Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Season 06 has begun at last!

- Page 31 -

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Oh boy, do I love it when I can beat the odds!
Storms are rushing in until at least next Wednesday, Chip Ahoy's stuck in a parking lot where I've already exceeded the 24-hour parking limit, and pre-dawn I'm worrying.  I'm at the boat by 7 am, tore apart the carburetor -- seems perfect -- took it to Larry at Mobile Marine as soon as they opened. Nothing makes sense.  Am I getting spark, is it unrelated to fuel?
We've got a nasty storm front coming through this afternoon, more lasting at least until Wednesday.  (Jun. 23, 2006)

I spent last night conferring with some of the "best and brightest" on the discussion group, brainstorming.  Nobody knew "what," but I got some good suggestions where to start looking for it.
Early this morning I was back at the boat.  I'd replaced the gas and oil in both tanks yesterday.  This morning, first I drained the old gas out of the carb.  Tried starting -- same ole same old.
I pulled the carburetor out, took it apart.  No fuel in the float bowl -- does this mean something?  Float valve wasn't stuck -- it just wasn't loose either . . .
A passerby suggested that I check the plugs, are they getting spark.  I believe so; the motor has caught a few times, then died.

I brought the carburetor to Larry at Mobile Marine.  He loaned me his timing light so I could return to the boat and check for current to the plugs.  The plugs are firing, with the kill switch connected or not.  Returned and pick up the carburetor -- looked perfect to them too.
Perhaps the float valve had gotten stuck -- when I disassembled it this morning I removed the float, fork and needle valve, perhaps had broken it free.  I took the carb back to that boat, reinstalled it, then gave it another try.  It took a shot of ether -- then vroom!
I called Wally and told him we're on as soon as he can get here; high tide was in fifteen minutes.  He rushed right over and Chip Ahoy was launched in no time.  I motored through and out of Marblehead Harbor, around the peninsula, and over to my mooring before the storm arrived.

I have a new issue, the motor's rpms fluctuating up and down rather radically, something I'm going to have to figure out, if it doesn't smooth itself out with time and use.  But I'm home at last, snugged to my mooring where Chip Ahoy belongs during the summer.  What a struggle to get here, though now definitely worth it, of course.  Too bad its about to rain for the foreseeable future at least through Wednesday.

But I don't like my new neighbor -- much too close astern of me.  I had to leave my rudder down to keep it from hitting his mooring ball!  With it raised, about a foot of its end hits my neighbor's mooring ball on a swing.

Much too close for comfort.  Where'd he come from anyway?

Wow, what a luxury the new forward hatch is -- I couldn't believe the difference, though I'd imagined it some time back.  A nice draft now flows though the cabin!  It must be 15-20 cooler below deck.  (Jun. 23, 2006)

The mooring area has become more crowded.  I had quite a difficult time yesterday on my first day out sailing this season, picking up my mooring coming home: there are just too many of them in a small area for some reason this year.  This is another, now that one of us has been moved from the photo above.  I fear the thought of another boater trying to pull up to that mooring with Chip Ahoy a mere couple of feet ahead!  (Jul. 2, 2006)

Despite the nuisance problems -- rigging twisted where it's not supposed to be -- and the Raymarine tiller-pilot starting to sound like a coffee grinder, overall everything went well in the end -- thanks to an assist by the launch company to get to my mooring.  I'll take the tiller-pilot back to Raymarine's Nashua, NH service center next week -- again.  At least I got in before any weather arrived -- and for once it actually didn't.

With the Raymarine tiller-pilot rebelling again, yesterday I was able to recruit my buddy David Hudson to come out and give me a hand. We had a really great afternoon of sailing, David is learning quickly, and I was able to move about tweaking things.  For some reason, we never managed to get together last season!  (Jul. 3, 2006)

Yours truly in the requisite shot when crew is aboard, with the tourist-cruise schooner "Freedom" out of Salem in the background.
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It's never-ending ... but Sailing Season '06 has begun!

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