Season 26 is finally underway. We launched from the ramp in Egg Harbor between thunderstorms last week and will finally be able to enjoy some sailing.
Getting the mast up this spring was easier than ever, as I purchased a new mast crutch that telescopes and is equipped with a roller making the mast handling really a breeze. I saw the device (Mastup) on a Catalina 22 website and thought it would be perfect for us. It is. The process was simple. We rolled the mast aft on the crutch. Slipped the base of the mast into the tabernacle on deck. Then using the trailer winch as usual, we hauled her up. A buddy and I remained on deck to assure the mast didn’t move to either side. It was easy.
Tom and Kristen Siebenhuhner sent a couple of photos of BlueMoon getting ready for another summer at Lake Seneca, NY. They mentioned a couple of maintenance issues when they wrote, and our boat has had the same problems so I explained my solutions to them. When I did, I promised a couple of photos. To deal with cracked or broken teak, I replaced the hatch slides and guides with Starboard, a plastic marine lumber I purchased at West Marine when I repaired and refinished Sarah’s hatch. Like BlueMoon’s, Sarah’s hatch had developed cracks from years of sailors stepping on it. You can see the results in the picture below. The guides have been in place for a couple of seasons now and look fine to me. The teak is certainly prettier, but after repeatedly replacing them, I’m happy to have made the switch. Sarah’s lifelines are no longer covered with white vinyl. After it cracked and yellowed, I removed the vinyl to check the condition of the stainless lines. They were fine, so I just reinstalled them without the vinyl. They work OK.
I have also replaced the restraints on the fuel locker in the cockpit with Starboard. These were teak, too. In addition, I created a drink/radio/binocular holder for use in the cockpit by adding a French cleat to the back of a commercially available teak accessory. With the cleat, I can install or remove the holder in seconds and I don’t have to deal with stuff drifting about in the cockpit. I open the locker lid, drop in the holder, then close the lid which keeps the holder in place. It’s simple and isn’t in the way.
Another addition this spring was a replacement cooler below. Quickstep owners know that the cooler doubles as a companionway step. After years of use, ours was cracked and worn. I found that Igloo has one that fits, so I bought it, transferred the original teak step to the new cooler and we’re set for another 25 years.
What’s new with your Quickstep? Let me know. Finally, here are the pictures Tom and Kristen sent of BlueMoon. She looks terrific. If anyone else would like to send along a few shots, I’d be happy to post them. Cheers, everybody!