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The Best Laid Plans . . .

You remember how I posted earlier about getting our daggerboards ready to install as one of the last things to do before we splashed? We had plans, we had big plans. Well . . . .

All the paint was on and done. Everything was cured. All the things were ready to install these boards. Remember?

John even reinforced the deck where the block for the daggerboard control sits. He rigged up the line for the starboard daggerboard to one of our halyards (the big rope at the top of the mast or stay that raises the sail up). Because our daggerboard pockets don't go perpendicular to the deck, instead they are angled so the top of the daggerboard is angled outwards with the bottom angled inwards, we had to be sure to get the board angled just right in order to fit the board back into the pocket. We did this using the whisker pole - a pole that can attach to the mast and then it holds the sail out to the side of the boat to get the best downwind sailing angle. We planned to have John guiding the board while I worked the winch.

Knowing that I likely couldn't work the winch with enough strength haul the board (remember they are HEAVY) all the way up from the ground in less than hours, we broke out our nifty neato electric winch handle we bought two years ago at our first sailboat show and had never used yet.

It's a pretty cool little device that is cordless and has adapters for every type of plug I've ever seen. I got it all charged up and went out to hoist the daggerboard with John, last thing Monday afternoon before we lost the light. First off, I found that putting my bright shiny electric handle on the winch in the higher geared position generated enough power to rip it right out of my hands without moving the winch in any way. I tried holding it differently, bracing myself, leaning in, all of it. No go! So, after John reminded me I could, I switched it over to low gear and tried again. Woo Hoo!! Super success! We had that board lifted high enough in only minutes, with just a short pause to remove the whisker pole which was causing the halyard to bind up at the block at the top of the mast. So cool! I'm no longer afraid of working the winches with heavy loads!! The plan is coming along great. Thor came over to help and was surprised we already had the board lifted. We started slowly lowering it, but then . . . it start to feel like this


John rocked it back and forth while I released the line slowly, and it slowly, slowly inched down. Very very slowly. We tried untying the line and giving it to Thor down on the ground to see if he could help pull it down. A tiny bit more progress.

We poured dish soap down the side, but still, not much progress.

What gives? We took these very boards out of these very pockets. Why won't they go back in?

You may have already figured out what we eventually did.

Yep. Remember all those layers of so very carefully applied paint we did? Yep. Too much, too thick. So, back up and out came the starboard daggerboard. Then, John spent all day yesterday doing this.

Yep! Scraping all the beautifully applied paint, right back off!

Oh well. Live and learn, right?

So the port daggerboard got all scraped yesterday - yes, blisters ensued - and we tried lifting and lowering it late yesterday afternoon. Much much better. Not all the way down, but good enough for now. Technically, we DON'T have to install the daggerboards before we spalsh, but we would sure like to so we don't have to have them loaded on deck and then have to walk around them all the time.

Starboard scraping today!


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