"Pack it up, and tear it down..."
It was time.
Put a fork in it.
This season was done, our first full season with NextBoat.*
She is now on the hard in the yard, bedded down in her new/used cradle for the winter...
... and now that the off-season withdrawal shakes and sweats have begun....
...SWMBO and I can objectively look back and figure out what worked aboard NextBoat, what didn't work, what we can live with, and what we need to change.
First off, our first season with NextBoat has demonstrated to us that she is a keeper.
See, NextBoat was a bit of a surprise for SWMBO- she left all of the decision-making and logistical wrangling in my hands.
Upside? The decisions are all MINE.
Downside? The results are all MINE.
After our first night aboard, and after a little nesting, NextBoat was SWMBOApproved.
Our sow's ear, however, still needs some silk pursification:
The tweedy ceiling and carpeted overhead, while providing a homey, 70s rec-room feel to the accomodations, is looking decidedly worn.
Replacement is daunting-the whole damn boat is cabin, and the whole damn cabin is covered in this stuff.
A thorough scrubbing with all of the latest carpet cleaning wonder products and possibly some steaming is the first order on the agenda, which will (fingers crossed) return our cabin to something approaching it's original hirsute splendour.
That is a project for next winter.
The Escheresque seagull pattern cushions....
.... need rebuilding and recovering. Interesting note- there are only 6 cushions on the entire boat, one of which has already been rebuilt. This winter, we will rebuild the other five in the same blue sunbrella and 5" foam.
The salon table, seen above, is one unstable table, Mabel, and is slightly too small.
I am going to enlarge it aft, and tie it into the stripper pole, er, compression post, similar to the shape of the original table, as seen here:
On deck, the mast step might need a rebuild- the plate needs to be removed and some exploratory surgery performed, chainplate islands installed to prevent any new leaking, and struts fabbed to allow the fore and aft overhead hatches to be cracked, instead of the current all-or-nothing ventilation situation:
As you can see above, they are beautiful big hatches, but there's no support- the hatches are either lying flat on the deck closed or flapping back against the house.
You can create your own beautful big/floppy/flapping/ no support metaphor. I'm not helping.
The portlights need to be rescreened and the hazy plastic polished. The cove stripe needs to be repainted. and the hull could use a good compounding and waxing.
With the boat out of the water, I am able to eyeball the whole hull, and it all looks good, except for the carbuncle ahead of the keel ...
...which is a redundant depth transducer. THAT has to go.
I also need to re-repair my most embarrassing, sloppy, kludge of a last-minute repair which proved more durable than I expected- the water bottle neck masthead light lens:
Piss poor preparation and all that- the mast had to go up NOW, the crew was ready NOW, oh crap, didn't notice that, it needed to be fixed NOW...
... and while necessity may be the mother of invention, her kids ain't always pretty.
The drivetrain is happy, the only minor, low-on-the-punchlist, item is replacing the prop. The 8 hp Yanmar happily pushes NextBoat along at 5.5 knots at 90% throttle in flat water with her 2 blade prop...
.... but a little more thrust and less vibration from a three blade prop is appealing.
And the list goes on...
Which brings us to early January, and brings us to Toronto, to the Toronto Boat Show , our annual midwinter respite.
We've got some shopping to do, some people to meet, and dammit, it's just good to get away.
The Westin Harbour Castle offers a silly good rate for the weekend. Seriously, this is the view that $98/night buys us:
So, that's where we're at, where we're going, what we're doing, and why we're doing it.
Stick around- this is going to be an interesting year.
"Talk the Dock!"