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June 18, 2004

Okay, just a really quick update because we're so busy!!! Our countdown is serious now.... aiming for a July 12th launch date (though within a week will be miraculous, I think.) We need a place to live once my mom moves in early July, so we decided to get the boat all set minus rigging, launch her and move aboard for the final few weeks while we complete the rigging stuff. So we'll be a powerboat for a while, at least we'll be aboard (although we still need to find a slip space in Portland for a few weeks...anyone know of one we could borrow?)!!

So: Neil's finished with the interior cabinetry and it looks wonderful. Now he's working on the sole (that's the floor for you non-sailors): all the cleats or whatever you call the wood that holds the sole access hatches in were rotted: he's removing them all and building new mahogany ones (originals were plywood) as well as fixing a soft area  in the aft cabin. Then he'll install the brand new sole in the areas that were really badly damaged, which we removed over a year ago. As soon as he's done, I'm ready to swoop in with the varnish. I'm counting on 8 or 9 days to varnish the whole interior, while Neil works on modifying the salon table to fit the new space, the engine, prop, cutlass bearing, rudder installation, and more.

This week: our friend Fred is buffing the hull, my brother Chris and I are installing a new stainless rubstrake, and I'm finalizing the name and hail designs. It's very convenient to have a dad with an architecture office where I can print out the name full-size to try on the boat. it looks so different in real life than on the computer screen! My first attempt was waaaay to big. Back for round two tonight. I'd really love to have it hand-painted but my hand just isn't good enough and the pros charge too much! So it'll be a vinyl decal for us. Here's where I am with it right now:

July 7, 2004

The launch is definitely scheduled for July 20th!! We are in a whirlwind right now. My mom is moving out of her house TODAY, so last weekend we had to move all of our stuff, household and boat, that we've had with us while we've been staying with her. Now we are kind of nomadic.... living out of the back of the car, sleeping at my Dad's place in town, but mostly spending all our time at the boat working feverishly. Neil's last day of work is next Friday the 16th; he can't wait. 

It's scary to be so close yet still have such looooong lists of stuff to do. We've pared down the lists to "must be done in order to launch", "would be great to get done before launch", and "can do after we move aboard". My only real reticence to having a long list of projects to complete aboard is that we've been promising Olivia for so long that once we leave on our trip Mommy and Daddy will not be working all the time! And some of the stuff we'll need to get done right away, like replacing the gasketing in the hatches and ports (otherwise wet cushions!) and replacing the port screens (still some mosquitoes around!).

Last week was a truly grueling one. I put in 12-14 hour days all week long doing the interior varnish and sole. Built up Epifanes gloss and then topped it with Epifanes Rubbed Effect. On the sole we used a new product called Ultimate Sole. It is a polyurethane and, like a gymnasium floor, has a really "grippy" non-skid quality while being very clear and glossy to look at. It went on beautifully, a joy to work with, and it looks truly great. It was really weird when I'd finished the varnish and we peeled off the masking tape: she looks like a new boat inside! Now I can't wait to bring in the cushions and curtains I've made and see the full effect!!! I'm waiting until we finish the last few grubby jobs, though. Don't want to get them dirty before we even leave! Here is a picture of the varnish at the Gloss stage, and one of some of the seemingly thousands of loose pieces I varnished off the boat:

What else? Our new trysail and mainsail arrived. Exciting! Neil repaired the mahogany mast step, coated it with epoxy, cleaned and painted the shoe, and re-installed the lot. The drive shaft is back in with its new cutlass bearing and PYI dripless shaft seal (you don't even want to know how many swear words were uttered in the hours and hours it took Neil to get the old cutlass bearing out!) Here's the massive step being epoxy-coated, and the old fasteners showing the crevice corrosion. Obviously we got new fasteners!

We installed our Fleming windvane on the transom (working out the rigging for it will be a project for "later"!) It is such a gorgeous piece of hardware. We ordered our name/hail decal. I used the last few hours at my Mom's house to stitch up some fitted sheets and mattress pads for our berths. Neil made some truly fantastic access doors for the storage behind the settee seat backs. We'd looked at many other boats' solutions at the Newport Boat show a few years back and this is really the best I've seen. The plywood panels with radiused corners fit flush with the seat back. two vertical battens are attached to the inside edge of the seat back bulkhead; one horizontal batten is attached to the inside edge of the door itself. An ABI flush pull-ring-latch is installed at the top. To close the panel, you simply hook the bottom batten into the lip, and shut the latch. To open, you pull the ring to release the latch, and lift out. They don't interfere with comfortable seating, and they won't spill their contents on a windward tack. Cool. Here's our "sketch" of the name, and the seat-back doors (they'll be painted white soon):

Next up: reinstalling the rebuilt rudder! Launch! Step! Leave!