November 23, 2007

Preparing the sailing dinghy for a return to Mexico

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - My much loved - and much-used - sailing dinghy was in the Land Park boatyard & repair shop today, getting fixed so it will be ready to challenge the waters of Tenacatita Bay in only about a month.

The 10-foot craft, nicknamed the Captain's Gig when it was a tender to Sabbatical in our cruising days, was badly banged up on the trip back from Puerto Vallarta two years ago. The damage was sufficient enough that a local fiberglass repair shop told me to simply buy a new hull and forget about repairs.

The manufacturer, however, said that was pure poppycock and that it should be repaired. (Actually, I believe they said it was total bullshit, but did not offer to repair it themselves.)

So today Sabbatical's retired Chief Engineer, Scott Noble, came over with sanders, cutters, vacuums, air compressors and other instruments of mass construction and began the restoration project.

I did a lot of watching, punctuated by mixing up fiberglass to put into the various cracks and crevices through which copious amounts of water most certainly would come in without the repairs.

The whole job will take a few days with the drying time needed for the fiberglass, sanding, and eventually, a coat of paint. Now that I've seen how the Chief Engineer did it, I'll attempt to fix a couple of other areas that are less critical.

When it's done, the repaired Captain's Gig should look like this.

Captain's Gig
A sistership under sail in Puget Sound

In between mixing resin and activator - and handing tools to Scott - I shot the video below:

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