The year is already getting away from me and it seems like I was only on holiday a few days ago. 2013 is a very big year for Dorade with our racing schedule, constant improvements, delivery back from Hawaii in August, Americas cup in September, Breaking her down to transport back to Rhode island before putting her back together to go to the Caribbean for the winter. I should not be short of things to do!
So far this year we have been finishing off the repairs to the butterfly hatches which now look great and should be finished off tomorrow or Monday. Our team member and navigator Matt Wachowiz was out last week for a few days working out our navigation system, communications and software set up. Matt now has a very good grip on Dorade’s equipment and had a lot of great input and knowledge to bring into the program. We raced in the GGYC midwinter race on Saturday, unfortunately the very light conditions did not suit us being a heavy old displacement boat, we found ourselves stopped a couple of times in 2 knots of wind. The lighter more modern boats had the advantage on this occasion and it was not our day. As always a great crew made it enjoyable anyway and we finished just before the rain started.
We now have the Bermuda pulpit back on and are starting to set the boat up into an offshore mode so that it doesn’t all have to happen at once when the real racing starts in March. New lighter spinnaker poles are on the list of things to get built as the current ones are very heavy and do not operate as well as the more modern set ups. New blocks have arrived to replace the wooden blocks; this will give us increased reliability and reduced friction. Sail fabrics are being discussed with North sails at the moment to give us the best chance in the Trans Pac race. There are at least a couple of options but we want to maintain the classic look with white sails. Things to think about are stretch characteristics, materials, and weight, durability and radial cuts or not.
I feel like the work list is finally starting to get smaller and I will be able to concentrate on some more routine checking and servicing before long. The major stuff is almost out of the way but old wooden boats are a labor of love and I am sure this is not the end of it.