Thursday, September 12, 2013

It might be a new place ...

... there might even be salt water near by. But some things never seem to change.

My boat still hates me.

And I still hate my boat.

(We have the definition of a dysfunctional relationship. Without her I can't live the way I want to live. Without me she would be slowing falling apart, abandoned in a Chicago boatyard. But we still hate each other.)

Since Kintala became the focus of The Retirement Project she has had two surveys and one rigging inspection. None of the reports from any one of those three individuals suggested that either the running or standing rigging was an issue. All of the running rigging was replaced within the first six months, and I'm surprised it lasted that long. A few weeks ago the standing rigging came down and was packaged up for shipping. It looked a bit sketchy to me with hints of corrosion in the wires and some of the fittings, and one of the running back stays had clearly reached the end of its service life.

So even though the information we had was that the side stays had been replaced not too many years before we bought the boat, I was a bit skeptical. The new insurance company required another rigging inspection (even though it was part of the survey as well) which was accomplished this morning; the verdict? My skepticism was well placed; all of the standing rigging needs replaced along with the roller furler. (It is too small for the boat. Something we have suspected since the first time we tried to roll in the head sail.) In fact, in spite of the information we thought we had, there is a good chance Kintala's rigging is original, making it some 30 years old now. And if it isn't; then it was repaired with the cheapest materials available. (Either way is no surprise given the maintenance history of this boat.) Tomorrow we will check the chain plates. What are the odds they are in good shape?

(Mind you, given my experience so far I would never agree to replace the rigging based just on the opinion of the guy who is going to make a good chunk of change replacing the rigging. But this stuff is clearly compromised and I would have been even more skeptical if not an eyebrow had been raised.)

Fortunately we are at a place where building rigging is part of their daily business. Even more fortunate is that they like to have the owners involved in the build which both reduces the total price and gives the owner an intimate knowledge of how to care for and repair the rig. I have no idea how long this is going to take or much it is going to cost. We will simply have to roll with whatever it takes.

There was also some hue and haw over how big a deal the deck repair is going to be; but that one doesn't bother me as much. Sure it will be an ugly bit of fiberglass work, but that is nothing new. A lot of labor sure, but it will be my labor. Fiberglass is not that expensive.

The good news of the day is that the prop is ordered and should arrive tomorrow. With just the tiniest bit of luck we should have a stickless Kintala floating at the dock by tomorrow evening, which probably means we will get there Monday at the earliest. Either way it will make our daily living a little easier. We will have a place to cook and eat, hot water, and a full 30 amps of alternating current available to keep the fridge cool and the boat warm. (Summer ended with a bag this afternoon. Tomorrow temps will be some 20 degrees cooler with the nights cooler still.) Best of all it will not take a 10 foot ladder to get up to the deck.

Oddly enough, as discouraging as all of this could be, it isn't. We had almost decided on replacing the rigging regardless, since we have little faith in the marine inspections endured so far. Knowing the rig is as good as we can make it is better than betting on the opinion of the inept. And the rest? It is just work, and I like working. Will our plans change? Maybe, but we didn't have much of a plan to begin with. Changing it isn't much of a big deal. We will winter somewhere. Maybe somewhere warmer. Maybe somewhere not as warm as we had hoped.

But I still hate my boat.

And my boat still hates me.

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