'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

Ready, and waiting…

4 Comments

Sionna is as ready as we can make her right now – And that’s ready enough.

The work list for launching has been staggeringly long this time, and it’s all due to that sun that we love so much, that we yearn for when those northern nights get long and the temperature drops. Sun is hard on a boat.

Paint that looked fine 2 years ago is coming off in patches, and – as I’ve previously posted – there are signs of interior damage to the fiberglass deck, corrosion of hidden fasteners, leaks where rainwater can seep in below, etc. Sionna is still structurally sound, yes: no worries there right now. But it’s also clear that the work we’ve done this last two weeks – while enough to make us safe and comfortable – is only the beginning of what we’ll need to tackle in the near future. It’s time our 57-year-old darling had a refit.

“What’s a refit?”, you ask?

Basically it’s an overhaul. An inspection and reworking of anything you see – or can’t see – that might effect her long-term soundness and servicability. In our case, we’ve identified several areas that we need to address, but chief among those is the joint between hull and the deck. This is a critical join in any boat, and we see evidence in several areas that the bronze screws that hold that seam together are becoming weaker with age. That’s no surprise, in a boat that’s seen over a half-century of service, but it is also a big deal to address. From here, I’d say that Sionna will likely miss an entire sailing season once we get her home.

But in the meantime we’ve just finished moving all our gear back aboard (above is but one of several loads!), and just yesterday we had our first meal in the cockpit! Granted the ambiance of the boatyard lacks a certain “something”, but at was a step in the right direction, at least.

Our launching has been delayed twice: First due to the need for a little extra time with family (which thankfully took the pressure off the boat work), and the second – today – because of high winds, which made transporting the boat overland, and then lifting her in slings, seem like a risky proposition. So now we’re scheduled to hang in the slings on Monday afternoon, and splash on Tuesday morning.

If all goes as planned! But of course this is cruising, so we’re not holding our breaths.

Fingers crossed for a launching on Tuesday! This boatyard living really is the blues…

Author: s/v sionna

Living the dream in 32'. We left Maine on August 18th, 2016, and have gradually worked our way south until we felt warm enough. After spending the summer in Maine, working to replenish the cruising kitty, and rehabilitating an old house. we’re headed back on the boat, bringing Sionna back home to northern waters. Follow our blog here!

4 thoughts on “Ready, and waiting…

  1. Are laid-up boats ever covered down there, the way they seem to like to shrink-wrap them up here?

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    • Occasionally they have shade cloth over them, like you see over a greenhouse. We did that the first summer. But even that traps enough moisture-rich air to turn your boat into a petri dish of mold.

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      • Yeah, I guess Maine winter air isn’t all that moisture-rich – different climates, different troubles…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. We’ve heard the horror stories about “northerners” who insist on covering their boats – or cars- with tarps when they leave, and the mess they find when they return. You have to let things breathe…

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