This page was last updated on
9 October 2002.
Sadly, a wonderful season has
come to an end. It seems to happen every year!
During the last week of
September, I had a couple great sails on Glissando: A very pleasant
evening sail with Nathan from Dasein, with 10 knots of breeze and pleasant
temperatures under a gray sky (with sun poking out just before the end), and
then a great sail the next day with Heidi under bright blue skies and warm sun,
again with perfect breezes. This is how I always try to end the
season: with some memorable, relaxing, low-stress sails. If the
season has to end, this is the way I like to do it.
I've previously covered the
reasons behind why I, and many other local boaters, haul out pretty early,
seemingly. (Click here to see why.)
Sad as it is, there comes a time when it's simply time. There's no other
way to describe it. For me, it felt this year like the season had somehow
ended when we returned from our cruise just after Labor Day.
Daysailing and shorter times on board seemed somehow hollow after that wonderful
cruise, and I was anxious to get to some of my project list that could only
occur once the boat was out of the water. We had some good sailing days
through the several weeks following our return, and I took advantage of
many. But I was worried about overstressing the rig (which lacks its
jumper struts now, as you may recall) after one beautiful Sunday sail in 20
knots of seabreeze with friends aboard. Free of the helm, I had the opportunity
to look around, and the mast was pumping and twisting in what seemed, to me, an
alarming manner without the proper backstay tension (you can't tighten the
backstay enough without jumpers to hold the top of the mast in place) and the
lack of support from the jumpers. From that point, I decided to only sail
in winds under 15 knots, rather than risk any problems with the rig.
Perhaps this is overcautious, but it was better for me than the
alternative. I didn't want to find out the hard way!
Anyway, the day after Heidi and I
had our last nice sail on board, I returned to remove the sails, the boom, and
the dodger, and prepare for unstepping the mast. With rain forecast the
next day, and plans over the weekend, I decided to just do the stuff and get it
out of the way, rather than wait until the last possible second. It's
always a melancholy day, but it felt good to be ready for my mast unstepping
Monday, September 30, I rowed out to Glissando at 0645 (the launch didn't
start running till 0900) to make my final preparations and bring the boat next
door to the yard to unstep the mast. It was a dramatic sunrise, with dark
clouds punctuated by the sun behind. the weather was just the way I like
it: calm. Flat calm. I don't care about anything else on this
day, or on hauling or launching day...rain, hail, snow, cold, whatever.
All I care about is calm. I undid the mast wiring connection and secured
the wires, pulled cotter pins from the turnbuckles, and removed some of the gear
on the stern pulpit for storage. Then I killed time until it was time to
drop the mooring and head in to the boatyard.
Just before 0800 I had the boat
secured with four lines in the slip at the yard and was on the phone to them
letting them know I was there and ready for them. Several minutes later,
the 2-man crew arrived and within 20 or 30 minutes the mast was unstepped and
lying on the pulpits, a nice, uneventful unstepping. After securing the
mast temporarily, I returned to the mooring, tied up and spent a couple hours
working on the rig.
I want to do some mast work this fall, and also want to clean up, service, and
inspect all the rigging and turnbuckles, I decided to remove the rigging from
the mast. (Last winter I left it all attached.) I removed the clevis
pins at the heads of the stays and carefully coiled them up, marking them for
easy reinstallation. Then I removed the halyards (again, for inspection
and end-for-ending) and tied the furling headstay carefully in place in several
places (I left this attached.) I found that the backstay clevis at the
masthead was seized in place, and I couldn't get it free working from the dinghy
beneath the overhanging masthead, so I left that for later--I'll get it when the
boat arrives home. I also removed the Windex and the VHF antenna from the
that done, and the mast secured with way too many lines, I unbolted the base of
the radar tower on the stern rail and rotated it horizontal, after releasing the
cable clam holding the cable where it passes through the deck and pulling out
some slack. I left the pulpit clamp in place to hold the bottom end, and
secured the dome to the nearby mast with line after covering it with a plastic
bag. I lowered this because it would protrude too high for road
transport. For storage, I'll probably bolt it back in its proper place and
cover it with more plastic for the winter. I worked for a couple hours
until the jobs were all done, then closed up the boat and rowed back ashore.
Haulout was scheduled for Wednesday, October 2, so there was nothing more to do
Wednesday, I drove to Falmouth Town Landing, where the boat would be hauled,
dropped off the dinghy and parked. Then, I rowed out to the boat and made
final preparations for the haulout, and brought the boat into the floats at FTL
just after 0800. It was a warm, humid day with a light breeze blowing even
this early in the morning, so I was glad to be hauling early in the calm
seas--it seemed like the breeze might pick up later. After securing the
boat, I stored the dinghy in my truck again for the ride home, and sat down to
wait for Steve Morse, my boat hauler. He was due at 0830, but actually
showed up a bit early, at about 0815, which was great.
Getting the boat on the trailer
went fairly smoothly, although the front wheels of the trailer hung up on the
joints between the concrete sections of the launching ramp when releasing it
back into the water deep enough to pick the boat up, so Steve had to jump in the
water and push it free. Once free, the boat was secured in no time, and
was soon pulled free of the water. Click on the thumbnails below to watch
a sequence of the haulout.
With the boat and trailer clear
of the water, Steve secured a strap over the top (protected with rags) and under
the after portion of the keel, just to hold the boat in place tightly. The
bottom was quite dirty with slime and mussels, definitely worse than last
year. Then, I followed the truck home (I'm getting pretty used to
this...). I snapped a series of "on the road" photos for your
Once at the house, Steve soon had
the boat backed into the position where I wanted it. I left the boat a bit
farther out from the trees than in years past, which will make things easier to
work on, provide more sunlight on the boat, and keep the stern away from the
slope that always makes working on the stern or the mast overhanging the stern a
real pain. We leveled the boat fore and aft, and side to side, and
soon the truck was gone and I was left with my dirty boat. I couldn't wait
to clean things up and get to work.
photo shows some of the slime on the bottom. I wet the bottom down and scrubbed
with a brush, and the slime came off easily, though scrubbing the whole bottom
is still plenty of work. The end result was a smooth, clean bottom that's
all ready for a new coat of paint in the spring. (See below)
through the season, my knotmeter stopped working. Now I know why!
Have a few baby mussels...
first step once the boat was home was to scrub the growth off the bottom, and
then wash the topsides to remove salt and grime. These were satisfying
jobs, and I was happy to have the boat clean and nice again. The white
boottop was somewhat fouled at the stern, since it had been submerged for much
of the summer, and the hull was generally dirty from pollen or other gunk in the
With that out of the way, I moved on
deck, and began by standing the radar mast back up to get it out of the way in
the cockpit. I loosely secured all four bolts on the base, but only used a
wrench on one of them, and tightened the pulpit bracket to hold it in
place. It will be under little
strain during the winter, and its installation is only temporary and will have
to be lowered again in the spring. Standing it back up seems to be the
best way to handle its storage; I could remove the whole thing, but that
would mean pulling the entire antenna cable out from inside the cabin (and then
rerunning it in the spring), and I don't wish to do that if I don't have
to. Later, I'll cover the dome and pole with plastic for the winter.
Next, I had to get the mast out of
the way. I reused the horses I built last year, and lifted each end in
turn, placing the mast on the horses. This raises the mast much higher off
the deck, which gives me more room to get in and out of the companionway and
also makes for a better ridge
for the cover. I only do this at home, since I prefer a low profile when
the mast is stored on deck on the mooring or when traveling over the road.
The horses weren't built to accommodate this motion, and it works fine
temporarily to lay the mast directly on the pulpits. I also removed the
clevis pin securing the backstay to the masthead, which I wasn't able to do
before with the boat in the water, since it was seized. A bit of
penetrating oil took care of it in a jiffy. With the exception of the
roller furling headstay, the mast is now bare of all stays and halyards.
I have a
number of projects planned
for this fall, and into the winter and spring as necessary. Click here
for a listing.
The next week, I winterized the
engine (I had already changed the oil about a week before the boat was hauled)
and water systems on board. For storage, and to promote drainage of as
much fluid from the engine as possible, I removed the raw water pump an let the
outlet hose drain, removed the sea strainer and drained it dry (and also
drained the intake hose, which easily drained by gravity into the bilge), and
removed the impeller, coating it lightly with waterproof grease and also coating
the O-ring on the water pump seal and the gasket on the sea strainer to keep
them soft and supple. The impeller looked brand new; removing it will
prevent the blades from taking a "set" during the winter.
to review last year's more detailed winterizing description.
On another day I unloaded all the
remaining non-perishable food and supplies from the boat--canned goods, pasta,
baking goods...I had left all this stuff on board after the cruise, since there
was no reason to remove it then. Much of it will be replaced on board for
next season, but other stuff will get used at home in the meantime. To
help keep the process organized, I inventoried each item as I removed it, along
with a notation whether it was to be replaced or reused. Or, in some
cases, not put back on the boat. All gear being removed will get added to
this listing on my computer (I brought the laptop onto the boat and made a
running inventory as I went) so that I can not only evaluate the item's
usefulness, but also determine what will get reused and what will be replaced
for next season. Finally, I removed the electronics, cushions, and
sleeping gear for storage, and the boat was once again a fairly empty shell
(though much gear remains on board through the winter).
Once some of the fall projects are
finished, I plan to get the cover on. I hate to cover her, but want to
keep as many leaves off as possible (they stain). Meantime, I'll just
rinse the decks off every so often to remove the leaves.