Friday, October 25, 2013

Sharlet Gets Shipshape

Leaves and spiders banished and all her bits and
pieces found and cleaned, sanded, varnished,
polished, and rubbed, she is ready to create a splash.
I wrote about our 16-foot daggerboard racing sloop in a previous post. A few weeks ago she was rescued at the last minute from being replaced by a larger sailboat. With that decision made I'd resolved to spiff her up and get her back into the water. Now her beat up daggerboard has been sanded and varnished, revealing the lovely grain of the Spanish cedar. Her rub rail has been rubbed with teak oil, and a gleaming new-to-her rudder has been fitted.

So now comes the time when resolve gets tested. A final flurry of shining, fitting, screwing, and lashing has been going on the last few days in preparation for the University of California at Davis Sailing Team Benefit Regatta to be held tomorrow. The event will take place at Lake Washington in West Sacramento, about an hour's drive out into the Sacramento Valley. With a skippers meeting set at 10 am, the alarm is set for 5:15 (shudder). Will the skipper just wisely roll over conserving energy for dealing with a stack of typewriter letter writing, or spend the day comfortably sprawled on the couch catching up on the PGA Tour? Or will he roll down the driveway in the dark, coffee in hand and sailboat in tow, to spend a day on the water?
Sails still hold their crisp newness. At least her third set. We bought Sharlet in
about 1975
The automatically self-stowing, multi-position and fully adjustable daggerboard keeper, re-purposed from a resin spreader, is appropriately low tech.

Nothing but the best

Boom vang AKA kicking strap

Harken ratchet blocks on the main and jib sheets

A gift from sailing friend Dave Neilsen, this lightweight fixed rudder can replace the heavy and clumsy kickup rudder
when not sailing from beaches

Good spars, still like new after 40 years.