New Sails (I hope)

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The original mainsail.
The original mainsail.

Okay, I’m done complaining about the snow. At least until the next time it snows this spring.

I have had the O’day 22 in the water for the past two summers. The mainsail is (I believe) the original. Which makes it older than me. But not by much. And in worse shape than me (I hope).

The luff (front edge that goes along the mast) is fraying and needs a new boltrope. I think I could probably replace the boltrope – a replacement is only $2.50/foot at Sailrite. It shouldn’t be too difficult to sew the rope in a straight line. But the last time I tried to sew something in a straight line it didn’t work as well as I though. And maybe the mainsail isn’t the best thing to learn on.

Even if I fixed the boltrope, the rest of the sail is a mess. One of the seams on the luff (trailing edge) is coming apart. One or two of the battens are missing. And overall the sail is tired and stretched out and my windward performance is terrible – though, honestly, that may be due to my lack of sailing ability.

It was time to replace the mainsail. It was time to replace it two years ago. But I finally placed an order this spring. I decided to go with Peak Sails North America. I placed an order with them because they were inexpensive and allow me to spread the costs of the sail over 4 months (the sails are made after the first payment). They also had mixed reviews about how long it took for them to make the sails and for their customer service. However, I figured that the price was right and that I would have some leverage with their sail payment plan, so I placed an order on Monday.

They were pretty quick to send me an email back and send me the first bill. I hadn’t heard from them by Friday to confirm the sail size and number, so I gave them a call. Chris Stevens (Peak Sails Customer Service) picked up on the 2nd or 3rd ring, and quickly looked up my order and took the information down (sail number). He said the sail would probably go to production this week and be delivered in 3-4 weeks. It was a much better response than I had expected.

Chris explained that the production line gets backed up in May and June and could take a lot longer – people get their boats in the water in May and June and when their sails fail it is a crisis to get new sails.

So far I’m happy with the customer service at Peak Sails. They may not be the most responsive by email – but they did answer the phone and answered my questions. Hopefully the sails show up promptly and this summer I will only be able to blame my lack of sailing skill (and the boats shallow keel) when I have poor windward performance.

Spring?

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Spring? Are you sure it is spring?
Spring? Are you sure it is spring?

I love waking up on spring mornings. It is wonderful to go out early in the morning and enjoy the wonderful smells of spring and snow???? WTF??? It is supposed to be spring. The vernal equinox was 9 days ago. Where is all this snow coming from?

By now, the only thing that still loves the snow is Targa. Even the boys are sick of the snow.I think Targa would like it to snow year round.  Stupid dog.

Susanna’s parents are visiting from Sweden this week – they say this is their first taste of winter this year. Welcome to New England.

At least it warmed up today. Enough for a nice walk in the morning, and a fire in the fire pit by the patio. By mid-afternoon it had warmed up enough to start to feel like mid-March. Warm for all of us to sit at the patio without winter coats on and enjoy the afternoon sun.

Getting ready for spring

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It has been a busy couple of weeks here. The snow is starting to melt. It is warm enough for nice afternoon walks and evenings in the workshop without the kerosene heater running the whole time.

My shop assistant for the evening.
My shop assistant for the evening. He is reminding me to stay focused. On him. And to not drop boxes on his head (Sorry Tucker).

I have one toybox sitting in the shop completed awaiting delivery. It looks like the snow will melt enough this week to get the trailer out and deliver it. The final box is making progress – I can complete it by the end of this weekend if I focus on it. But of course there is a very good chance I will get distracted sometime before Sunday night.

The boat finally thawed enough for me to pump out the bilge. I’m planning on doing some small boat upgrades before launching in May. I would like to add a permanent fresh water tank and plumbing to the sink. I also want to add some cushions in the cockpit and a new cushion on the port settee.

New cushions will require sewing. Sewing required a working sewing machine. We had an old Singer in stuffed away in storage that I’ve been keeping limping along over the years. This year I replaced a drive belt and various smaller plastic parts that have fallen apart over the years. I’ll have to build a table on the second floor of the loft to sew the cushion covers. I learned that trying to cut the fabric on the dining room table just doesn’t work. And we have the space for a full 4×8 table, so why not use the space.  And then to YouTube to figure out how to make cushion covers.

Time to get going on the projects so I’ll have enough completed to relax this summer!

Flea Market Finds

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Antique square and mortise chisel
Antique square and mortise chisel

Winter is pushing into March with a snowfall this afternoon. That on top of the frozen snow from the past month’s snow. We are starting to get a little stir crazy being stuck in the house. It even seems that Minecraft isn’t exciting Will as much today as usual.

Instead of just sitting around, we decided to head out to the flea market this morning. The boys each picked up a pocket knife (to keep in the workshop).

I found a small (6″) square for $1 and a large mortise chisel for $10. Both seemed like a good deal. The chisel was pretty sharp, and only took a few minutes on the water stones to get a good working edge. The square cleaned up to a nice patina. I have no idea if it is square. If it is, I will add it to my usable tools. If not close enough to easily correct, I’ll have to add it to the wall decoration (in the workshop – for no reason I can understand, Susanna doesn’t allow me to decorate the dining room with antique tools).