Sunday January 30, 2005
This week seemed like a wasted week. It is cold and snowy outside today so I spent time time on research. I went through some of my cruising books looking for some info on interiors as well as refreshing my mind with plumbing and electrical stuff. I also spent some time going through some of my cruising magazines and taking out important information on boat handling, safety and other bits of cruising information as well as descriptions of various destinations around the globe. It was enjoyable to consider all the places we may end up at some point.
Earlier this week I got some more interior work done, putting up the rest of the shower panels and putting plastic molding around it. I also ran some more plumbing, finally getting the tub drain figured out. There was some warmer weather on Wednesday, into the forties, in which I was going to put a final coat of epoxy in the gray water tank and a coat in the icebox. The plan was then to cover the gray water tank and install the sink cabinet, the first step to finishing the galley. I had started to coat the icebox, which is on the starboard side when I heard a loud crack and then everything started moving. The whole boat heeled over and landed in the snow and ice on the starboard chine, which is at a rather severe angle. The support on that side, which I must admit now was a rather inadequate single 4X4, had snapped, probably after sinking slightly into the thawing ground. Needless to say, a fifty thousand pound boat on it's side is a real problem! The small bottle jack I used to turn the keel wasn't going to do the job this time. All I accomplished was to drive a few pieces of wood into the soft ground.
After a few hours of trying to figure out what to do, I called a friend who had a boatyard and asked him what I could do. He came over and took a look around, making a few suggestions, mentioning heavy equipment, hinting he may know some people who could help. He said he'd make some calls and get back to me. I also called my friend Jerry who is in construction to ask if he had a larger jack, which he did. When Kelly heard at work she said she felt sick. Perhaps that is the difference in our personalities. For her, an obstacle is something to be fretted over and worried about, for me it is a problem to be solved and while I was feeling frustrated that a solution had not been agreed on yet, I knew that one way or another, with a small or large expense, the boat would be stood back up.
Thursday morning and I had not heard from Dell so I began to make some calls of my own. I called a few crane companies who could do it but would charge $125/hr with a six hour minimum. I talked to some marine contractors but didn't get any help from them. I called Kelly who was in town and told her to pick up another house jack. She arrived just as Dell showed up with his two friends. They wandered around and made a few suggestions, none of which was any more helpful that what I had heard already. We had a nice conversation anyway and they gave us some helpful suggestions about Kelly learning a little more sailing but when they left it was time to get back to work. I took both jacks and a pile of scrap wood, got as close to the middle as I could (which wasn't very close) and I started pumping. Neither jack seemed to go up more than four or five inches at a time and the boat would settle almost that much every time I let it down on the blocks to readjust the jacks. It was hard work laying on the frozen ground but after three hours I had the chine off the ground about nine inches. My hat goes off to Mr. Buehler's construction method. Not only was there no damage other than a slight check in the plywood at the point of impact but I could lift the entire side of the boat up with one point to the chine while that point was quite a ways forward of the midpoint. I went out the next morning, temperature six degrees, and working until early afternoon, I was able to get it back up to it's previous position. Now it has a 6X6 and a couple of 4X4s on each side to hold it up. I don't want to repeat this performance. I wasted three days of work but it did only cost me $20 for the rental jack. Not too bad. This week is supposed to have decent weather and I set a goal to have the interior finished by the end of February. I'm picking up material tomorrow and then it will be work..work..work!