So after a couple of days off recovering from the delivery from Antigua to Newport things are into full swing again. First thing was to get the delivery crew home and the boat out of delivery mode and back to normal so we can see what we are working with here.
Next was the short trip up the bay from IYRS to Joe Loughborough’s boat yard where Dorade was beautifully refitted last year. Once up here we removed the last of the cruising gear into the shed and started thinking about the task ahead for the next couple of weeks and the preparations needed for the Bermuda race.
First task was fitting the new pull pit to the bow which is a requirement for the race and will certainly make life at the pointy end a lot safer for Steve and the bow team. The pull pit fitted nicely and we took a few pictures with the medium #1 up to see how the life lines might interfere with the foot of the sail in various different sailing modes. You can see the pull pit in the pictures but the life lines still require a little thought to comply with the safety regulations and get the least interference on the jibs.
After motoring around to the Hinckley boat yard next door Joe’s team did a great job lifting her out and moving her around smoothly to LMI where all the tasks we have to do are going to take place.
Whilst sailing from Antigua Dorade suffered almost no breakages but a few planks have started to show through the paint around the shroud bases and the stem. Unfortunately she also managed to pick up a few dings on the hull along the way which is unfortunate but these things at sea are acts of God and can’t be avoided at night. A few planks showing is normal for an old boat under the stresses and strains that we went through over 1600 miles of sailing and is not something we are concerned about. The painters are here preparing a few of the worse spots for a touch up so we are looking tip top the photographs when we cross the start line in a few weeks.
One of the bigger issues we have at the moment is the amount of water that has been finding its way in through the butterfly hatches. To rectify this for the delivery here we covered them in plastic sheeting, taped any joins over and lashed the hatch cover on which worked a treat. However this was not a permanent solution and at the moment all the hatches are off and being reengineered to make them work as they should. Daniel is the resident carpenter here at LMI and has got the original Sparkman & Stevens drawings which he is consulting and modifying slightly to bring the system up to date and most of importantly make them work. The hatches as you can see from the drawings are all different, Daniel who is an excellent architect has drawn the new designs to scale which you can see next to the originals.
We have a third B&G 20/20 repeater going in under the mast just below the ships bell and a new magnified wind dial has gone into the cockpit. Jim Thompson is busy working on the electrical systems which has had a few glitches recently. The intense heat and humidity in the Caribbean does not agree with such systems and computers regularly over heat on board whilst in the tropics. The worst job on the boat whilst racing in the tropics is going bellow to pack the kite and I am sure there are many who would agree. Its funny how there are never any volunteers!
Anyway so far we have got the Broad band working, an HF receiver fitted, A/B switch to switch between Wi-Fi and Broad band and calibrated many of the instruments that were not talking to each other. There is still a lot to do but Jim, Joe and I are all confident it will be done with time to spare and test things out before the race.
We have lots of canvas work to get done to provide extra space for ropes to stow on deck, drink bottles for the crew, straps to hold you in when you are navigating or cooking and a couple of lightweight doors for the heads and forepeak.
A couple of shipments have arrived from the Caribbean after so much of the cruising gear and spares that couldn’t fit onboard for the delivery had to be shipped. Today we have Bridget helping out unpacking and organising all the spares out in our storage area at LMI. It’s going to be nice to get all the gear in one place for the first time and see what we actually have. There is also the trailer to sort out and then the second shipment will arrive with all the sails, so there’s plenty to keep Britney busy for now which free up my time to keep everyone up to date on what’s going on.
There’s always more to do on a boat and inevitebaly when you start doing things you discover more that need to be done. The list isn’t getting much shorter yet but its moving in the right direction. I am sure by the end of next week we will see some good results here.
That’s all for now.