Sunday, June 12, 2011

How does she sail?

Yesterday was a work then party day. Things got done; most notably the V-berth was converted from a work shop back to a master berth. The inside of a boat looks like a boat now, not a project / work shop. Just in time too, since last night was the club "open boat" bash. Everyone who came aboard had nice things to say, and they all wanted to know when we were going to take her out. "Tomorrow," we said, "We are going sailing tomorrow."

Morning came. Long suffering friends climbed aboard, life-vests were counted ("Yes Mr. Coast Guard man, we have 7 adult floaties, one for each.") the life-sling was mounted, cold drinks and snacks were loaded in the 'fridge and, 128 days from when we first set eyes on her, we were ready to loose Kintala from the dock. I twisted the key... and the ignition switch broke off in my hand. I'm sure I stared at it with a dumb look on my face for a few seconds then,"Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has informed us that there will be a slight delay..."

Long suffering friends headed off to their own boats to go sailing; it was just too nice a day to miss. All asked if Deb and I wanted to join, but I was already pulling stuff out of the lazarette. I would not have been very good company anyway.

But a trip to town, some poking around various auto parts stores, a little rewiring and two new switches later, (A separate, push-button switch for the pre-heater had to be added.) found Kintala making engine noises and spitting water like nothing had happened. Pam, Bill and Spero were still around having just closed up Paradise after a nice sail of their own. They were headed home but decided (like all good sailors) that a chance to go out again on such a nice day shouldn't be missed.

Once on the lake proper the new main went up without a hitch. A few minutes later and the head sail unwound just like it should. We fell off the wind a little, shut down the engine, and I can finally state, "The Tartan 42 is a VERY nice sailing boat."

With puffs of wind in the 10 to 12 knot range, we touched 7; pure joy! Having 3 extra sets of experienced hands was a good thing. It will take us a little while to get used to this boat. She is big(er than Nomad) with a complicated rig; so think ahead and mind the boom. (Oh, and drop the whisker pole ring all the way to the bottom of the track; else the jib sheets will catch it on every tack.) After barely 2 hours - and going across the lake and back 4 times - we headed in. Kintala might have been a little embarrassed by the morning ignition switch episode, she eased into the dock for a landing so perfect it drew comments from the peanut gallery, making me look much better than I am. (Thank you baby, all is forgiven.)

It was a bumpy start to the day, but sitting here now, inside of the boat all cleaned, food prep under way, cold drink in hand, and the first sail done? We got off the dock, and that pretty much says it all.


S/V Veranda said...

Here's to many more.......

TJ said...

Indeed, indeed...who would have guessed that sailing this thing is even more fun than working on it? (I'm kidding...everyone knows a boat is a work project that occasionally goes out on the water.)

Bill K said...

I am sorry, but I just bust out laughing when I read " I twisted the key... and the ignition switch broke off in my hand. "
If it wasn't for bad luck you wouldn't have any with that boat so far.

Hang in there you are sure gaining on her.

Bill Kelleher

TJ said...

Now that its fixed Bill, I laugh about it too. I have to admit that "Kintala" is living up to her name, teaching me to maintain a "state of balance" as we get ready to go. But like you say, we are gaining on her.

polehiker said...

Love it, what an experience, success!