Saturday, April 9, 2016
As you might guess, the restoration of Belle Starr is at the top of the list. Working outside definitely has it's drawbacks and I've known all along that when spring weather approached, there would be a frenzy of activity. Nothing new there - to a sailor, the weather dictates everything.
Belle Starr is a happy boat. She's very near being ready to launch. All that remains are the fiddly bits, the structural work is complete. In fact, I have a friendly wager with a fellow sailor about who will launch first. Sometime late this month is my best guess. Despite being very anxious about splashing her, I want Belle Starr to be better than before her accident. This view of the starboard side was a ragged hole not too long ago.
The starboard side from the interior. Those pesky, leaky deadlights have been re-bedded at last!
An unexpected bonus to this tragedy was revealed while repairing the rudder, which was snapped off at the waterline.
The two sets of gudgeons and pintles that were underwater were corroded to the point that they could have failed at any time. I'm not a welder (at times like this, I wish I was...) so having new hardware fabricated has suddenly become one of the most costly elements of this repair. It will be good to know that the rudder is once again firmly attached to the boat. Losing steerage is a sailor's nightmare.
Meanwhile, look at what followed me back to the shop... an Old Town canoe. I've had my eye on this beauty for a decade. I haven't had a chance to look up the serial numbers yet, but she's probably in the neighborhood of seventy years old.
My friend Rick Johnson finally took pity on me and we loaded her down from the rafters of his shop. She now graces the rafters of mine. It could be a while before she gets the attention she deserves, but when she does, you'll be the first to know.