sparkling again.
Also, last week I picked up our new Iridium Extreme sat phone which looks like a very nice piece of equipment that will give us extra redundancy should another coms system fail and also be an invaluable piece of safety equipment should you ever end up in a life raft. Additionally we picked up a Flir thermal imaging camera for navigating in unfamiliar places at night and also as a great tool if we ever had to find a person in the water at night. I had a little play with the camera the other night and it was very cool!
New hatch covers have been made and a few canvas jobs are nearly done now. All the old wooden blocks on deck have been replaced with state of the art Harken blocks which, again, is a big weight saver. The increase in reliability and reduction in friction is going to be a big performance booster offshore. All new running rigging has arrived now and we just have to get it all spliced up with the new custom bronze Tylaskas . Dorade will be the first boat Tylaska has done this for and I think they look great.
So this weekend is the final of the Golden Gate Yacht club winter series and we hope for some more wind this time. We have a great crew lined up as always and I am looking forward to doing some sailing. After all that is why we do this!