Monday, October 24, 2011

From Sanding to Sailing

Wonder of wonders, we actually had a sunny day.

Much progress was made on the ambulance/camper conversion. I finally completed the removal of all traces of decal adhesive. That stuff is tenacious. There are products that can remove it quickly, but they also have the tendency of removing the paint along with it. A more careful but slower process using a pinstripe eraser, fine sandpaper and paint thinner eventually did the job. The vehicle is about 95% sanded in preparation for painting.

Sunny days being quite rare lately, my lovely wife and I tackled another job that’s been put on hold. Heavy rains raised the level of our lake. High winds moved the sailboat right up next to our beach. Before we could move it back to its proper place, the lake dropped about 6 inches.

What that left us with is a sailboat that draws 12 inches of water sitting in 6. The keel was grounded pretty solidly. Removing the outboard helped, but all we could do is turn the stern towards deeper water. The keel was still grounded. Finally, the boat was freed by rolling it up on its side. That lifted the keel out of the sand enough to push it into deeper water. I’m a pretty big dude, but could not have done it without the extra push from my wife. She’s always ready to give me an extra push.

Of course, once freed, we just had to go sailing around the lake. After all, we haven’t had many sunny days lately. In late October in NH, there’s no telling when we’d next get the chance. My next trip might be to haul the boat out for the season. This little excursion allowed me to test our new anchor. It should keep the boat from moving on its lines into shallow water.

After our little jaunt it was back to the conversion project. Rain had been predicted for the evening, so the vehicle had to be buttoned up. I reinstalled a dozen lights that had been removed for sanding. Those will have to come out again, but it was the best way to keep rain from getting between the walls.

Sure enough, in few more hours I was splitting woodstove kindling in the rain, by light of a headlamp. That’s a job that could have been done earlier instead of sailing, but what’s life with all work and no play?



  1. A little nautical tidbit. A boat or ship riding a single anchor (riding at anchor) only did so in order to make sail quickly if need be. They did not consider themselves moored unless they had set two widely spaced anchors from the bows, and even a third from the stern to prevent swinging. Have you thought of putting out a mooring? A nice heavy chunk of concrete or cast iron with a stout buoyed line or cable attached. That would be best all around, no messing with anchors!

  2. Enjoy reading your blog. Posting every day makes me go to it everyday.

    Having sailed out of Corpus Christi, TX, both in the Gulf and in the Inter-Coastal Water Way, two anchors are a must! Be sure to have room for the shift of the tide when anchored over night.

    J Gerber

  3. Isn't getting close to snow season instead of rain? Hope you get the vehicle ready in time for your Florida trip. Isn't getting ready part of the fun? Yeah, right!

  4. Craig: I have though about a mooring. Right now it's got one anchor and is tied to shore.

    gerber: glad you stop by. We used two anchors out on Lake Champlain. That's were discovered one of them wasn't quite up to the task and bought a second big one.

    Dizzy: It could snow any day now. I feel the pressure.