It's no April Fools joke! The weather is terrific!
The temps are definitely rising in the southern USA as ours will reach into the 80 degrees (F) this week. And with that comes the routine, at least for me, of "racing" as our club calls it. Racing and a Cape Dory seem mutually exclusive terms. If I had a J-Boat then I'd be pumped-up about racing. Thus my lack of deep interest in racing a Dory!
Have done some fixing of small things lately in anticipation of doing some Gentlemans' racing and for an upcoming trip to the Typhoon Nationals event in Virginia in June. Have to get this rig road ready first off, which means creating some sort of mast support for travel. Guess I'd better get my brakes done on the car before then too!
Also had a growing crisis on the genoa tracks, pictured below, on both sides of the dory. The slider kept hanging up on the track. My first suspicions were that perhaps the installation on the toe rail was not permitting the car to slide. Second suspicion was that perhaps the track itself was just not the right size, or, that it was irregular and resistant to being able to move freely. Add winch grease. No success.
Then a couple of fellow sailors, racers, came by the dory and suggested that it really was that the track was irregular and needed retooling. Hmmpf. So, I recalled that a year or more ago, I'd taken my motorcycle shock absorbers to a machine shop and they'd done a fabulous job of installing new hard nylon bushings.
After consulting with the machinist I found that day, I left the tracks assured he would figure it out. Sure enough, got a phone call, the tracks were ready. The problem was there were a couple of welding bumps underneath which were dragging on the track, causing just enough friction now and then to literally stop the car on the track. It took a hammer to dislodge the thing. That's no way to adjust a sail trim!
After carefully remounting with new stainless steel bolts hardware, which in itself is something like Cirque du Soleil, having to twist and turn in order to get underneath the deck to find the bolts and ratchet them down. The cars are happy as they can be, sliding to and fro with glee.
Some of these odd-ball things just needed to be fixed on the dory, and this weather is perfect for adjusting. Although I've sailed all winter, there is something about warm weather that urges me to get these strange things fixed.
There are a couple more things I want to fix, not that they need it, but just because my obsessive - compulsive behavioral disorder requires it! I want to get the tubing I changed last year replaced with another variety I've found lately--that's my obsession. One thing I did change was the bow hook. Well there is no bow hook on the Typhoon, so I took the liberty to replace the thick nylon rope on the foredeck, serving to hold the dory in place on the trailer, to a hefty bit of chain which seems to have the period look a distinguished 40 year old classic needs these days:
It conveniently lies across the bronze bow-plate ready to provide anti-slip in case the little dory gets dislodged on the trailer.
Don't think I will just rely on this for a trip on the road, will affix a backup line from the foredeck, and perhaps a strap over the transom to just give a bit of peace of mind for the journey to Virginia in June.
And as she sits in the yard, this is how she looks. The chain is shortened from what it looks like in this photo and I don't remove it while underway, as it sits on the bow ready for service. It doesn't clank or anything, as you might suspect.
The Cape Dory Typhoon is such a heavy keel boat for her size that these small issues are not inconveniences, they are distinguishing characteristics of a classic little boat. So it's no mind to create a fix that looks the part.
I do think we may be getting closer to the renaming ceremony I spoke of last year in this blog. Will have to see what I can do to expedite that!