Mast Repaired, Sails Raised, Boom Tented, Glasses Raised


Progress continues apace, steadily if not speedily. Time spent doing rather than telling, and time is scarce.

Got the rotten place in the mast patched. Fortunately the problem was isolated, where water has been getting in around the spreaders and screws, and only in one strip of wood. Was fairly easy to chip out the soft stuff and file it back clean to the good wood. Epoxied in a fairly tight and clean plug, filled the old screw holes, and seal the area around the spreaders with Dolphinite.



Good friends Scott and Betty were down from DC, escaping their house taken over by real estate agents and prospective buyers for the weekend. Their house debuts on the market after months of repairs and rehab getting it ready. They were exhausted, and glad to be away.

The house market is brisk again, and there’s a good chance they’ll find a buyer the first day. They expect to move to Guatemala in June. We travelled with them there for several weeks a couple of years ago, and we’re looking forward to visits once they get settled.

Scott and I were roomates in college. Not only did I douse him in the Rappahannock, capsizing on his first ever sailing experience, but we spent a summer sailing a vintage Penguin on the York that we brought home in the back of a borrowed pickup truck. So he was interested in the vintage Lightning.

The weekend was beautiful. Saturday we got the mast raised again, then went for an excursion on the Hatton Ferry outside Scottsville. It’s the last poled ferry in the country, operated completely by manpower, using the current where it’s expedient. Amazing; one man can propel tens of tons of tractors or trucks or cars or whatever across the river and back. Then dinner outside by the fire (it’s still chilly at night).










Sunday over coffee we tried out the boom tent. I’ve been following Steve’s adventures in boom tent production lately, so was interested in what this freebie that came with the boat would be like. It’s quite serviceable. I would choose a lighter color, as it’s very dark inside, but seems weather tight and is easy to pitch. I’m curious whether the fabric actually sheds rain, or just slows it down.
















Feeling flush, we pulled out the oldest set of sails and hauled away. They are quite old – cut very different from modern racing sails, and have a completely different texture. These are soft and supple rather than crisp and crinkly. They probably will make suitable cruising sails for a while, though they need reinforcement here and there. One of the bronze jib hanks pulled free, and I can see where others aren’t far behind.










We took a picnic and some Virginia Hard Cider up to the orchards on Carters Mountain to see them off. The tress were just past blooming, but it’s beautiful spot, with views as far as the eye can see both east across the piedmont and west to the Blue Ridge mountains. Rising over the mountains was the smoke plume of a wildfire that’s now scorched over 9000 acres, including the campground where we met for a weekend years ago.







Over the course of the weekend, I found a half dozen small but important things that need attention. The bronze gooseneck is missing a nut that keeps the tack fitting fixed. There are some loose or missing screws in the benches, making them wobbly and vulnerable. The through deck blocks that form a sort of traveler are installed with screws that catch on the main sheet. And, once I had the jib up and played with working the sheets, I now see the importance of the little piece that broke when John and I were loading her up in Edenton. When whole and smooth it allows the sheets to slide easily across the front of the mast when tacking. Without it they catch.

Will try to make progress on these little things in the evening, but and extended period of rain is coming. If it does, I’ll focus on the rudder.




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