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cavelamb

She Swims!

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We pulled out of Texoma December 12, 2011.

So just short of a year on the hard.

Expensive, frustrating, looooong delay due to moving (twice),

finding a house to buy, and fix up, setting aside enough

money to move the boat (twice), get the bottom done...

etc, etc, etc.

 

It was a long year.

 

Three weeks ago we launched, only to find she was taking on 3 inches

of water a day (and the bilge pump refused it's duty!)

 

Another hunderd bucks...

 

Three days ago we pulled her back out, pulled out the sonar and speed

sensors, glassed over the holes and launched again today.

 

I've always worried about having nothing but a couple of pieces of injection

molded plastic between the bottom of the boat and the bottom of the lake.

(ain't no hole no more!)

 

Now, about the welcome gift the birds left on the foredeck???

I guess they get excited about a new clean bathroom...

post-36012-0-09361300-1351892632_thumb.jpg

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Congrats, Cave. That boat-moving stuff sure eats into the refit budget, doesn't it? That's our next ouchie, moving the new boat.

 

What is it with bilge pumps? We've had three fail in succession -- despite never needing to pump water. One wouldn't run, & two had their integral switches stick in the 'on' position. Despite no water in the boat.

 

Enjoy your sailing season -- which is probably just getting started down there, eh?

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Congratulations- I hope it is a great feeling when she rocks as you step aboard.

 

LOL! You must have read my last piece in Mainsheet!

Or else you've been there yourself?

Yeah, she moves right, finally...

 

Here is that piece:

 

 

 

Life on the Hard

 

The papers are all signed, the contracts filed,

we closed on the new house and I'm in debt

for the rest of my life. It's a nice

comfortable place, but so firmly run aground

that it will never float. The realtors and

agents are all happy. They congratulate me

and shake my hand – but they really don't

have a clue. They think it's all about having

a house.

They don't know from boats… I walk

through my new castle and occasionally, for

no apparent reason, break out laughing.

Yes, it's good to have a place for self and

family.

 

But where is my boat?

 

There is a lot of work still to do. Thursday

we hooked up the washer and dryer that

we've been hauling around with us for the

last eight years. It took an hour and a half. It

should have gone quicker but that we had to

change out the power cord from 4 wire to 3

wire – again – to match the socket in the

house. I change that cord every time we

move into a new place. I have three of them

– a three wire, a four wire, and the one that

actually came with the dryer, but which has

never been installed. That one has an odd

plug that we've never run into. It could

have gone quicker, but the opportunity to

teach a bit of basic electricity and

troubleshooting skills was just too good to

pass up. Dorothy learns best by doing. So

she did it all herself. I don't know how well

the lessons sank in, but she got it done. And

it worked! One more job done is a

seemingly infinite list before I can turn my

attention back to the boat.

 

Temptress, my Capri 26, is about 60 miles

from here (by highway), on her new trailer,

on the hard at Roy's Boatyard all the way

across town. I like Roy a lot. He builds

fiberglass bodies for golf carts. The latest

looks like the little red racecar from the

movie "Cars". It's too adorable for words.

But he builds and restores boats as well, so

he kindly agreed to let me work on

Temptress in his yard. She is not the only

sail in the yard. There are a couple of old

abandoned hulks there. They have been

there for ages. Windows gone, hatches

opened to the rain. No one cares for them.

They are lost souls – and they know it.

 

This is my first experience pulling a boat out

for the winter. Not because of the weather.

Far from it! We had two winters in a row

with real ice and snow, but the solar cycles

are swinging back the other way again and

the winter was barely cool. No, it's not ice

and snow that cause this. It's the move. She

comes along with the rest of the family now.

 

I went aboard her last week for an hour or so

after the rainstorms passed to vacuum the

bilges and wipe down the interior and

generally clean things up a bit. She moves

strangely on the trailer. Not the slow

graceful roll and heave that I know and love

so well, but quick jerky wiggles of tires and

springs. She wants to be free of the land, to

return to her native habitat and be free again.

I feel the same way. The land has long quit

wobbling. I can walk a straight line without

staggering at all. No police officer would

have call to be the least bit suspicious.

I wear shoes now. It's expected.

 

While she is on the trailer with the mast

down I'm looking over things, fixing,

repairing and replacing as needed. Like the

miniscule rain leak that would occasionally

drip through the shroud fittings – right on

my belly button! Inspect the mast head and

the lights. I've been up there once before.

When I was younger (30 years ago?!) I

could free climb that high easily. But now

it's not only not so easy, it's actually hard to

do! So it makes sense to do everything I can

while the mast is in reach. So I stand on a

step ladder and examine the mast head

carefully. I've never had the chance to do

this before.

It seems strange – out of place.

 

The bottom is partially sanded smooth. I

started on it, but quit until I can get a

vacuum hooked up to the sander to keep the

blue fug down. It would take about an hour

to finish but she's an hour's drive from here.

And the little shop-vac is packed away in a

box somewhere. It has to be done. But how

and when remain a mystery.

 

Every time I go aboard, climb up the ladder,

over the ropes securing the mast and into the

cockpit – MY cockpit – I'm at a lost as to

where and what is so different. The horrible

quick wiggle on the trailer is so alien to her

usual slow restless sway I hardly know her.

It all looks so familiar. All the parts are

there. But the living thing itself is absent.

The sails are all blocked and bagged and

stowed in the rented storage. The motor

stands on the motor stand. The cushions are

stacked here and there. Bags of rope,

anchors, life vests, logs, coolers, sun block.

All the paraphernalia are boxed and stashed.

Inside she is bare.

 

It's not that she is dead, although I'd be hard

pressed to prove it. She is certainly not

asleep. She waits, I think, in a slow state of

suspended animation, until the mundane

chores of the shore are done at last. But

impatiently.

"Come", she calls, "step the mast – hoist the

sails - let me swim".

 

Lake Texoma was amazing. 90,000 acres of

water, 30 miles across, most of it navigable

under sail. Set a course. Trim her out to

steer herself on a reach. Or convince Otto

pilot to accept his duty close hauled. Kick

back, maybe go below and fix a snack, and

enjoy the ride. The night sails were the best

of all. So little light pollution that the

imagination can easily get carried away.

 

Our new home will be Lake Ray Hubbard,

east of Dallas. It is much smaller, just over

22,000 acres, and is surrounded by

civilization. But this is where the action is -

Boats and people. Beer can races

Wednesday night, Sundays are for blood.

Rush Creek Yacht Club and the Rockwall

Rotary Club are two of the hosts for Dallas

Race Week. Boats come from all over the

world for the summer solstice weekend of

racing.

 

But first – we must swim…

And before we get to that, there are all these

other shore based things to do.

 

I think it would be easier if it were the

weather deciding.

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Congrats, Cave. That boat-moving stuff sure eats into the refit budget, doesn't it? That's our next ouchie, moving the new boat.

 

What is it with bilge pumps? We've had three fail in succession -- despite never needing to pump water. One wouldn't run, & two had their integral switches stick in the 'on' position. Despite no water in the boat.

 

Enjoy your sailing season -- which is probably just getting started down there, eh?

 

Wednesday beer can racing season is over until May.

But there is an impromptu Saturday race now.

We'll go out and get in somebody's way.

 

It was 83 today. 10 - 12 knots SSE.

But I didn't get the sails bent on yet.

We'll do that in the morning.

 

Dunno about why the bilge pumps give up.

My friend Mike says they last about a year and a half.

Mine was a "5 year Rule". At least that's what it said on the pump.

But it was seven years old.

 

I think it might help to hook it up to the battery circuit that actually

has a battery in it. The pair of group 27s were old enough to remember

coal powered TV. Both gave up the ghost last year. I bought a cheap

lead-acid deep cycle from Wally World to get by on.

 

When we hooked up the (one new) battery again we did it just the way is was before.

Battery 1 to Bat 1 position on the switch.

But the bilge pump didn't work.

So I ran (really!) to West and bought a 1500 GPH self contained pump and

installed it. It didn't work either!

 

But the motor and bilge pump used to be on Bat 2.

Hmmm?

Ya think?

Maybe?

 

Mike said to buy the $10 warranty from West.

WHEN the pump fails they replace it for free.

I did.

We'll see how that goes...

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Hadn't read the piece, but have now and like it. I guess I've just felt the same way.

 

When my boat is ashore, I can forget about it. When it is in the water, a part of me is always on it and thinking about it. Always been that way.

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