It's been a crazy week, what with getting ready for the first week of school and trying to cram in the end of summer home improvements, so I didn't make as much progress as intended on rectifying the fallout of the shakedown cruise.
I haven't gotten the sail rig adjustments made as making a new mast step is time consuming, but I did get the oarlocks beefed up.
First, I cut out the split portion of the inner gunwale.
Observant readers will notice the white line in the fabric at the bottom of the photo. That would be where my sharp-mutha-shut-your-mouth japanese pullsaw went through the fabric. Apparently Murphy also knows where I live.
What he doesn't know and I was grateful for the opportunity to validate is that skin-on-frame boats are ridiculously easy to patch. A patch of heat-n-bond and a patch of dacron and 60 seconds with the iron is all it takes. It was so easy to fix I couldn't even be bothered cursing.
The zigzags on the dacron patch are from pinking shears. They are supposed to prevent the cloth from unraveling. At some point in my copious spare time, I may try a test patch with regular scissors somewhere to see if it really makes a difference. But I digress...
After that educational diversion, it was back to the task at hand - namely the oarlock mounts. I fabricated reinforcements out of solid douglas fir. They didn't fit quite perfectly, but that's why they invented epoxy. Toggle my epoxy love/hate relationship status to love.
The epoxy cured overnight, and I was bound and determined to take the family out before school started. Polyurethane needs six hours to dry? Whatever. And don't even talk to me about three coats. Let's not tell Marla what her hair dryer was used for. Oarlocks were promptly remounted (right side up this time). Time to take the Fam out. Just when everything seemed good to go...
Me: You ready to go out in the boat? The Boy: The sail's not even ready. Who wants to row? Boring! Me: I find your lack of faith disturbing. (attempted Force Choke failed)
I'm now going to install a head in the boat just so I can make him clean it. At least someone in the family knows what side their bread is buttered on.
Or do they? My newly promoted Second Officer fell asleep in the car, woke up grumpy at the launch ramp and once underway got cheery for exactly long enough to take that picture. She then demanded the flotation cushion I was using for my backrest while rowing as a pillow. Next, she proceeded to fall asleep on her knees, head on the cushion, butt in the air - hadn't seen that one since her crib days. It was quite comical. I took a picture, but I am bound and determined that my daughter's posterior will never grace the Internet so you'll have to extrapolate from personal experience. Or not.
Oh well, it's best to practice your rowing when no one's watching. I rowed down all the way down the lake with much more success than the last trip. After turning around, we had almost made it back to the dock when a powerboat chock full of kids was having some docking issues in front of us. The Dad had gone to pull the trailer down and one of the kids was driving. He pulled in to the dock and got pushed offline by the wind. In the course of trying to make it back around he ran aground and got the boat stuck. Having had a similar experience in just that spot last week, I was more than a bit empathetic.
About this time the Second Officer awoke and was less than pleased at this delay. The tendency of Addie to turn directly downwind turned out to have an upside. I pulled in the oars and she curled up on my lap. The wind pushed us straight back down the lake at a nice leisurely pace and I got in a snuggle nap for about half an hour while the boat got extricated. What better way to spend a Labor Day afternoon?
Incidentally, that Dad gets mad props. He was cool as a cucumber - no raised voice, just calm directions from the dock the whole time.
We headed back in to the dock, with some smart rowing on the approach if I don't say so myself. I may have to upgrade my status from Rampant Suckage to Merely Mediocre after another trip or two. The Second Officer even carried the life jackets back to the car. Might have to keep her around.
Cedar Lake, you're officially off notice. We'll be back.