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 modest Alberg inventory.

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Doing the Maintenance

This time last year, our lake was drawing down.  It continues this year, taking some prime sailing months off the table for most deeper draft vessels.  This photo is from last year's drawdown when I had about one foot left under the keel.  It made for some dicey moments getting out and returning and making my 360 degree turn in order to put bow in the exit position just that much more exciting.

My agenda last year this time was to re-do my lazarette seat inserts.  For whatever reason when the Albergs were manufactured, they included teak slats fit into a shallow pan formed in the fiberglass hatch covers located in the cockpit.  Over time, anyone might have realized the problem this would bring.  On Nautica, this was an irritation beyond reason.  The teak would absorb rainwater and give it to whoever's bum was sitting on them. 

This is one of those jobs better done on the hard than on your vessel.  Laying the boards out in a good work environment enables you to get your stuff done at your timetable.  And, when your work area is climate controlled you can help the curation of the product by providing the right temperature and humidity control.

Now,  a year later, the lake is shallowing on schedule and the seats are working to defend against rainwater filling the seats.  It appears to be working thus far.  Like everything aboard, maintenance is not a one and done affair, it is a continual process for the skipper.  I am returning from Italy to South Carolina at this time and will be doing the search and repair work needed for this old gal.  If you follow this blog, you recall I used surfboard gloss hard resin to seal these seats.  I know they will need some work and I may take the lazarettes home to my garage and do some serious resurfacing in order to just further the surface strength I've already built into these two.  
I made a lot of surfboards when I was surfing in Hawaii and Florida over a period of some 6 years.  Wish that had never ended, but adulthood got in the way.  And responsibilities after that occurred.  So I know fiberglass quite well as a result.
This make-up has worked pretty well so far.  Before I departed the country, I had a tiny bit of glass separate but I was able to repair it.  I don't expect a maintenance-free setup but I hope it is less work than before and keeps bottoms dry when underway!

If you're reading this and thinking about owning an Alberg, remember this is not an off-the-shelf boat.  In fact, no sailboat is without its continual demands for fixing things.  Even new sailboats have issues.  I've owned a brand new Beneteau and it had its issues even after delivery and up to the day we sold her.  This gal is older and simpler, so most of the items needing attention are reasonably within your grasp of fixing.  If you're patient and persistent you will be very happy with your progress on these items.  I think that is validated by the FB page of Alberg and Cape Dory owners who are happy to putz along year after year, fixing one thing after another.  Well, it's a sailboat of fixed value but a very well designed boat too, so the investment is certain that you will at least maintain a good looking classic.

All boats will deteriorate on schedule, some just do that faster than others.  Those of us in this renovation of sailboats are aware that we're fighting the inevitable of something rusting out, a stainless steel strand breaking, a thru hull leaking, and on and on it goes.  But it also provides the satisfaction of keeping our boats on the water and looking as good as they can.

November will provide me time to see how Nautica has fared in the 5 months I've been away.  My Chef-Skipper has been a great help through two hurricanes, getting windage down and put away, only to reput it and have to take it all down a second time for the direct hit our club took on he second hurricane blast.  Nautica fared well.  

She is now in boat purgatory, able to float at her slip, but not able to exit her slip due to a shallowing of the channel where she must exit.  It will be another couple months of this forced exile before she will be released.  Time for some work.

It'll be a while before she does this again.  No problem.  Get things fixed that never get attention when actively sailing.