Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Repairing the damage

Our first weekend at Redfish Island had shaken us around so badly that an unsecured door to the bathroom ripped out of the bulkhead. Then we (Mary) ripped the mainsail on the way to Double Bayou. The Garmin GPS was in and out. The gear basket had been ripped off the binnacle, and the holding tank needed to be pumped out. After two weekend trips, Gimme Shelter needed some TLC.

I tackled the easy stuff first. Just a few dabs of wood glue and a new set of screws had the door back on its hinges and the gear basket back in place. Then came the tougher task of sewing up the sail.

I can put a button on a shirt, but that's about as advanced as my Boy Scout sewing training ever got. Luckily, Mary is quite the seamstress and even attempted to start a business doing boat upholstery -- until she realized she hated sewing boat stuff. It's just not that fun to do anything non creative. Then people wanted me to do all kinds of weird shaped seats, and they never came out as nice as I wanted.  Plus people would bring me their disgusting old motor boat seats, and I'd have to take them apart and work with the moldy fabric all day. I'm done with that!

Despite having all sorts of sewing implements it still took another $50 to get the correct Dacron patch material, heavy UV resistant thread, and large needles needed to patch the sail -- but at least we now have it ready for any future rips. West Marine and Sailrite both had more expensive options but all you really need is thread, a large sail needle and a patch. I did get a blister on my thumb from pushing the needle through, but a thimble would have solved that.  It took me a second to remember my zigzag stitch but once it came back it was a fairly quick job.  I think with any bigger of a rip though it would have been worth it to take the sail down and opt for basting and non sticky patch material.  Sewing through anything sticky is never fun.

Mary got down to business while I cleaned, cheered and checked out some baby ducks. We still haven't sailed with it so it is left untested.

So with Mary kicking up the action and doing the sail repair, I felt like I better do something too. When we got back to the house I got to work on the propane oven, cleaning all the nozzles, installing the new thermostat, painting the burners, and picking up new fixtures and hose. By the end of the weekend, we had fire. I was so scared Freddie was going to light himself on fire or explode the house the whole time!

However, now comes the task of crafting new gimbals to mount the oven and building a propane locker in the cockpit. With a boat, the work never ends.