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

The 2007 Haul-Out
October 2, 2007

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Description

Michael Sullivan ("Carpe Diem") and I met this morning at 9:00 at my house, brought my Blazer and the boat trailer over to the Marblehead Trading Company's Beacon Street boatyard, then he drove me back home.  From there, we walked down the hill and caught the launch out to Chip Ahoy.  Today I was scheduled to haul-out for the season.  Though very cool early this morning as I loaded the truck and made ready (about 50), enough to dig out the long underwear shirt, it warmed up to comfortable later.  (Oct. 2, 2007)

On the way off my mooring for the last time this season, I motored by Yellow Rose to see how my quick-fix to its roller-furler was holding up from the weekend.  I was glad to see it still was.  I hope the owner gets down to it soon, and finds my note.

Aboard the launch a notice was taped that the Kettlebottom Rocks spindle (day-marker) was down, gone.  This was especially important as it marks the outer-reach of the shortcut passage between it and the rocky shoreline I'd usually take going to the boatyard in Little Harbor.  As it was dead low-tide, I'd planned to go outside the marker anyway -- there's only 2-3 feet above some spots at low tide through that passage.  The launch driver advised that we give it wide passage -- even the temporary buoy was deceptive and already 3 boats had seriously grounded and done damage.  The Coast Guard buoy tender was on location when we approached.  We made it around and into Little Harbor and the sheltered Beacon Street boatyard without event.

We arrived shortly before noon -- a bit later than planned thanks to the detour -- and began stripping Chip Ahoy's running rigging, boom, etc., waiting for the yard crew to return from lunch.  When they did, the rush to get us out of the way for the next boat coming out was on!  Michael's in the photo while we had time to take a couple shots.

As they tightened the huge crane's straps to grab Chip Ahoy, Michael took this photo of me.

Up, up and away goes Chip Ahoy for another season!

It looks so small compared to the crane, and the other boats it lifts -- like the 50-foot, million-plus dollar sailing yacht that followed.

Once they got it in the lot, the "thunking" keel exposed, the problem was quickly identified -- the keel was easily pushed back and forth with little effort.  The pin or the hangers.

I was surprised (and grateful) that they went right at it, using the fork-lift to quickly lower and remove the keel.  Good man, Tommy!  Since the yard honcho was the guy who'd actually installed it last summer, I think he was as curious as I.

In about fifteen minutes they had the keel off and laying on the fork-lift's blades.

While Chip Ahoy hung in the straps, keel removed, we inspected the hangers and keel pin, the keel moved off to the side.

Oh yeah, the pin had elongated the hole in the keel -- in such a short period, since last summer when I had the boatyard install the new hangers and pin.  I think that got Tommy's attention.  Especially since I had the boatyard (at a considerable fortune) totally restore the keel itself in 2004.

Tommy's mind is working.  He's already come up with some improvements over the original Catalina design -- since I've been complaining to him for so long about my disgust with swing keels.  He wants to run them by a few other people, but thinks he can do a better, more cost-effective repair than just the prescribed fix.

For the moment, he's suggesting a stainless steel keel pin within the bronze hangers, with a  stainless or delrin sleeve through the keel itself -- which will eventually wear too but be inexpensibly replaceable, since that seems to be the nature of the beast.  Perhaps add delrin bushings on the ends of the pin within the hangers if necessary.  Tommy's thinking -- ahead.  I like this!

See:   The Keel "Thunk" Repair Project

I'm left in a kind of limbo for now.  They dropped Chip Ahoy onto its new trailer.  It sits in the boatyard.  I can tow it home now, but then where's the yard's motivation to complete the project?  Tomorrow I'll drive back over and begin the tedious task of unloading it and trucking my stuff home, one trip at a time.  Thank goodness it's only about a mile from home -- I should complain!  (Oct. 2, 2007)

Today I returned to the boatyard and continued preparing Chip Ahoy for the mast to be taken down (I disconnected the VHF coax cable through the cabin overhead and deck, removed the mast wiring harness deck plug, and set up the mast supports).  Then I unloaded some of the more easily removed valuables aboard (tiller-pilot, VHF radio, tiller and rudder, pulpit-mounted backup VHF antenna, running rigging, etc.) to take home.  I'll be making a few more trips back and forth in the next few days to remove more, next the outboard, before I expect to have the keel repaired and re-hung so I can trailer the boat home for winter covering and storage in my yard.  (Oct. 3, 2007)

Season 2007 is officially over

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