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Showing posts from November 3, 2013

Tender Years

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The 2013 sailing season is over as the long grey tightensher grip on Seattle.  The successes of this past year's maintenance efforts substantially whittle away my list of excuses for not going cruising, but there remain several.

Foremost: Ripple lacks a proper tender.

This has been an issue from the start, and in fact I actually bought a dinghy several years ago -- A Fatty Knees fiberglass dinghy (a highly respected dinghy with a good reputation for functionality and build quality).  In my enthusiasm for having found such a gem at a decent price, I failed to realize the boat was too heavy for me to handle and too large to fit on Ripple's smallish foredeck, as inevitably will be necessary at times.  The boat was advertised as an 8 footer, but turned out to be 9.  Oh well.

Soon after I purchased plans for an Iain Oughtred design dinghy, the Auklet.  Oughtred is well known for capturing the essence of traditional small wooden boats in glued-lapstrake designs that are light, stro…

Where was I?

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Oh, yeah... I sorta got distracted, I suppose.

Since I last scribbled here I've replaced Ripple's batteries, modified how the battery selector works, added a shore power console (with proper breakers, fuses, and an over-the-top charging system), wooded every bit of brightwork on the exterior (except the boom and gaff spar), learned an enormous amount about varnishing (and become a life-long enthusiast for Le Tonkinois varnish), sewn a summer awning, reconditioned her boat cover, and, finally, had Ripple out of the water to do her topsides and bottom and mast.

Each step of that process should have been documented in these pages, but operator error (that is to say, laziness) intervened.

Having Ripple's mast off turned out to be the crux of the process.  And so very worthwhile.  If I can recover momentum here, I'll try to summarize the progress.  At the end of the fourth year of my stewardship, Ripple is in the best shape since I've had her, and it feels great. 

A wo…