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

Uncovering Chip Ahoy for the 2012 Season!
Sunday, March 18, 2012

Click thumbnails for a larger picture

After a record-breaking, extraordinarily mild winter with very little snow, the big day to uncover Chip Ahoy arrived, earlier than usual a month earlier than last year. Today was sunny, the temperature climbing into the low-70s, and more of the same is forecast for the week ahead.

It's been tempting over the past few weeks to act sooner, but I didn't want to jinx the weather pattern after all, we've had blizzards as late as April 1st a few years ago (the April Fool's Day Blizzard). With this extended forecast I could restrain myself no longer; today was time to pull the boat out from its winter repose beside the house and get it uncovered. Vaughn McGrath's mast and dinghy for his C22, "French Curves," has been stored here for the winter too.

Over the winter I had but one tiny project, refinishing the tiller. It still needs a last coat of Cetol but no rush.

Each season the covering and uncovering rituals become easier, quicker. Practice makes perfect and this tenth spring went smoothly.

I don't have much on this year's "To-Do" list to make Chip Ahoy ready for launching "by Memorial Day Weekend" looks like a sure bet this year, if not sooner. This will be only the second time I've achieved that goal.  (Mar. 18, 2012)

I got started at noon, with the assistance of Gilly the Cat and Barbara, today's official photographer.

Since the slight grade of lot out front produces somewhat of a starboard list, the trailer needs the step ramp under one wheel. I built the plank years ago to level boat and trailer, had to replace the weathered and split top step today, then didn't need it after all.

Gilly kept Barbara and me entertained with his "assistance," chasing loose lines and tunneling beneath tarps. He reminded me of one of those cartoon woodchucks, a mound crawling and scooting beneath the surface.

Alright, Chip Ahoy is out front, uncovered, and ready for the the work to begin. It's an early start for up here in New England, and barring the usual monsoon season, I don't anticipate it taking long to have the boat ready to launch this spring.  (Mar. 18, 2012)

Sailing Season 2012 has officially begun!