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Or TRS thats how we refer to a hurricane in the northern hemisphere. It’s called a cyclone or typhoon in the lower portion of the planet. Call it what you want but I’ve gone category 5 on Sookie. A little trigonometry and now I believe she is reasonably safe from the boat in front of me. Check that one off the list and don’t ask cause my lips are sealed. What about her rudder and thru hulls? Well let’s dive into that and my new wind vane which is really heavy.

I know lots of people who like I used to, dream of owning a Falmouth Cutter. Honestly if your not rich which I most certainly am not I wouldn’t recommend a boat like this. The only day I’ve ever been able to afford this boat was the day I wrote a check for her. The very next day the bottom started to fall out of the marine industry and I’ve been boat rich, boat poor ever since. The purchase price on these boats is nothing compared to the cost of a refit. If I could do it over it very well may have been cheaper to just have Cape George build me a new boat from scratch. The good news is I was well aware of what I was getting myself into. If I had a hundred grand i could easily and without a second thought drop it into this boat in one day and that’s not including any electronics or safety gear, just basic boat stuff.

Science is sexy and a huge amount of it went into sookie today. Sookie has three through hulls which in my opinion is three too many. My old Allegra 24 has zero and it was such a wonderful thing. I replaced her galley through hull one day before I launched her 6 years ago with a standard bronze mushroom head, not ideal but I was under the gun. Her two cockpit through hulls are of an undetermined age. None of them have thru hull bolted flanges. There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything, this is clearly the wrong way. My scientific method was to grab each one and very forcibly shake the shit out of it. They passed with flying colors and all the balls open and close with ease. I haven’t touched them once in 6 years as there is no reason to close any of them. My sink is center line so no matter how far over she heels, no water will back siphon, I’ve tests this theory to 90 degrees.

Next on my list was my pintle and gudgeons which will also be replaced at some point. I took crescent wench and closed it down on the stainless steel and then tried with a large amount of force to snap them. My failure to do so was a huge success. I wouldn’t sail to Hawaii with them but they appear to be safe and secure for now. I should add that there has never been and form of sacrificial metal attached to them. There is a high amount of speculation that electrolysis comes from the water. A friend of mine who is one of the most respected marine surveyors in the country says this is all Poppycock and that electrolysis comes from a poorly wired boat. He laughs every time he hears the term hot marina. Either way they are 30 years old and my magnifying glass didn’t show a milligram of pitting or micro cracks, nothing.

I finally pulled and inspected my wind vane that was purchased second hand off a Falmouth Cutter, it has sailed to Hawaii twice which is good that one of us knows the way. I’ve named it Chloe and she will always guide me though the night. It’s surprising robust and shouldn’t cost more than 400 bucks to rebuild. My biggest issue is attaching the trim tab to my foam core rudder. The rudders from Sam Morse tend to have de lam issues and most I’ve looked at have water intrusion, fixable but a major Job. Sookies rudder was build by the gentleman who finished her from a bare hull and deck and is strong and dry.

The big Rubiks cube is tying it all together. If I add bronze fitting it will lower my rudder one inch which means I need to raise my rudder insert in the checks one inch which means this all needs to be done before my next big trip or go without the wind vane which I really want. This decision has to be made before any holes are drilled in the rudder.

My preference was for the Mike Anderson style vain which is much more visually pleasing. It’s only fatal flaw is that it won’t work with a tiller pilot while under power but since I refuse to add an electric tiller pilot to Sookie that’s no big deal. Tiller pilots are for motoring and I find I tend to motor a lot less without one. My dream is to find a sailing partner who is up to the challenge of engineless sailing. I doubt she exists but it’s fun to dream.

Today was without a doubt the most headway I’ve had since returning. I’m starting to feel stronger and finding much more motivation. If I stay focused I can launch before the New Years. My new focus other than the vane is Sookies new cabin sole with stainless steel water tanks and finishing out her v-berth ceiling boards.

I had a beautiful swim tonight which along with the amazingly warm weather has really upped my motivation for an extended spring cruise before I haul her in Port Townsend to prepare her for shipping to Florida. My number one focus in life is to be anchored on the Bahamas by the end of November 2018 which I feel is a very attainable goal. For the first time in nearly 20 years I’m free of all obligations, in the right frame of mind and have the right boat for gunk holing around the Caribbean. On top of that while I may be on a seriously tight budget I am 100% debt free and more than willing to do shit jobs like cleaning boat bottoms and climbing peoples rigs if it keeps the kitty funded…

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