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Greyhawk Progress Report

June 7, 2006

Since my last report, we've made two trips down to Annapolis to work on the boat, one at the end of April to spectate at the Volvo Ocean Race "In-Port" race, and one this past weekend to make final preparations for GREYHAWK's delivery voyage up to Maine at the end of this month. In additon to work done on the boat while in Annapolis on these trips, I've also completed some work at home.

One of the main projects done at home entailed modifying one of the genoas (the Dacron #2 or 140%) for use on the new roller furlers. I cut the length of the luff down following instructions from SailRite, which involved removing the luff tape, cutting from the tack to a new head position measured an appropriate distance down the leach, thus removing a long skinny wedge from the luff, and reattaching the luff tape. We brought this modified sail down on our trip in April to check its shape. Following that, I added a foam luff pad to help improve the sail's shape when partially rolled.

Another home project was to fabricate new floor boards for the main cabin. I simply cut these from 3/4" Marine Fir plywood, test fitted them on our April visit, and then finished them on all sides with multiple coats of polyurethane varnish. Yeah, they're just plywood but with the varnsih and all they actually look pretty nice, and the varnished color matches some of the varnished ash trim in the cabin.

Some projects accomplished on the April trip were to rig the Crew-Over-Board flag pole, horseshoe buoy, and strobe light; and to preliminarily install a Garmin 140 Fishfinder to supplement the existing but sporadically operating Autohelm ST50 Tridata unit. Lugging 6.3 feet of draft around the skinny waters of the Chesapeake, you need reliable information about how close you are to the bottom!

In addition to a motoring and motorsailing trip to watch the Volvo race, we also got in a good morning's sail in Whitehall Bay the day we had to leave.

Back home I worked on finalizing the selection of crew for the delivery trip. I had advertized on the Points East website and consulted the Spin Sheet crew listings, and had many, many more interested candidates than I originally thought I would get. It was actually a bit overwhelming that so many people werw seriously interested in spending a week or more helping me sail my leaky old boat up to Maine.

I also sold several of the sails that originally came with the boat, to help raise funds to pay for some of the repairs and upgrades.

This past weekend, we spent Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday morning working on the boat in final preparation for the big trip. Scott Murphy stopped by on Saturday to introduce himself and meet the boat and crew. Some of things we accomplished were (in no particular order):

Glue the fishfinder transducer into the hull (so now we have good depth information).

Install a Nicro Day/Night 2000+ solar powered ventilator (so now we will have air flowing through the boat even when closed up.

Install a strong U-bolt outside the compainionway (so we have a place to clip our harness tethers to as we're coming up on deck). We also scoped out how to run the jacklines.

Tighten the bow pulpit fasteners (so it's not so wobbily, and maybe won't leak as badly).

Replace the lifeline cushions (so the boat looks a little nicer -- no more frayed duct tape).

Replace the winch handle pockets (so we can actually get the winch handles out of the pockets -- the handles used to get trapped in the old pockets).

Fill the fuel tank (and now we know that the tank is full to overflowing when the gauge reads about 7/8).

Install blocks at the reefing cringles on the mainsail, and rig reefing lines for the new single-line reefing system (so we can reduce sail if needed).

Reconfigure the lead for the jib roller furler control line (so it is easier to roll the sail up).

Secure the Delta anchor and rode below (so it won't be banging around when we heel over, and it's weight is kept low). The Fortress anchor was already secured to a bulkhead with chocks. I expect that it will be our primary anchor (it's rode is all assembled) and that the Delta (whose rode has been left unassembled for ease of storage and transport) will be kept in reserve as our back-up anchor. FWIW, I added the "Mud-Palms" to the Fortress anchor.

Rigged the spinnaker pole foreguy (which required installing a pad eye on the deck).

topped up the water on the older of the two batteries, and charged them up.

Visited the masthead to re-align the windex wind indicator and check on the alignment of the tri-color light (and take pictures). FWIW, the Autohelm Wind Instruments are not giving proper direction readings, I think probably due to a bad wiring connection at the instrument control head or a problem in the head itself.

The view from 45 feet above deck:

Generally cleaned the boat up and sorted out some of the storage issues, and organized spare lines, etc... -- (I've still got a bit of work to do at the nav table! and a few other areas...)

Tried out the #3 jib which we'll carry as a backup to the genoa.

Went sailing (just on Mill Creek) and tested out the roller furling and single line reefing. Prior to coming down to Annapolis, I had cut down one of the old genoas and installed a foam pad along its luff to adapt it to the roller furling (although I have not added suncovers to this sail yet...). It sets to a decent shape and still has an acceptable shape when rolled in quite a bit. It helps that the sheet lead positions are easily adjustable. The single-line reefing on the main works well, too, although since we're still using the bolt rope (I haven't installed slugs yet) there is an issue with getting the bolt rope to feed back through the pre-feeder when pulling the sail down with the reeling line.

We're now in the final count down to the departure for deliverying GREYHAWK from Maryland up to Maine...

GREYHAWK's wicked good adventure: six men sail a leaky boat to Maine

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