Just a Thursday

It is said that the two happiest days of a boat owners life are the day that they buy the boat and the day that they sell the boat.

I disagree, and I only have one reason. . . Thursday!  If we didn’t own Spy Hop or Tiger I don’t believe that as many sunset sails would have happened.  And, to be honest sunset sails are one of the best parts of owning a boat.

Thursday sailing

This week on a whim we took Spy Hop out to a new sailing location on Lewis Bay on the south side of Cape Cod.  We launched in the late afternoon and only had sunlight for about 90 minutes on the water.  But those 90 minutes were the highlight of the week and definitely made owning the boat worth it, not to mention the other many adventures that we have had on Spy Hop this summer.

Sunset sailing
Sailing on Lewis Bay

There are many more adventures to be had, but I am very glad that on this day we decided to go sailing rather than stay in the harbor.  Sunset is often a magical time, and I am very happy that on this day we got to view it from this location.

Sunset sailing
Lowering the sails as the sun dips behind the horizon. Perfect timing.
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More Trailer Work

All evidence suggests that I enjoy working on the boat trailers.  On my days off I keep finding myself crawling around under the trailers tinkering or fixing something.  Well, since the boats live on their trailers and the trailers deliver the boat to the water it is probably a worth while time investment to keep them in decent condition.
When we took ownership of Spy Hop her trailer was in good shape (compared to Tiger’s trailer) but still required a bit of work.  The only major problem was that the tongue was bent about 15 degrees to the left.  I wasn’t prepared to replace the tongue in the previous owners drive way so I towed it home with the bent tongue.  Being a true procrastinator I proceeded to ignore the issue for three months.  It wasn’t until a friend saw the trailer and was shocked that I towed it in that condition that I took seriously the need to replace the bent tongue.  Some people had suggested having the tongue straightened by heating it and bending it back.  I didn’t like that idea because I’ve seen what happens when a paper clip is bent one too many times, so I decided to simply replace the bent tongue.
Bent trailer tongue
Side by side with old and new trailer tongue
Ordering the required part from a Load Rite dealer was easier than I had anticipated and the best part was that it came pre-drilled to be installed onto the trailer!  I wasn’t looking forward to drilling several holes into the steel.  The replacement itself took a bit longer than I expected and was a little more involved than I thought.  The wiring harness runs through the tongue and then into the other frame members and dealing with those wires was a challenge I hadn’t really expected.  But, when all was said and done it went smoothly and the Load Rite design allowed for good access to all fasteners and for the frame members to come apart simply and go back together just as simply.
Replacing trailer tongue
Replacing bent trailer tongue
So whats the verdict?  The straight tongue is much better than the bent one.  I’m not surprised that the straight tongue is less squirrelly and easier to control but I am still glad that it is.  Oh, and it is nice not having the boat canted off to the side while towing.

Little Improvements

There hasn’t been a whole lot of sailing recently due to travel and work schedules, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been progress on boat projects. I figure that if I can’t be on a boat I can at least be tinkering with one, or at the very least hangout at a harbor.  For example last weekend Asya and I were in my sailing home of Santa Cruz California.  We didn’t get to do any sailing but we were at least in the proximity of some very cool yachts which is at the very least somewhat comforting.

Santa Cruz Harbor
Nice summer morning at the Santa Cruz Harbor

Back on the east coast a few boat projects have been under way and finally completed today. I had previously made a boom crutch to aid in setting up Spy Hop, and to keep the boom under control and out of the way when the sails aren’t raised.  What I absolutely didn’t expect was that having the boom elevated and supported means that everyone will want to lean on it.  The original boom crutch broke quickly because I built it hold the boom and sail … not humans.  Oh well, I built another one that I think is much stronger so hopefully this one will last more than a day. But even though the original was short lived it was still very handy during set up.  I may even consider adding a boom topping lift if we ever get a mooring for the boat, but for now that would be just one more line that needs to be run during boat set up.

sailing wind indicator for O'day Daysailer
New wind indicator
Something that I have wanted for a while I finally got . . . a real wind indicator.  I learned to sail looking at the top of the mast to tell me which way the wind was coming from.  On Tiger we added pieces of yarn on each shroud to indicate the wind but it isn’t the same thing.  Spy Hop came to us with no wind indicators at all so she is the recipient of the new mast top wind indicator.  I picked up a cheap model from a local marine supply store so it isn’t the highest quality, but I still think it is cool being able to look up and see what the wind is doing rather than have to interpret a piece of string.