Sunday, June 4, 2017

2017 Prep

Lots of upgrades this spring for Wampum. Most notably, we re-painted the decks with kiwi grip and installed a new suite of sensors, a digital display and a new chart plotter from B&G. We also got a new code-0 / A5 from Hood Sails which made its debut at the figawi race. We also made a new main sail cover and new sheet bags from purple sunbrella.

I was scheduled to launch May 15th, but delayed to the end of that week due to the timing of tides and needing a high tide for my deep keel to fit under the travel lift. On the night before I was supposed to launch the boat I got a message from Kingman Yacht Center that they'd had a problem putting my rigging back together and that I shouldn't bring my boat in. As it turned out, they'd galled the threads on my lowest spreader cup where the V1 shroud meets the V2 and the D2 shrouds. They were trying to convince me that my only option to make it in the water in time for figawi (which i was already significantly invested in attending) was to weld the cup solid, cut the tip off the spreader put the cup in place and re-weld the spreader back together. I was a more than little skeptical, especially once I visited their shop and saw my rigging sitting on the dirty metal chip laden floor. AND, they wanted me to pay the welder and rigger for extra time, even though they were the ones that had caused the issue in the first place. I was furious at the thought of losing my entry fees, and the fact that Kingman refused to accept any responsibility. But I had to play it cool, and not freak out in front of them because they were still my only hope of getting the boat off the trailer and into the water, IF we could get the rigging repaired professionally in time.

So, rather than have the parts welded, I picked them up from Kingman and brought them to R&W Rigging in New Bedford on a Saturday afternoon. Less than 1 week before figawi! By some small miracle they were able to find a single replacement cup (they have long since stopped making these parts) in a spare bin at another rigging shop in Fall River! They did the assembly, re-flared the rod rigging V1 and V2, and got the parts back to me on Wednesday so the mast could be reassembled. The boat launched the next day Thusday in a cold driving rain. I rigged the lifelines, boom, mainsheet, backstay etc. that day and on the high tide around 6PM we motored around Bassats island and out into buzzards bay in the fog. We put up the red spinnaker and had a nice downwind run in a light NE as it slowly got darker and colder. We sailed into woods hole under main alone, in the pitch dark and thick fog. The very next day was our first race... Realllllly down to the wire. Pun intended. 

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