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Refit:  Winter 2008-2009


Winter 2008-2009 Refit | Sunday, March 8, 2009

During the week, I applied another maintenance coat of varnish to the areas I started last weekend, wrapping up what I needed to do there.  Afterwards, I removed the masking tape.

In a long-overdue move, during the winter I had the dodger modified to include removable side wings.  As much as I enjoy a dodger, there are times when I wish it wasn't there.  Folding a dodger that includes high-quality window glass just doesn't work in a practical sense, so the alternative is to make the dodger as versatile as possible, and with as many removable pieces as practicable to minimize its impact on those days when such is desired.

I'd occasionally thought about removable wings during the years, but it took seeing their benefit in action on another boat to spark me into finally doing something about it.  The original dodger was still in good shape, so it made sense to have this modification made, particularly given the reasonable cost of the change.  I sent the dodger back to its original builder, Hallett Sails, to have them add zippers and Velcro-secured Sunbrella zipper flaps to the wings to allow them to zip off easily.  Because we don't have windows in the wings, it'll make storage of them easy when we don't want them. 


         


With the wings removed, it opened up the forward end of the cockpit substantially, provided better access to the sidedecks, and would provide a better environment for sailing and relaxing in the appropriate weather conditions.  I looked forward to this opportunity, for as much as I believe the dodger is an essential piece of equipment for us and the way we use the boat, there have often been times when I felt it encroached too much on the forward end of the cockpit.  This seemed to solve this problem in the most versatile way.

Because the original dodger relied upon the wings for its aft support, making them removable meant that I had to add some rigid support braces to take their place.  Once I had the dodger set up, I determined roughly where I wanted these braces, and ordered some materials to make them up.  This installation was pending as of this writing, as I awaited delivery of the parts I needed.  More on this later.

What's left before launch?

1.  Varnish toerails again:  1-2 coats
2.  Paint bottom
3.  Choose and install wind instruments
4.  Buy and apply name, hailport, registration numbers
5.  Build and install adjustable SS braces for dodger
6.  Varnish anchor platform
7.  Sand and re-lacquer port frames

I expected to wrap up most of the remaining pre-launch work by the end of March or early April.


         


Total time today:  1 hours

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