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Actually, IMPROBABLE's tiller was 7', laminated of Kauri like the rest of her hull.  In breeze-on conditions under spinny, it took 2, even 3 drivers pushing and pulling on opposite sides of the tiller

Ok folks, here's a video intro to the Improbable story, and a new website is coming soon.  Sleddog, I hope you don't mind me taking license...;-)  

About to board red eye back to Maine.  Been a busy few weeks.  I probably have a week of Labor just in the windows, but I do like the way they turned out.

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On our first cross country trip, left Los Angeles in July, to Maine, Florida, returned just before Christmas. We got hit by Hurricane Sandy when we were in Long Beach NY. The entire island was underwater. Out truck we parked on a bridge, so it was one of the very few vehicles not destroyed. But I put all out stuff in a garage, which collapsed, letting everything be soaked in the toxic water. We spent a week trying to clean stuff, but ended up having to literally back the truck up to a dump and push everything into the dump.

But by this time, we had been on the road for July, August, September, and October. So we knew what we actually needed. When we left LA, we took everything we could imagine we would use, but we just replaced what we actually DID use. Less than $500 for everything, including clothes.

We don't live like homeless, we don't use plastic or paper anything. Tablecloths, candles, glass, china, silver, two chairs, folding table, custom pillow top mattress (that is inside the cab of the truck, so it was not destroyed) with high thread count linens, feather pillows, down comforter, etc. Shovel instead of a head, this aint no typical RV, we generally camp in the wilderness, quiet, stars.

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20 minutes ago, carcrash said:

On our first cross country trip, left Los Angeles in July, to Maine, Florida, returned just before Christmas. We got hit by Hurricane Sandy when we were in Long Beach NY. The entire island was underwater. Out truck we parked on a bridge, so it was one of the very few vehicles not destroyed. But I put all out stuff in a garage, which collapsed, letting everything be soaked in the toxic water. We spent a week trying to clean stuff, but ended up having to literally back the truck up to a dump and push everything into the dump.

But by this time, we had been on the road for July, August, September, and October. So we knew what we actually needed. When we left LA, we took everything we could imagine we would use, but we just replaced what we actually DID use. Less than $500 for everything, including clothes.

We don't live like homeless, we don't use plastic or paper anything. Tablecloths, candles, glass, china, silver, two chairs, folding table, custom pillow top mattress (that is inside the cab of the truck, so it was not destroyed) with high thread count linens, feather pillows, down comforter, etc. Shovel instead of a head, this aint no typical RV, we generally camp in the wilderness, quiet, stars.

Sounds a bit like...sailing!

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  • 2 months later...

I know we're all distracted by the VG, however I haven't forgotten the Improbably Project.  Sooner or later will be out there again and pushing ahead.  It's a crazy project, but inevitable. 

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2 hours ago, DtM said:

That's it Haji,  get inspired by your 4 yearly VG injection and then back to Improbable (which is a great name but I don't want you to take it to heart !!!)

Don't worry, I consider Improbable inevitable.

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  • 2 weeks later...
12 hours ago, DtM said:

Just get the hat and the beer and there you are.

You so make me smile Haji.

I'll get there someday...I'm probably destined to wind up just like dad.

Only the boat will be faster.

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On 11/13/2020 at 7:12 PM, Haji said:

I know we're all distracted by the VG, however I haven't forgotten the Improbably Project.  Sooner or later will be out there again and pushing ahead.  It's a crazy project, but inevitable. 

Funny you said it was inevitable.  There was an aluminum version of Improbable on Lake Erie for a while.  It was called Inevitable.  Black hull and a cream deck.  Wasn't around long.  I wonder what happened to it.  

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I've heard of a few "aluminum Improbables"  There was a blue one here in New England somewhere.

Hard to beat the original kauri wood.  

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1 hour ago, Haji said:

I've heard of a few "aluminum Improbables"  There was a blue one here in New England somewhere.

Hard to beat the original kauri wood.  

The aluminum one looks like it was welding by children, it looked bad.  Not a good boat for light air Lake Erie.

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On 6/10/2018 at 5:45 PM, Haji said:

Little did we know in 1976 when my dad bought Improbable, how rich was the history of the crew.  However in this pic I found in dad's archives, we did appear quite motley. I'm the 2nd from the right, and the only one left...

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Your dad was superb. I remember sailing a Swiftsure with you around that time. Was this the crew with which we sailed? It was a memorable ride.

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50 minutes ago, passion8 said:

Your dad was superb. I remember sailing a Swiftsure with you around that time. Was this the crew with which we sailed? It was a memorable ride.

I think all of us Schwabs in this shot (76?) were on the Improbable Swiftsure ride, which was a few years later. Arne Hammer was too. But I forget what year that was.  Do you remember?

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10 minutes ago, passion8 said:

Details from that period are fuzzy. I do remember that the Strait of Juan de Fuca was as ferocious as I had ever seen. 1979?

Yep, could have been 79, but more likely 77 or 78.  I'll try to find some Swiftsure results archives...  Anyhow, I do remember we got up to 15kts on the analog speedo as we rolled past a well sailed C&C 43. I forget your name though!! I'll need a reminder...

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Just now, Haji said:

Yep, could have been 79, but more likely 77 or 78.  I'll try to find some Swiftsure results archives...  Anyhow, I do remember we got up to 15kts on the analog speedo as we rolled past a well sailed C&C 43. I forget your name though!! I'll need a reminder...

That C&C was likely Epic - RVYC IIRC

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1 minute ago, Mr Moab said:

Dug up my "Swiftsure, The First 50 Years" book. You are listed in the '78 race as DNF. 

I wonder if dad decided to drop out at the end.  You'd think that I would remember but I can't.  Perhaps the wind conked out around the corner and we just decided to go back to Seattle or something.

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Just now, Haji said:

I wonder if dad decided to drop out at the end.  You'd think that I would remember but I can't.  Perhaps the wind conked out around the corner and we just decided to go back to Seattle or something.

Wind conks out on a Swiftsure- nahh, never happens. I did not see any listing for for 79 or 80. OTOH, I am still a little dusty for T-day cocktails...

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41 minutes ago, Haji said:

we got up to 15kts on the analog

Let's do it again!  Peter Murray  -  global-cooler.org

 

34 minutes ago, Mr Moab said:

listed in the '78 race as DNF

That was the first time that I totally agreed with retiring. We were in good position but it was definitely boat-breaking conditions and your brothers did not object. 

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9 hours ago, passion8 said:

Let's do it again!  Peter Murray  -  global-cooler.org

That's the plan! Eventually... it's going to take some time, along with a lot of work & $ to get her to the level I've envisioned.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi folks.  After a long wait I'm finally heading out west for a session on the Improbable Project. Arriving today, and will be in town through July 15. 

Drop me a note if you're around and want to connect.

cheers

Haji/Bruce

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4 hours ago, sleddog said:

Cheers from the Santa Cruz IMPROBABLE contingent.  Dave Wahle and myself. Come visit any time.  Sorry I won't be at the PTWBF this year.....

I do need to get back to Santa Cruz someday!

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Will try and stop by while you are here although getting off the Island is a little testy w/ all the tourists, haven't seen you since you were knee high to a grasshopper as the saying goes.  Really looking forward to more progress on the Improbable project.  

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3 hours ago, zenmasterfred said:

Will try and stop by while you are here although getting off the Island is a little testy w/ all the tourists, haven't seen you since you were knee high to a grasshopper as the saying goes.  Really looking forward to more progress on the Improbable project.  

Drop me a note beforehand.  Rosalea is here for the first week, so I need to show her around some.  Schedule will be a bit by ear...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been cranking away... desperate to get primer on the deck before I fly out on the 15th.  I'm lucky that the sun didn't completely fry the deck over the past 1.5 years, however it took it's toll.  There's a lot of dings in the original Dynel/epoxy skin, and a few small areas of rot in the deck plywood, but all repairable.  

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Ok...got to get back to sanding.  That old paint on the Dynel is really tough and it takes a lot of sandpaper and effort to get down to near the Dynel/epoxy.  Good thing I've been lifting weights over the last year and a half....

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1 minute ago, ropetrick said:

Fresh sandpaper is key.

And lots of it.

Indeed.  I bought all the 60 grit 6-hole 6" disks at Hardware Sales in Bellingham, at Cebo's, etc.  Anyone know where nearby I can get more?

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22 hours ago, sam_crocker said:

Are you still in Anacortes?  There's a Harbor Freight in Mount Vernon.  Home Depot in Burlington.

Yep, went by Harbor freight today and got a pile of 6" 6-hole hookit 80grit discs.  Was looking for 60grit but the 80 is working fine.  If I change them fast enough...

I've done the hull/deck corner to a new bigger radius all the way around the deck. Tomorrow I'll get the initial sanding finished, and hope to lay up 6" of 6oz glass with epoxy over the radius.

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Whoops...those were yesterday's pics. 

Here are some from today; got the epoxy/glass on.  Long day.

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On 11/27/2020 at 8:13 AM, SloopJonB said:

That C&C was likely Epic - RVYC IIRC

Epic was out of CYC Seattle.  Owned by Chuck Schmidt???.  Parked right next to my Cal 40 ride.  Shilshole, L Dock.

'78 was no fun.  We dropped out after shaking 3 of our battens out going through Race Rocks outbound.  Can't say I missed the rest of that beat.  That's when and where I learned to sew batten pockets closed.

So glad to see Improbable getting restored.  

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Some times referred to as Moreidiots.  Went out one day w/ the young Hedrick boy and we had the boat going faster upwind than the owner had ever seen.  Jib lead out and get speed on before working up, rinse and repeat.  Standard ULDB stuff.

 

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1 hour ago, zenmasterfred said:

Some times referred to as Moreidiots.  Went out one day w/ the young Hedrick boy and we had the boat going faster upwind than the owner had ever seen.  Jib lead out and get speed on before working up, rinse and repeat.  Standard ULDB stuff.

 

Greg wqs the younger one.  Ended up running the Pywacket program for Disney.  Great downhill driver, but sometimes slow to come up on watch.  His voice would always get higher when he had a good ride going on the edge.  

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On 7/11/2021 at 1:18 PM, Left Shift said:

Epic was out of CYC Seattle.  Owned by Chuck Schmidt???.  Parked right next to my Cal 40 ride.  Shilshole, L Dock.

'78 was no fun.  We dropped out after shaking 3 of our battens out going through Race Rocks outbound.  Can't say I missed the rest of that beat.  That's when and where I learned to sew batten pockets closed.

So glad to see Improbable getting restored.  

78 was a great race, first time we raced Passage as a sloop, whipped Merlin and set a record with a crew of Seattle mates.

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On 6/21/2021 at 5:48 PM, sleddog said:

Cheers from the Santa Cruz IMPROBABLE contingent.  Dave Wahle and myself. Come visit any time.  Sorry I won't be at the PTWBF this year.....

Is Ronnie Wise still with us?  If so, might you be able to PM me contact info? TIA!

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Hey, does anyone know what little boat has sail # 87795? Someone left this little spinnaker in the boat, and I have no idea who it belongs to...

IMG_20210711_184827593.jpg

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8 hours ago, jackolantern said:

Bruce I can’t tell you how awesome it is for this thread to be up and running again. Love every part of it. Keep truckin! 

It was great to finally get things going again.  Did what I could in the time I had...flying out tonight on the red eye back to Maine.  Will be coordinating the timing of the next trip and work session as soon as possible!  This commute is a tough one.

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I live 5 minutes from my boat and can't get stuff done at nearly the pace I want.

I can't imagine trying to do 3 times as much boat on the other side of the continent.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

I live 5 minutes from my boat and can't get stuff done at nearly the pace I want.

I can't imagine trying to do 3 times as much boat on the other side of the continent.

That's just because you're an old fuck :)

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17 minutes ago, eric1207 said:

Great work and project Haji, but I wanna know about that cute little aluminum runabout with the 60's Johnson OB on it.

 

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It looks like it says Lone Star just ahead of the transom.

I'll bet it belongs to the boatyard.

Mini tug and runabout.

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2 minutes ago, ropetrick said:

It looks like it says Lone Star just ahead of the transom.

I'll bet it belongs to the boatyard.

Mini tug and runabout.

Belongs to Betts' shipping/parts ace John. Very cute and classic!  I think it's a 1953, and the outboard is a 1956.

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Got tickets for my next trip! Arriving eve of Aug 25, will be there thru Sept 21.  Going to be a lot of sanding...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Once I get to the boat on the 26th, one of the first projects will be fitting the new Lewmar foredeck hatch.  Nearly the same size as the original, however will need to do some modification to the deck.  Thanks to Scott Truesdell for helping out on acquiring the hatch!

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1 hour ago, Haji said:

Once I get to the boat on the 26th, one of the first projects will be fitting the new Lewmar foredeck hatch.  Nearly the same size as the original, however will need to do some modification to the deck.  Thanks to Scott Truesdell for helping out on acquiring the hatch!

I'm just finishing up that same job. The old Lewmar Ocean was totally crazed and it looked like I'd never get it apart so I picked up a NOS Nibo for less that the cost of a piece of plexi to replace the lens in the Lewmar.

It measured up as a drop in but some unforeseen goofiness in the way the deck was shaped meant I had to build an entire new curb for it to fit. Got the fastener holes drilled and the last coat of paint on it yesterday so when this rain stops I can reinstall it.

Took way longer than I anticipated so be prepared.

To add insult to injury the old hatch came apart quite easily. The new one looks better though - new anodizing VS 40 year old stuff.

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I had to do a hatch replacement on my boat earlier this year too. Old hatch just sat on top of the opening while the new one fit into the opening so some surgery was required. Turned out pretty well though.

Looking forward to seeing the work on Improbable!

hVU-FqKoP4mAtF4uKdJlg_UPBrAiRCS4bDaI1DxrGOwOPqNwWshnXaG4DQw6Kk3_GbnvDWmnZbN5AXYk6TJw1AwgZHbevZJacVyQ2hV8HsmCvN2q98AlbM8BedjJGUJb81hJS_qfNdzsuXID4ni98TANlfDeORFUYuopkIOqPWyPw-tYoJdYz-qI-o-og_NnGJHCUnKr0TqA-s4TTArP9cUC8hLY2by9_elm8ITt6Axb4nNvzOSHURHpmZemwpW4pxnw_ThZCGcjAItl4XqevZ9B_Nf1yGa6vFIWrsb_O0SrGyJLyr4qQjF_toy8ZDzy8pqDpWgqS17eGF8rNfGg48-VU1AiGvxdU6KSjcV9HSC6Tk0VRy2K0y-NivKuBLjyvi4HUHbjn1N5GCP5JtkR_4ir-fvX_MDMk72O0fBnEVLlVXUNV_kqB6YIXK8x3Oe3YZ5y7IfuY2OwZCLLbpAjQmBrrYjXj8_VofqyX7B4Tp40KvSjkuThDK51WiTuc9vNfWPyik9AeOoXSo7mxDo0nBpcC1xABhmr_-VGu8kn9cAG8ZO0gf9srUMeJsBxNEg1aF0hBSjQDwxDBnYjrvvSeuC3cYewJsx1-MdOSK66Omxb3Glddzk_k-v82TAxOSdmoa5v8FNMzyKiMjVyNDP41N9Tcg8B7mhyuElZ19UQWxApsQr1iEZuXH5grsFVcJw88N9FeCz-mIImhzEKzPPzQaB_=w1345-h1009-no?authuser=0b2MO4116RBRY9YVwIPImEWbXYulPqobHtAJFkBvTBp7AOYZLZXpBkrgdgdn9W-pjaKQowG87480KaQE30ZlH7aF1aVTYk6OLrrtfYJpZ7lgInv6_tlA_Sk575ivVh5JtXtsTzU_c7JvuOxgHeXpFOLV8O0MqKDLJQi7e1el7zDV2HmltXCJ9_3I4JmpTCc1zpLAppnO1KciEdABm3me7no64O9Tk4yv9z2TERWg7WHN5IL7QTGdEPWBI7q4JhpP-UM-PHFvoMI-fbWWne6e6Lcf2_dsDBMPP_fByyi2uspWww4DydYYt7CKHJa0jGuVLRE8mHVNJ0fDLdYNL4hFFMJ4Tbdnjfej1PNN5X94LhdV8oVmEvSusvfNHwZDIACB5nLJer5ozBPU6vCRQzyklGLxS5MZBV1v3IVt7QFxu1BqbV7L-R0aHeUtZ5hbaKWz-Q6jIZNtMbhIxrZCpOGn7y4EAYYJwx4bwqhWK3C4p0S-4OBPzLWWt2ZdkcdbQA5TVBSW4aJ2U5H-Caz5QmwrzeQSRcz-O1bFFbC1ub7846gN8v8JIO2FzY_Ybxd9YR3Ig0lVjEEgl1LzWexu3YC2m2eB11Scf1QW5l4B853cz85sVwPNNsOSF4Bt_Eo0dUSZJMOOSPkJfmzWY1bCKBv306DESJx8q00GdiP_P0P_2SWTZRkpEQh-jqDz2ovrCT1PS17BvkVsptkH8F8JNtVh6FIY5=w1345-h1009-no?authuser=0

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15 hours ago, climenuts said:

Looking forward to seeing the work on Improbable!

as am I , if only pics were posted ......

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A bit off the Improbable topic (at this point, but will have Li batteries eventually):

I did an ABYC webinar with one of our very best clients, MAZ Ocean, on installing lithium battery systems.  It's now up on YouTube: https://youtu.be/j2FUMzN0lLg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, so I'm getting rolling again....

Just filled the old round holes where the Signet instruments used to live.  Will put the future displays somewhere else.

Coming up next: seams in the teak decking on the bridge deck, new cabin windows, prep & prime cabin top & sides, etc.

Hull insert modeling and new rudder engineering are still underway...but getting closer.

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15 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

What is "Hull insert modeling"?

The insert piece is going into the hole in the hull where the old skeg and rudder shaft were.  It's getting 3D modeled so that Betts can cut it to shape on his NC machine.  Vs. me having to shape it entirely by hand...

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But in the meantime... bridge deck seams got prepped, masked, and epoxied today.  Tomorrow they get filled. 

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2 hours ago, ride2live said:

Until you sand right through to the screw heads.

I've seen many plastic classics where the cabin-top handrails have been sanded and varnished so much that they are now down to 1 cm dia down from 2.5 cm. If you accidentally sat on one is would snap like a twig.

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I'm lucky that those bridge deck boards are glued down.  However when I get to the main cockpit there are some plugs and fasteners there.  One thing at a time.  Completed the main sanding of the surface there today.  Tomorrow I hope to get a thin skin of light epoxy cloth on the aft side of the cabin to cover those foam inserts.  That's going to get painted, obviously.

IMG_20210831_114259666_HDR.jpg

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After a couple days of very painstaking sanding and prep, I got to seal the wood with a coat of epoxy resin on the cabin face and sides.  Next I'll be sending all these services down and feeling any cracks and divots.  Then it will be ready for a light layer of 6 oz cloth and epoxy, which if successful, will be able to be finished natural on the cabin face.  There's very little space around the windows on the cabin sides so I think it's not worth finishing natural above and below the windows.  However will assess after the glass work and see how it looks.

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8 hours ago, Haji said:

 

IMG_20210903_173820942_HDR.jpg

Lookin' good, Haji!  If memory serves after 50 years, those two round holes in the bridge deck were "anthills" for cross-connect to the opposite primary: titanium drum Barient 32's.  Our crew member Dave Wahle, a rough and ready garbage man, carried custom 6" Barient "shorty" single and double-grip winch handles, which , with the double grip in the windward side anthill, could out grind anyone in the '71 Admiral's Cup fleet short tacking up the IOW shore in a stiff breeze and flood tide.

What was IMPROBABLE doing in the '71 Admiral's Cup representing New Zealand?  The blue blood USA team selectors didn't want a team of long haired, California hippies who wore Easy Rider T-shirts, and presumably smoked pot, representing their team with a presumed ultra-light downwind machine.  Through George Kiskaddon connections to the King of Tonga, we then became the "Tonga Team" complete with flag, shirts, lava lavas, insignias and badges.  RORC didn't want us Yanks representing Tonga either, so "Kiwi" (Ron Holland's) father got him an overnight membership in the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and we were good to go, a one boat New Zealand team with 5 Yanks, one Aussie, and one Kiwi ex-Pat on the "Red Rocket."

 

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Thanks Sleddog! Great flashback.  Your memory is almost perfect on the deck holes. However, I filled/covered the old anthills and took out the cross-linked system to save weight.  The remaining holes are for the compasses, which I'm keeping and are getting refurbished.

In the pic below, you can see the inlaid new teak where the anthill was, outboard and fwd from where the compass hole is.  The larger new inlay spot further inboard, just aft of the edge of the cabin, is where my dad had a hole for his diesel heater 

I do still have the anthills, gearboxes, and titanium shafts for the cross-link system, if anyone wants to use them....

IMG_20210830_173918568_HDR.jpg

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