It occurred this past Friday, 16 September, and discovered as I pulled into the yacht club work yard. The entire rig was gone! My ladder was lying on the ground, cinder blocks were tossed about, bricks here and there tossed like Legos, and not a trace of the Alberg!
It's really easy to steal a sailboat on a trailer. Just grab a big truck with a 2.5 inch ball, hook-it-up and tow-it-out. I pulled up into the empty yard and sat looking at the mess left behind and thought, "why didn't he call me before he took my vessel?" It had been grabbed by my diesel mechanic who I had implored to extract my prop shaft. After a couple of text messages, it was indeed that, a friendly abduction by the same good-hearted technician who had serviced my diesel a few weeks back. I felt a bit like a Dad who goes to pick up their kid from school and there's no kid to pick up because he missed his wife's message that she had already done it. Well, it was all in an effort to help all the while, so I made the best of cleaning up the yard and doing a few more "sourcing" errands for future work items.
There are many marine things for which I do not have the expertise. And the prop shaft is one. I'll let the pros do this and stand-by in awe. Once it's pulled I can move toward it's remanufacture and get to the rigging in earnest. Then a splash will follow.
Looking back just one month ago at my "to-do" list is revealing:
- cap rail repaired, sanded, varnished 5 coats (3 gloss base and 2 matte finish) and complete DONE
- garden variety gate valve replaced with Groco lever DONE (actually replaced the two cockpit drain valves and one thru-hull too)
- coamings repaired, sanded, varnished and ready to put DONE (re-installed)
- replaced to dorets on the stern DONE
- replaced the zinc on the rudder with magnesium DONE
- pulled 4 salon portlights without mishap, reputting tinted acrylic DONE
- chainplates manufactured with 5/16ths bolts ready to reput with strengthening plywood and fiberglass PENDING
- refurbished the V-berth sole with Epiphanes DONE (completed revarnish of complete salon sole)
- reput leaking stanchion on portside DONE
- refurbished port side salon cabinet and backing DONE
- sanded, repaired and painted the cabin salon with Brightsides DONE
- validated functionality of bilge pump and automatic indicator DONE
- inspected interior of forward water tank to determine next best solution DONE (no further action taken)
- compounded and polished entire freeboard of hull with 3M high speed polish and polisher DONE
- New: relocated batteries to ice box compartment and secured with straps
- New: refinished in teak oil then re-put salon and cabin top handrails
- New: reput gaskets and installed Perco lights fore and aft
- New: relocated battery wiring and installed new master switch on bulkhead for batteries
- New: replaced all hose clamps on diesel and rubber tubing as necessary,
- New: refurbished and repainted air cleaner canister
- New: cut out hatch opening in cockpit sole and installed 10x20 Bomar hatch
- New: inspected light stress cracks in salon beam and reglassed area for repainting with Brightsides later
- New: removed broken Instrument panel and rebuilt with acrylic facing
- New: rerouted hoses and wiring in stern tacking to bulkhead and separating from engine area
- New: removed port genoa track and cap rail, rebedded both in sealant and reinstalled bolts for track to resist leaking on port side
- New: cut access point on port side lazarette underneath cockpit
Since the abduction of the Berg, I've concentrated on a few "household items" in my garage, finishing up the renovation of the engine cover and stairs plus finishing the final piece of salon sole. I'd been doing one piece of sole per week and jumped in to do the final piece adjacent to the diesel the week of the abduction. Although the shop workers probably don't need to access inside the salon, I had intended they at least have that piece upon which to stand in the event they needed it. They got the boat too fast for me to put it back.
Here is the transition of the section of sole from original through the stages of gloss and the finish of matte (Epifanes):
|Yes its dirty. A sad thing people walk on. But there is something great behind all those years of abuse.|
|I used the West Marine Teak Cleaner and Brightener before sanding it to clean out the grooves of 39 years of dirt and foot traffic, spilled wine, dinners, water, diesel, jewelry, etc... Then I sanded the raised wood surface smooth.|
|First application of gloss which fills in the gaps of the texture. Gloss is stronger than matte finish so first applications are meant to fill-in all the imperfections sanding has left available.|
|2nd gloss coat filling in all the scratches and grooves.|
|3rd gloss, Now it's ready for a couple of matte finish applications.|
|This is the little step just below the hatchway entry, small but critical step to access the rest of the steps below it.|
This first step over the engine compartment looked pretty worn and sad too. I thought, "as long as I have the time, I might as well spruce up this little jitney and bring out some life in it. The wood color is what was underneath a plastic nonskid strip which had nearly glued itself forever on the step.
|Pulled off the dirty white non-skid tape and revealed the wood color beneath! That has to be saved!|
|And here is the finished little step looking a bit more ready for its next clients. Gorgeous wood. Will require regular maintenance to sustain this active step aboard. Imagine trying to find one of these replacements!|
Another sad place was the instrument panel in the starboard aft of the cockpit. A broken plastic backing had nearly disappeared and the actual face of the panel was looking like it needed a complete replacement. Yet with the cost of finding such a "period" instrument face and yet the remote idea of locating this frame base, I set out to rejuvenate what I had.
|Cleaned up and sanded, will repaint with appliance white gloss and utilize some of the same acrylic I used on the salon portlights to provide a backing plate for the old instrument panel (also have to repaint it but can't get to it yet)|
Looking pretty dapper now, the same acrylic I used on the salon portlights came in handy for the backing plate. Once I find the Alberg, I'll rescue the actual instrument panel, clean and paint it, and refit it to the acrylic facing.
This give me time now to locate the Alberg and install those chain plates which just arrived back from the manufacturer today. Yay, more work!