March 10, 2010

Make and Mend--forever


As much as a sail exploding at sea, or a dagger board cracking, falling off and sinking into the depths would make a great story, the idea is to avoid catastrophes and come up with good tales to tell that don’t involving crap breaking.

With that in mind, we’re taking advantage of marina life to do more than just grow a private undersea garden (although we now harbour a lovely little school of sergeant majors): we’ve decided to devote a day to fixing stuff.
Yup, that is fuzzy weed all over our bottom
The marine community is pretty awesome at self-help, and every Friday in La Cruz there are ‘Puddle Jump’ seminars covering stuff like sail repair, rig maintenance and provisioning for ocean crossings. At the recent sail repair seminar, which was put on by the-oh-so-wise Jamie from Totem, we learned that our mainsail was in need of attention. And considering that Jamie recently told someone else this very same thing, and they didn’t follow-up, and their sail exploded at sea, well, we’re listening.
The plastic shackles that clip the sail to the slugs were on their last legs
Evan began by replacing damaged slugs and hand sewing them all on, and then he found a small tear that also needed sewing. Then we discovered that we need to replace our fraying leach line and tackle our too-short and miserably deformed battens. One day of work quickly turned to three to four days of work but this should give us several extra years in the life of our sail, which, while not as exciting as a story about us lashing the tattered ribbons of our main to the boom at 3am, is not a bad investment.
Not a slug we want to rely on in a blow
So we decided seems how we’re working and not playing for a few days, we should deal with the noise that our dagger boards make. Living with dagger boards is not unlike living in a drum. We may have a nice brag-worthy 90 degree tacking angle, but what good is that when you’re so sleep deprived from the thumping you don’t notice? So after loads of research, we decided to go with the indoor/outdoor-carpet-lining-the-case method. But, when Ev and I pulled out the first dagger board, so we could glue in the carpet, I noticed some damage, which led to the discovery of some rot, which led to a whole new project. And several more days of work.
grinding out the rot led to the discovery of more rot
Which brings us to the first law of boat repair: it’s never as simple as it should be. There is some sort of weird boat physics that causes each project to spawn two more, and they of course spawn two more of their own, and so on, and so on. So while you may decide to spend one day doing a few small chores, what actually happens is that day turns into week, which turns into a boat in shambles, which causes me to go slightly insane, which makes Evan pack up all the unfinished projects really fast, because REALLY insane always follows close on the heels of slightly insane.

The moral may be to just let stuff break—and then tell good stories.

3 comments:

Kristen said...

Interesting. I think your travels fascinating and enjoy reading.

SV Estrellita 5.10b said...

Which brings us to the first law of boat repair: it’s never as simple as it should be.

Yes, oh yes, it is so.

- Livia

BoatMama said...

I often avoid doing projects because I know it is less work to live with the small inconvienience of something broken, then it is to deal with the three other problems I will learn about after I fix the first thing.