Monday, December 1, 2008

The Winter Is Here........

And what does that mean, you may ask? The answer is simple; 4 months until the next race. Sounds like a long time to be off the water, but not when the list of "TO DO's" extends past both ends of the boat in which you rely on getting you around the race course and back to the marina every other weekend for the remaining 8 months of the year. After two years of racing the boat, my list of wants has been overtaken by the ones of necessity.

US 111 was built in 1984-85 and was (To the stories that I have been told) the first of it's kind produced, the proto-type per say. However, I will go into the history of the boat in another posting later on. 23 years of racing on San Francisco Bay, even with meticulous maintenance and upkeep will have it's toll on a boat. US 111 is at that point. The original owner, Ed Welch had taken great care of his boat over the years, but a couple years lacking varnish and fixing this and that has left it "Good from far, but far from good". In all honesty, those couple of years she was under new ownership (Ours) and there was a line awaiting use of the Hayward boat yard. Knarr US103 had staked claim on the hard, and we have only made one boat cradle for the two boats. It would scare me to have both of the boats in the shop at the same time. Too much to do and too little time to do it in.

The first step is arranging the art of getting the boat to Hayward. Nothing that Svendsens, 18 wheels, a boat cradle and a forklift can't handle. I motored the boat over to Svendsens on November 22, and had scheduled the boat to be hauled the following Monday. Removed the sails, boom and running rigginng from the cabin top, and stow the halyards to make unstepping the mast as easy as possible for the riggers. That Monday I loaded the empty boat cradle on our trailer and headed to Alameda. Svendsens unstepped the mast, hauled the boat and placed her on our cradle. 60 mph down 880 and the boat is in the Hayward yard. Back the truck into the shop, unchain the cradle and pick the cradle and boat off of the truck with a 10k pound capacity forklift. Pull the truck out, position and place the boat on the ground for a long winter nap. Build a small scaffolding system around the hull and POOF, instant boat yard. It is a little extra work, and not many sailors have access to their very own Peterbuilt and forklift, but it sure beats the cold, wet winter outdoors.

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