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 07 is officially launched!

- Page 43 -

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Willy and Ev arrived this evening and picked up the old Volvo Penta to deliver down to North Carolina.  Apparently George is working on Willy's C22 down there, where they plan to retire eventually.  A very nice couple it seemed.  (Sep. 17, 2007)

Willy and me transferring the motor.  It has sat alongside my house for all those years with my hope that somebody would come along who could use it for parts -- since they're no longer available.  Just this summer I looked at it and said to myself that it was time to get rid of it, get it out of the yard, but where does one dump an old outboard?  And what a waste that would be for someone who needed a rare or nonexistent part.  This worked out perfectly!

Today Tom Bourke of Westfield, Mass., new owner of a 1972 C22 #2000 and newest subscriber to the discussion group, drove two hours out to my place where we met for the first time at 10 am.  He had asked last week to come out aboard Chip Ahoy to see how I had the boat set up and get some ideas of what he was doing and where he was going with his own boat; I invited him to come out with me immediately.  Tom plans to keep his yet-unnamed boat up in Hampton, NH when it's ready to launch.  We had perfect conditions:  Sunny in the high-70s, wind SW to S at 10-15 knots, seas 1-2 feet.  (Sep. 22, 2007)

On the left I'm adjusting the tiller pilot.  (Note the "British & Islandian Yachting" sweater, a recently-found gift from Barbara.)   Bored with my regular Salem Sound route out to Bakers and Misery Islands up along the North Shore coast, I plotted a new route out between Marblehead Harbor and Coney Island and its shoals then up past Eagle Island's backside.  At Bakers and Misery Islands we picked up my old route home along the coast, full circle. We were cooking for most of the day, did a lot of tacking early (thanks mostly to lobster pot buoys).  On the way back we were hit by one unexpected and sustained gust that heeled Chip Ahoy over almost to its starboard gunwale before Tom and I could release sheets and quickly right the boat.  After that, we reduced the roller-furled genoa to about half its sail area.

Chip Ahoy on its mooring.  (Sep. 25, 2007)

Dawn rising over Misery Island Cove and House Island (in the background).  I sailed Chip Ahoy out over two unseasonably hot days days and spent the night at a mooring out in the cove.  The weather was just too unexpectedly warm to pass up -- probably the last overnighter of the season.  (Sep. 25-26, 2007)

I went out to Chip Ahoy late yesterday morning planning to take it out for a sail, maybe spend the night aboard and do it again the next day -- but it was blowing too hard, a small craft advisory was in effect:  NE wind 15-20 knots gusting to 25-30.  Nearby (about four moorings over) I spotted Yellow Rose, another Catalina 22, with problems -- it's roller-furled head sail was unfurled and losing, flogging mercilessly in the stiff wind, tearing itself apart.  Apparently the jib sheets had torn loose the clew.  (Sep. 30, 2007)

Watching Yellow Rose's increasing damage from the cockpit of Chip Ahoy as the boats swung forcefully in the wind on their moorings was almost painful.  I've seen Yellow Rose out sailing, even received a "Nice boat!" shout one day from its skipper as it sailed past Chip Ahoy's stern.  I've never met the owner otherwise, knew of no way to contact him -- even phoned John Graichen ("Malacass") to see if he happened to know him.  Watching the damaging bothered me, so I grabbed a bungie cord, a few lengths of 1/4" line (my knife is always in my pocket while aboard), stuck my pocket camera into my shorts pocket, clipped my handheld VHF radio to the belt.

I radioed the launch company.  They had seen Yellow Rose's sail flogging too, didn't know the owner either, and said that company policy prohibited boarding a boat without the owner's expressed permission for liability reasons.  I asked if they'd shuttle me over to it and back so I could climb aboard and try to prevent further damage; they agreed to that.  Aboard Yellow Rose, with the launch standing by, I wrapped the bungie cord tightly around the furled sail as high up as I could reach, to prevent it from unfurling any more.  It was the best quick fix I could do:  The clew grommet and corner of the sail had torn out, a loose halyard and shackle was halfway up the mast and dancing wildly in the wind.  I slipped a note I'd prepared through the cribboards into the cabin before climbing back aboard the waiting launch.

Back aboard Chip Ahoy I felt much better, knowing I did something to assist a fellow C22 owner and his boat, that I'd acted and not let the damage increase.  I would hope that someone would do the same for me if they spotted a similar problem aboard Chip Ahoy.  With the situation aboard Yellow Rose at least stabilized, my good deed done, I slept aboard much better last night than I would have.  It was a quite chilly night in the low-40s by dawn; too cold to leave my sleeping bag and fire up the coffee before 8:00 am.  Fall has arrived and I wasn't prepared for it; didn't bring enough warm clothes along yesterday.

On our way over to the Beacon Street boatyard to haul-out for the season this morning, Michael and I swung by Yellow Rose to see how it was faring.  My bungie cord seems to still be holding.  (Oct. 2, 2007)

Today Chip Ahoy was hauled-out at the end of Season '07  (Oct. 2, 2007)

On October 8th, I began looking at fin keel Catalina 22s, beginning with a drive down to Mystic Connecticut to look at Ze.

I got a call this morning from Tommy at the boatyard to please come by and move my boat out of the yard -- they need the space.  They were at that moment in the process of lowering the mast and would like me to come by in an hour.  When I arrived, the boat -- less its keel -- was ready to roll.  He promised they'd get on the keel as soon as possible, that'd it'd be ready to install by spring.  Oh boy, I sure hope so -- but they pulled it off the last time.  (Oct. 9, 2007)

On the way out of the yard I stopped at Fraser Welding and borrowed Mike's air-hose to fill the trailer's tires.  Chip Ahoy is now home, parked in front of the front steps for unloading the rest of the gear and equipment aboard, before I move it to the side of the house and cover it for the winter.  Tommy suggested I hold off on buying a fin keel boat and starting over from scratch:  He thinks he can fix Chip Ahoy's keel to resolve the problem, or at least minimize my maintenance costs.

NEXT
It's never-ending ... but Sailing Season '07 is coming to a close, quickly!

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