The Grey Area: Our new boat’s in the water

Last fall, my Uncle Al got another sailboat at auction. This was a 24 footer, much bigger than the Pyewhacket, and also a racing boat rather than cruising. It’s the popular J/24, used by many racing enthusiasts around the world. We did some work on it during the spring to get it ready to go. We painted the bottom with anti-fouling paint, cleaned it up, put in mast lights, oiled the teak, …. Because of its size and the time it took to put the Pyewhacket in each time last year, we decided to get a dock. This one isn’t really ‘trailerable’. We went with the Spitzer Marina in Avon because it was the cheapest place we could find, though still quite expensive. It is right on the lake (a few break walls in between), so we can go right out whenever we want.

We put in Thursday. Uncle Al, Aunt Jan, Ally, Jonah, me, and Al’s friend John were all there. We paid to have it lowered into the water. They have a big vehicle that lifts the boat from its trailer, moves it over the water, then drops it down. We used their hand crane to put in the mast, making it easy but time consuming. The motor kept stalling out at first, and we’re not sure why. It gave us lots of trouble, but later ran fine. It also gave is trouble in another way, resulting in a minor collision with another boat. The motor is very hard to shift between forward and reverse gears, and we were unable to get it into reverse to slow us down before we bumped another boat head on. We hit it only with our metal pulpit thing and just scratched the other boat’s paint slightly, so it wasn’t a big thing.

We took it over to the dock. Uncle Al and I, the only ones left there by that time, looked at the boom to try to figure out how to rig it, but couldn’t quite figure it out. We could figure some parts out, but not enough to be able to use it. We are probably going to need help from someone. Luckily, Uncle Al found a guy who races the J/24s who would be willing to help us out.

Hopefully I’ll be out sailing soon.