Thursday, October 17, 2013

Still trying

Yesterday was another disappointment. Not as much a one as finding a hole in the boat or the rudder falling off but I had started to think we might actually be on our way with the sunrise. Instead today stood every chance of being a long hard slog through another of Kintala's badly butchered systems. And it was.

But is was also a day of constant encouragement from old friends, new friends, and friends we haven't met yet. We were still working when the sun went down and, though the new battery monitoring system isn't yet complete, the wiring harness is run and Deb finished the new panel for mounting the thing. That may not sound like a lot to some, but anyone who has assembled and run a 5 wire harness (including a twisted strand for the amp meter) though the bowels of a 30 year old boat knows what kind of day we had. In addition Kintala's electrical system is (no surprise here) a botched up mess which slowed progress even more. Some of it just had to be fixed. Some of it was noted for later. Some I just tried to ignore.

There was one comment about my claim that any boat is worth less than half of what the current owner thinks. It will be worth closer to what he thinks after you fix all the things wrong with it; items he will insist are "minor". (After all, he didn't see a need to fix them; how important can they be?) "Minor" will include things like the bilge pump not pumping, half (or more) of the electronics being deep fried in their own smoke, running rigging shredding in the clutches, lights not lighting, and the head being, "like new, since we are day sailors and hardly ever used it".

I know sailors tend to wax romantic about their boats; that me saying that I hate mine flies in the face of thousands of years of sailing ethos. But I suspect there are more than a few who understand. Kintala can't be the only misbegotten witch wrapped in fiberglass and sailcloth, sulking along the shore, casting spells of places far away. And I can't be the only person lured into tangling with one. Some of those fights must have have ended with the sailor / mechanic / dreamer out of money, energy, time, and options. Maybe they recovered and, using hard earned wisdom from the first time around, made it.

Maybe they bought an RV or took up golf.

I wouldn't fault either. The one who comes back and tries again might prove his mettle. Then again one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over while expecting a different result. The one who bought the RV might have missed a chance to step up and succeed in spite of the odds, passed on the right to face the cosmos with an air of defiance. Then again he might be smart enough not to tilt at windmills. Either way both have earned the scars they carry.

Kintala has been a bitch of a boat; her pretty lines, glowing wood interior, and momentary flashes of sailing exuberance masking some poor design and brutally mangled systems; all made possible by an industry long on propaganda and short on quality control. Given what I know now it is actually a bit surprising we have gotten as close as we have to turning her into a safe, (marginally) reliable, home and cruising platform. My admiration for those who have gathered up a tired old boat and shoved it out into the ocean knows no bounds; and I am doing my best to join them.


6 comments:

corsair28r said...

you guys .... start loving your boat, we all know its gorgeous. Get the minimum fixed and set sails. nothing is ever perfect, but it shouldn't slow you down. You wont need triple systems or double backups to enjoy a good sail, which will lift the spirits and get you to a warmer place.

I know u guys will succeed and will find the serenity and good times cruising will bring. Its just around the corner.

Now relax.... untie the docklines and go, even if its only 50 miles

thor

TJ said...

I should probably put the electrical system back together before we go ...

SailFarLiveFree said...

TJ - Really admire your honesty, as always. It's good to have a reality check for us readers to know cruising (or preparing to cruise) isn't just martinis and bikinis. And yes, I love my boat!

Capt. Mike said...

"what the hell, we gotta get started sometime right.". ....."the best way to find out is to get her out on the ocean Kitty, If anything is gonna happen it'll happen out there". ( A little Capt. Ron always cheers me up. Hope it does the same for you. )

raybosailor said...

Hang in there, Tim. What else can go wrong?

Deb said...

@raybosailor - oh God PLEASE tell me you didn't just ask that...