The last few weeks since the Marblehead regatta have been no different to any other. We have some interesting projects going on and have seen some good results. Marblehead was a great weekend with some great racing and good people. As always Dorade attracted a lot of attention and some lucky people got to have a tour of her during the Antique Boat Evening, held by Eastern Yacht Club, and throughout the weekend.
We didn’t pick up any silverware but Dorade was sailed well with few errors and a relaxed and happy crew. The hospitality put on by the Corinthian and Eastern yacht clubs was superb and despite the lack of bullets or silverware, I did have the honor of picking up a prize jacket for the best restored yacht in attendance. I would to give great respect to all those involved with the restoration last year.
So, Max and I sailed her back to Newport and unpacked from the weekend. Unfortunately I had to say farewell to my apprentice for the summer as he had to return to University and continue his education. I wish him good times and good luck and thanks for all the help this summer. It would not have been possible without him.
The plan now is to get Dorade decommissioned and on a truck and over to San Francisco. It doesn’t sound like much when put it like that but it is! We are a small boat with a lot of stuff and when we do things we don’t mess around. Now we have the truck driver and trailers booked for the 10th September, we have until then to build a custom boat cradle, remove and inspect the masts, move our storage into the container with the new motor launch, pack a trailer and a few other projects on the side.
Today the rigs were pulled out and having given them a quick inspection I am very happy with how they look. Tomorrow will start the more detailed inspection and breaking them down and wrapping them up for transportation to California. Hopefully we won’t encounter too many problems.
Due to the amount of gear Dorade has accumulated over her eighty two year life and multiple owners, I need to have a ruthless sort out of her inventory as much of it is likely to never be used again and could be carted around for another eighty years if it doesn’t get taken care of. Space is going to be tight in the container so the more I can either sell or consign the better. Anyone interested in the inventory list, please let me know and I’ll send it along.
The main project however has to be the construction of a cradle for Dorade. I have seen many race boat cradles over the years and even put a few together. Despite this I have never seen one for an old wooden full keel yacht like Dorade. I understand the reasoning for building one. The nature of wooden boats and their tendency to dry out and split means the more we can do to support her over the next 3,000 mile journey the better. Not knowing very much about how to build one I am very glad to have some excellent people involved at the moment with this major project and tight time constraint. All people involved met with the trucker last night to discuss matters and today we got the steel ordered for the project. Hopefully welding can start at the end of the week after a mock up. I’m certainly learning a couple of things at the moment and am happy with the way things are going and the general positivity towards what we are aiming for.
Apart from packing up the boat and getting out of Rhode Island we still have a few jobs on the side. The navigation systems on board are slowly getting upgraded to give us more reliability and redundancy. We now have the B & G system upgraded to the Hydra 3000 system and the information coming through now is much cleaner and consistent than before with the 2000 system. Unfortunately our Zeus chart plotters were so far advanced that the 2000 system didn’t quite work 100% with it. We are looking into a better communication package for the boat. The old Sat Dome was slow and installed in a poor location. We know we want more band width and have to raise the dome high off the deck to prevent water ingress. Chris Electronics have been working with me on getting things updated and organized a very useful and interesting tour of KVH Industries in Middletown to compare the latest systems. I think I know what we need now but power is the main issue on Dorade as we have no generator.
Bush and Home Boy have been doing some work on the motor launch Matt purchased at the IYRS ball in July. It wasn’t in bad shape but the name was something funny that we didn’t like and the varnish was peeling off. Now she is T/T Dorade in beautiful gold lettering, has seven coats of varnish on, freshly painted bilges, scrubbed sole boards, fresh bottom paint and looks like she has just rolled out of the factory.
A few other things are going on but that’s enough for now. There should be some nice pictures attached of what’s been going on and a short video of the mast coming out. Hopefully by the end of this week the masts will be broken down and wrapped up and the cradle should be taking some shape. Anyway, nothing ever goes just as planned so am prepared and expecting the unexpected.