Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the large Alberg inventory.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

"The Berg"

This week the Alberg has taken up residence at the yacht club.  While most all our active fleet is in and on the water, there are other unfortunate vessels collecting debris while tied-to in a slip or sitting on a trailer.  No one wishes to work in mid-summer, so I have the work yard all to myself.  

We received the 'berg this past weekend by long-hauler after a week of its journey from one of the northernmost locations in Canada.  I'm glad we had the opportunity to go north and see the vessel in its local setting as this has made all the difference in understanding its condition and its care previous to our reception of it.  Its owners were very careful to make sure it was covered in winter and sailed in a beautiful salt-water lake environment called Lac bras d'or, well worth taking a look at.  We saw this phenomenal lake stretching for nearly 500 square miles, protected by entry at only two locations north and south.  Although a salt water lake, Bras d'or is very much like Lake Murray but about six times as large!  So, she's jumped from a northern lake to a southern lake, with all the differences that brings.  

Making that final turn towards delivery.  Coming from Nova Scotia, Canada, to Chapin, South Carolina is a "haul" in itself with an assortment of complex regulations across national boundaries, and through highly regulated interstate highways.  It was well worth it to have the good folks from Nova Scotia employed to deliver the goods. 

Thanks to a dedicated yard owner and several additional folks to help pull on the chains and re-put the wheels, the Alberg was getting to know these admirers on a hot Saturday afternoon.  High humidity and high temperatures made this process exceedingly difficult for the humans although the machines and lift worked fine.

One major difference is a change in temperatures.  And it seems every summer seems hotter than the last in the south.  

So there I was the other day, doing the "nug work" required of a devoted skipper, stripping varnish, turning old bolts, opening compartments aboard, discovering and taking inventory of what was stuffed here and there aboard the 'berg.  And during the process, the trees which had protected the vessel in the morning gave way to several hours of over-head direct sunlight and temps of nearly 100 degrees.  Standing, facing aft, looking down at the Yanmar diesel, there was a pool of water forming on the cabin sole, a pool I was creating, as the summer sun siphoned every diet coke and water bottle within me, like some medieval exchange program.  I quickly grabbed one of my old Army towels to clean up.  You can tell these towels were not made for public distribution as they are the color of milk chocolate.  I assume the civilians at Natick Labs figured such a color would not permit a soldier to know whether they were clean or not after some personal hygiene in the field.  And this was my "field" now, standing in my Alberg, no top, drenched shorts, and work shoes.  What a sight.

One of many refurbishing points seen  in this photo.  I've gone throughout the vessel removing teak and other "wood" which needs attention.  Interesting to note the hatch covers are plywood rather than teak...an odd discovery and not a difficult fix, simply a bit expensive.  I am removing all teak, escorting it to my home where the debridement of old varnishes is taking place and new preparation takes place.  Jamestown Distributors is furnishing the initial supply of Epifanes Matte finish, a preferred look which can cover many anomalies in wood and present very well for many years (with appropriate care in between) a classic yacht. More to come on that....

You cannot pay someone to do this stuff.  Well, perhaps some of it, like the diesel, which I really don't understand despite the dismissive comments of some, who claim diesels are "simple" and attribute accolades to the Yanmar like, indestructible, reliable, "just keep her running," so they say.  I haven't dared fire it up as I don't even know where to put the water hose to start such an adventure.

Yet there is a great satisfaction to be standing in the cabin despite its sauna-like conditions at the moment.  "I'll sleep good," I think to myself.  Too, I remember doing this aboard my Cape Dory Typhoon, the hot sun, ducking into the cuddy cabin, the feel of the searingly hot deck plate on bare feet!  "Watch out for the metal stuff," I think as I look around aboard the 'berg, I don't need to be hopping around on a boat that is over 12 feet to the ground.  Yes, that would certainly hurt to fall off at this height.  

Lying in the work yard alone at the end of a hot summer day in the south.

Despite the infernal references, it's great to have the Alberg in the work yard, submitting to her makeover.  This phase is all about teak protection (first) as the summer sun will destroy anything not protected from those UV rays.  Going back to my previous post, and the items of concern I listed, I will be doing whatever is critical to getting the 'berg in the water first.  That means teak is first (because it cannot withstand inattention long before it greys and cannot return without massive work, chain-plates (which I discovered were indeed very small diameter bolts, some nuts I unscrewed by hand!) , the diesel servicing, thru-hull checking, and hull compound and polishing.

Chain-plates:  a common fix among Alberg 30 owners.  Original plates and screws are not sufficiently robust for the vessel.  Figuring I had to do this now before stepping the mast and putting her in a wet slip.  Tough environment when temps are 100 degrees, places are cramped, bolts are hard to remove and fiber-glassing additional support must still take place. 
I treat this as my summer job, a loathsome commute of about one hour to the job and one hour home and a pile of tasks in my "inbox" to complete before some of this work will ease back a bit, probably by the end of August, I'd suppose. 

The turn into the club as friends helped haul the 10k pounds package back to where I would begin troubleshooting and fixing things aboard this summer.