It was two Friday’s ago that I slid Yahtzee’s companionway hatch closed and descended a ladder at Canal Boatyard in Seattle. A long list of projects was organized on a piece of scratch paper at the navigation table, but they all spun in my head. I realized later that next to nearly every item was the name of a friend. These friends, along with many others, would be instrumental in getting all the projects finished and sending Yahtzee back on her way.
We’d started some of the work the day prior when Cliff came to help tune the rig and remove the mainsail and stack pack for repairs. He also helped us through the Ballard Locks on that foggy Friday morning.
Jim met me at the yard to take the mainsail and its cover. He’d install a new zipper on the cover and give the main a much-needed tune up, which will give it a few more years of life.
Caleb was soon to follow with the piece he’d fabricated for the new swim step I was going to build and install on Yahtzee’s stern.
When it came time to build the swim step, Mike dropped off the materials that were left over from when we built Yahztee’s new dodger in August. And Darren would toil at the workbench with me while we perfected the cutting and routing of the new step before covering it with nonskid. Casey stood by with beer in hand as supervisor.
Bottom paint, keel repairs, fiberglass repairs, the swim step installation and more would happen over the course of a week and before we knew it, Yahtzee was being lowered back into the water.
Brad and Ryan helped me find a slip for the night and Yahtzee hung out on Lake Union for the weekend. Mike and I, along with Porter and his two young sailors Russell and Josea, took Yahtzee on a shakedown cruise on the lake while Jill, Magnus and Maurisa had a delightful morning to themselves.
Jim delivered the main and stack pack the next day and I bent them on and readied the boat to leave the lake while Jill did a provisioning run. We had a beautiful day to take the boat back into Puget Sound and to our old haunts in Ballard—Shilshole Bay Marina.
At Shilshole, Beth helped us find an empty slip and Mark offered his, as his boat Cambria was being hauled out as well.
Engine work ensued with Davey and after four afternoons of tinkering and tuning, Yahtzee’s blue Perkins 4-108 is absolutely purring.
While spending time back at Shilshole, Scott and Teryn loaned us their car so Jill could take Porter to swimming lessons and go grocery shopping. They were also our evening entertainment after long days working and then fiddling with the engine.
And all of this wouldn’t have been possible without our friend’s Matt and Heather who asked us to house and dog sit while they were away on vacation. Living on the hard as a family would have been doable, but was not something we entertained.
Also, the many friends we were able to catch up with along way helped to break up the monotony of the boatyard and to keep crew morale high, which was invaluable.
The list has been completed and Yahtzee is better than ever — ready for spring and summer and for grand adventures in the San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound.
Thanks to all of our friends who helped over the past few weeks. It probably would have been possible without you, but it certainly wouldn’t have been as much fun.