Monday, 28 May 2012

Mighty Neighbourly

When we bought our new home, one of the selling features was that the neighbour had a boat parked in the backyard. It had "Berserk" scrawled across the aft quarters, and sat proudly on its trailer. by the smooth bottom and clean appearance I guess it was a racer. I was right.

It turns out that Berserk is owned by a very accomplished racer and her owner sits on the Lake Ontario PHRF committee. Someone who is serious about racing, and passionate about sailing. One day I stopped in to say hello and introduce myself. That day I found out that Berserk is a Viking 28, a previous club champ, and a boat that is known to terrorize PHRF races all over Lake Ontario.

And her owner is an absolute gent. While I was waiting on delivery of Iris, I crewed aboard Berserk, and learned a little about racing in the spinnaker fleet. I also picked up some tips that will help in our races in the JAM fleet and got introduced to many of the members of the new yacht club.

I was a little surprised to see the new neighbour standing beside Iris when I poked my head out of the companionway after Uncle Charles left on Saturday. We chatted and he asked when we were going to launch. I told him it was going to be early on Sunday morning, and he promised to be there to lend a hand with the launch. Its great to have someone to share an event with, and I was glad to take him up on the offer.

Yesterday I headed to the boat and wrestled with all the prelaunch chores that are typical of this time of year, and then looked at the mast. I figured I would get it ready to be raised so that once I got to the club, I could recruit some help and raise it.

As I was fiddling, a gent with a German accent offered to lend a hand raising the mast. It was very kind of him. He set to the winches while I did the grunt work, and slowly the mast went up. Eventually the up direction stopped though. We were struggling against something. He took extra turns on the winch, and put his back into the effort, then went winch-to-winch in order to get even more power. I stopped the process, lowered the mast, and re-evaluated things.

After a quick survey of the situation I saw what the trouble was. One of the turnbuckles had jammed against the sheet lead T-track, and all the extra exertion had bent it to nearly 90°.  I bent it back, made sure nothing was going to jam again, and we gave the lift a second try.

This time around things went far more smoothly. The mast went up and everything hooked up right away. But those bent studs are bothering me. I think I will be approaching the local chandlery for replacements, and maybe looking to replace the rig - it has been 5 years that I've been sailing on it, and I don't know how long the previous owner sailed on it. I am also not sure what the life expectancy of standing rigging in fresh water is.

Maybe a call to the Rigging Shoppe is in order.

I spent the night aboard, looking forward to launch in the morning.A thunder storm kicked up, but I was warm and dry. No leaks in the vee-berth. The dead light appears to have survived another season.

This morning, our neighbour reappeared, watched our launch via travel-lift and then drove over to the marina where he caught me as I docked, and drove me back to get the van.

At this moment, Iris is sitting in her new slip at her new home, and I am sure throngs of visitors are crowded around her admiring her. Actually, I hope not - I need to get to her with the power washer and make her look like a boat again. Right now derelict is about the best description I can muster up of her appearance. She needs a good scrubbing.

Thanks to the help of a good neighbour and neighbourly hand at the marina, Iris has completed her relocation, and is set to sail - well almost.

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