Asleep at the wheel
Join Date: Sep 2011
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We're still waiting to hear from Haven Harbour about the engine/transmission on our big boat, and given that there's an insurance claim pending, I'm reluctant to go aboard again out of fear that I'll somehow get blamed for something. Our family schedule also cut back on my ability to get down there today, so it wasn't the end of the world. I was, however, able to continue my efforts on restoring the 15' Albacore that I bought last fall and that's sitting in my driveway at home.
Over Easter weekend, I scraped and put a rust-colored primer coat on the trailer that came with the boat. The trailer now looked like Towmater from the Cars movies (those with kids will understand), but it looked a lot better than the mint green and rust decor it had been sporting. Last weekend, I was able to get out and begin washing the boat and buffing the hull. That portion of my driveway being fairly level, I untied all of the straps from the boat except the winch and proceeded to wash her really well, scrubbing off LOTS of dirt. Then I started with an oxidation remover. The washing and oxidation removal process took longer than expected, so I left the boat untied with the expectation that I'd come back this weekend and finish it. I noticed that the boat had rolled forward a touch and that the keel was dropping (the trailer needs better keel support between two rollers), but I didn't pay much attention to it because it looked like I could easily winch it back up. The boat also needs a cleat to lock the keel in the "up" position, and that was in the "to do" list for today, along with a few other items.
On Wednesday, I got a panicked call from my wife. A contractor with whom we had been speaking about getting a new driveway had shown up unannounced and began ripping out our driveway without authorization. They towed the Albacore off the driveway and onto our grass, but in doing so they dragged the keel across about 15' of driveway and the keel cut a line through the grass. The dragging keel also caused the boat to slip further backward on the trailer because I had left the winch strap a little slack. They left the boat and trailer with the bow facing downhill, and that meant that all the water from the rains on Thursday and Friday was pooling in the bow. I tried to lift the front of the trailer to help empty the boat, but the back of the trailer was resting on the keel, and lifting the front pushed the keel into the (very rocky) ground a little bit.
Because the contractor left a debris pile at the end of the driveway (and debris all along the driveway, which we had to clean up) when we told them to leave, I had no way of getting our SUV over to the trailer without turfing my lawn. I couldn't just turn the trailer around by hand because of the keel, and I didn't have a good way of safely jacking up the boat to tuck the keel in. The keel was at an angle that didn't allow me to just pull it up out of the boat, either. In thinking it through yesterday, the only thing I could do was to push the boat off the side of the trailer, so that's what I did. The keel took a big divot as it turned sideways and then popped out of the ground, at which point I was able to disengage it from the boat so I didn't do any more damage to the keel housing (I could see some stress fractures around that area). The boat wound up upside down, and in that process the traveler track pulled free from the hull, but otherwise the boat seems okay. I was able to turn the boat around so the water that remained inside was finally able to drain out, and turned the trailer around so I could get it back toward the house more easily.
Since the boat was off the trailer, today I painted a second, blue coat of paint on the trailer, thoroughly scrubbed the cockpit of the boat (much easier to do on the ground than in the trailer), and did some additional refinishing work that needed to be done. I reattached the freshly repainted keel, then my wife helped me winch the boat back onto the trailer.
The trailer looks much better now, and the boat is a lot cleaner than before. I also am more aware of some additional work that needs to be done (including using some 5200 on the keel housing and rebedding the traveler track where the screws ripped out). I'm still REALLY mad at the contractor, but at least I was able to make some progress on the boat (though I'd have been a LOT farther along if this hadn't happened!!!). With any luck, I may actually have her ready to test-rig next weekend, just in time for an early May launch.
Home: Western Philly 'burbs
1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15
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Last edited by jimgo; 04-21-2013 at 11:40 PM.