Monday, February 18, 2013

Satiny Spars Shakedown

Varnish is dangerous.  When you undertake a varnishing project, how do you know when to stop?  Three coats is enough.  But, five looks better.  And wouldn't you love to be able to point out the 10 coats of varnish on you boat?  A musing by blogger John Vigor really provide illumination on the dangers of varnish.

I don't know how many total coats of varnish now ensconce Solitude III's spars, but enough.  The final coat was satin-sheen, to help mask the bumps and bruises that are a spar's lot in life.

Reinstalling the spars
Upon declaring varnish victory, it was time to restore the boat to operational status.  The sticks and sails made their way back out to the boat, and about an hour of re-rigging followed.  In the course of things, the fix to the previously sticky tabernacle way tried out for the first time, with much success. 

On the water again
The early winter darkness was approaching fast, but since it wasn't raining and the boat was back together, I couldn't resist dropping her in the water.  The cruise was short.  The wind was actually cooperating, and the plan was to actually use the sails for the first time in many moons, but in the rush to re-rig, I had got the manis'l halyards fouled.  So, the first leg of my shakedown cruise ended after a three minute motor over to Jetty Island, where I tied up to sort out the halyards. 
By the time the halyard situation was resolved, the wind had dropped off, and any remaining cruising was going to have to be under power.  They are currently in the process of dredging the river channel, so I circumnavigated the dredging barge and then, on account of the fading daylight and my lack of navigation lights, I turned back home. 

Dredging Rig

In all, I doubt I was on the water for more than 30 minutes, but 30 minutes on the water is better than nothing.  Hopefully, there will be a confluence of free time and good weather in the tolerably near future that will permit a longer excursion.  Maybe even sailing.

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