The ferry’s crew chuckled as I rolled Hornpipe over the ramp and through the car deck. With the boys tucked behind the dinghy’s thwart in their carseats and our bags loaded as to not set the balance off, we’d walked over half-a-mile to that point and were greeted with smiles and waves along the way. I guess you don’t see that everyday.
When we decided to spend Christmas with our friends at their house in the mountains, I didn’t initially think it was going to turn into a full on session of boat projects. Alas, here we are.
Acting on Mike’s suggestion to utilize the wood shop in their barn (and his expertise), we brought the dinghy along for some much needed love as well as its foils, oars and Yahtzee’s flagpole. And as a blanket of snow fell outside, we fired up the wood stove, rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
No matter what size boat you have, projects always seem to take longer than you imagine — and it has been no different while working on our little dink. Hornpipe needed to have some spots in the gel coat fixed and the transom — which is marine ply sandwiched between fiberglass — needed to dry out and then be routed and filled with epoxy to prevent water from getting back into and rotting the wood. After putting it on sawhorses next to the wood stove, water immediately boiled to the surface and the dry out was on. Epoxy is soon to come.
The finish on the oars was so bad that they’d get and stay waterlogged, so after drying them out we epoxied the tips and are giving them several coats of new varnish.
The rudder and daggerboard were in worse shape. They, too, needed to dry out and then get a good sanding. Once dry, we determined that the rudder was actually a lost cause and it quickly became firewood. After doing some cursory research online, Mike and I came up with a much more modern and efficient shape for the new rudder and also crafted a new tiller to replace the shoddy old aluminum one. Not only is it nice having the proper tooling of a professional wood shop, but having usable scraps of wood laying around was a huge bonus.
While all this boat work was been taking place, we’ve also managed to carve out some time to enjoy the snow, celebrate Magnus’ birthday and the holidays with our good friends. Plus, with Stevens Pass 15 miles up the road, incredible powder days on the mountain have more than made up for the time spent sanding and varnishing.