Well, we're back... can you believe this weather. It's past mid-October and we're still having days in the 70s and 80s. Last week, I got a phone call from an old friend asking if I would volunteer to help her deliver her grandfather's boat from New Jersey, to Maine.
The boat was built by her and her grandfather and appears to be a modified Cross 34 trimaran, but she's not sure if it is a Cross design or not. It was built in the 1980s, out of cold-molded plywood, fiberglass and epoxy. Her grandfather hadn't sailed the boat for the last two years because of health issues, and asked her if she wanted it.
I flew down to Newark, and met Erin. We spent a couple of days checking over the rigging and other systems on the boat. We got groceries on Tuesday night, and headed out on Wednesday.
Wednesday morning, a friend of Erin's towed the boat out of the canal where it was docked. The inboard on the boat is basically toast, and replacing the old Westerbreke diesel is one of the major tasks for this winter.
We sailed out of the Barnegat Inlet, and headed for a waypoint about 10 NM south of Cox Ledge. From there, we headed north to the entrance to Buzzards Bay. We headed up Buzzards Bay to the New Bedford harbor approach and used a mooring a friend of mine owns that is outside of the Hurricane Barrier, on the eastern side of the cove. Between the autopilot and the windvane, the whole trip required about an hour at the helm and was a nice reach or run the whole way. We tied up to the mooring about four in the afternoon on Thursday. The GPS said we had run 219 NM in about 33 hours. Not too bad.
My friend picked us up and took us over to West Marine and Rigging Only. We needed to get a few parts. One of the toggles on the port side had snapped. I am guessing that Erin will be replacing the rigging this winter as well. Not too surprising, given that the rigging is from when they built the boat twenty odd years ago. That evening, a friend gave me a ride up to Boston, so I could pick up some tools and equipment Erin had asked me for.
Friday morning, I checked my e-mail and saw that TrueBlue had written me... so I fired off a reply before heading back down to New Bedford. I stopped at a farmer's market to get some supplies for the next leg of the trip.
We spend Friday and Saturday tuning the rigging a bit better on Will O' Wisp. Fortunately, I had the Loos gauges we needed on my boat, a few miles from where the Wisp was moored. My jury-rigged Spectra replacement for the toggle was a bit loose compared to the other side... I'm not too surprised. Thankfully, her grandfather put in double lowers, rather than just singles. For dinner, we went to Elizabeth's.
Saturday, we did some more work on the boat. I also installed the a new stereo, to replace the old Pioneer I had given her back when they were building Wisp. The old SuperTuner III hadn't worked in four or five years, but this was the first chance she had to replace it.
While I was returning most of the tools to my boat, I grabbed a propane tank, and we got a chance to grill out, on the ancient kettle grill that has been on the boat for about 15 years. I don't know about you, but there's something about eating food grilled on a boat that is just special. Dinner was steaks, corn-on-the-cob, baked potatoes and Texas toast.
Sunday, we went over to my marina and took my boat out for a short sail. Hard to believe it was almost 75˚ and late October. What a beautiful day for sailing. We went back to the Wisp on Sunday and headed out after a earlier dinner.
Because of the lack of a working inboard, we decided to go around Cape Cod, rather than take the canal. The canal isn't really doable in a 20+' wide sailboat with no engine. So, we headed south, back onto Buzzards Bay, and went through Quicks Hole to Vineyard Sound. Heading east on Vineyard Sound, through Nantucket Sound, we made sure to stay far enough south to clear Monomoy Island... which isn't much of an island anymore...but still a danger to boats, and headed for a waypoint near the Boston Approach Buoy.
I love night sailing, especially further offshore, where there are no city lights to pollute the sky and drown out the stars. The stars were amazing this trip. There isn't that much along Nantucket Sound to wash out the night sky. Fortunately, Nantucket Sound wasn't too busy, considering that it is well past the prime sailing season for most people. We had a radar reflector hoisted and a big spotlight at the ready in the cockpit, just in case the fog that has been so common on Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds decided to roll in over us.
A bit after sunrise, we neared the Boston Approach Buoy. We then turned north for Platts Bank, where we would turn to the Northwest to make our approach to Casco Bay. Staying offshore a bit helped reduce the amount of marine traffic we had to deal with. Fortunately, we didn't really see much in the way of traffic.
The approach into Casco Bay was pretty busy, but we didn't have to dodge much, since we stuck to the shallower, off-channel areas most of the way. Erin timed our approach so that we'd arrive just a bit after sun up. She piloted us to a mooring near Waites Landing, southwest of Clapboard Island. She said she's borrowing the mooring from a friend until she hauls the Wisp in about a week.
According to my GPS, we racked up 240 miles in about 37.5 hours. Again, not too bad a run for the old girl. I think new sails and rigging are on the menu for this winter though. I'm glad we didn't have too much more wind, because I'm not too sure how the genny would have held up.
Her sister, Lynn, came out in a launch and picked us up. We closed up the Wisp for the day, and the three of us drove back down to Lynn's condo for breakfast. After breakfast, Lynn, drove Erin and me down to Fairhaven, so I could pickup my truck. We grilled lunch on the boat and they headed back up to Maine. I headed back home.
I can't believe the good weather and winds we had on this trip. I just wish I had photos of the trip...but Erin dropped my camera overboard, somewhere east of Cape Ann. Well, that's a good excuse to get a newer model of the same beast.
The trip was a blast, and very easy sailing, since the boat has a tiller pilot hooked up to the Monitor windvane.
Some of the gear we carried, we didn't need—like the ATN GaleSail, off of my boat. The PLB Erin had wasn't needed, nor were the flares I had brought aboard.
Some of the stuff I pack in my bag turned out to be very useful. I usually carry a spool of Spiderline...which is a Marlow Ropes spectra-based cord. That's what I used to lash the lower shroud back together.
The Steiner 8x32s are great daytime binocs, and a lot smaller and lighter than the 7x50 Steiners her grandpa had aboard the boat. The handheld GPS was a nice backup to ancient Magellan unit that was aboard. Most of the navigation was by Mark I eyeball and hand-bearing compass. I also found out over the two nights, how badly my celestial navigation skills have gotten.
Damn, they suck now—I don't know how I got so rusty.
Poptarts rock as finger food on a sailboat.
I haven't had Pop Tarts in a dozen years, but Erin had packed three boxes, including a box of my favorite flavor—Frosted blueberry. She likes the Frosted Cinnamon Brown Sugar the best though. The Frosted Strawberry are a close second for both of us.
I'm hoping to get one more good weekend of sailing in before I haul my boat out for the winter. I've tentatively got it scheduled to haul out the first weekend in November. I think this was the last really good week of Indian Summer. Fall is definitely here, and winter approaches.
What problems we found on her boat...
The rigging and sails are probably getting replaced this winter.
She's ordered an LED tricolor/anchor light, like the one on my boat as well as some of the LED cabin lights I have on mine.
The knotmeter is basically shot. She's going to replace the wind and water instruments with the TackTick setup I just installed on my boat—which is very nice.
The head, which is an old Wilcox Crittenden, needs a rebuild or to be replaced.
The glazing on the overhead hatches needs to be replaced.
She needs a new tiller and probably has to replace the rudder soon.
She wants to dump the Origo and get a propane stove too.
And finally, the inboard diesel... is toast. Totally shot, from what I can tell. Heavy too.... so she's looking at a Beta Marine unit. The cutlass bearing, and packing gland are probably shot too. She said she might modify the main hull and add an outboard motor instead, and turn the inboard area into storage though. She liked the way the outboard mounts on my boat, and wanted to know if I'd help retrofit something similar onto her boat. It'd certainly be cheaper than a new diesel, and lower maintenance in a lot of ways too.