Copyright (c) Marc Dacey/Dark Star Media 2006-2020. Above photo (c) Marc Dacey. Powered by Blogger.


The hardest part of fall

One last lazy October sail in the inner harbour for sightseeing and relaxation purposes.
Well, she's out once again, safely even if a review of the video I shot seems, in retrospect, a touch alarming. The run-up to haulout is slightly different when one is refitting a boat: it's less an interruption of the sailing season and more a frantic break in the refit. Frantic, because all the stuff one has secured on deck (anchors, the boom, the tender, etc.) must be stowed below so as not to represent a hazard when club members are beneath the boat as it transits from water to cradle.
No, we weren't going for a particularly high level of trim.

Amid all the prep, we squeezed in a final, "novelty" sail in Toronto's Inner Harbour. We actually rarely take the boat out for no particular reason, and it was a nice change to do so and was made possible by the fact that tools and other vital bits were stowed away and it was easy to work the boat unimpeded.
The stern anchor's "rode bucket" is not only insufficiently secured, but is clearly too small. It's on the list.
I'm thinking of coiling down rode and other long lengths of line with a Ballantine coil...does anyone do this? I "Flemish flake" halyards on deck, but this method was new to me.
Mooring Committee stalwart John King belays the crane boom.

There are many tasks not only on the individual boat level, but around the club that are necessary to complete before winter's advent. Dinghy ramps, modular docks, moorings and, above, the "poop deck" or pumpout dock, need to be hoisted clear of the water or otherwise secured. Above is the tonne and a half pumpout platform leaving the water. The same principles of "control lines" apply as with the boat, as seen below.
The purple tape is a "sling mark" indicating where the slings should go to keep the boat level in the air.
Alchemy does not have permanent sling marks as are often found on production boats, because she has a) a lot of lead ingots forward as "trim ballast" and b) the addition of many batteries and tankage means she's increasingly heavy (although she is still above her lines) and not necessarily in predictable ways. I estimated where she would "hang", therefore, marked those spots and shot video this year to see if I guessed correctly.
Close and incredibly loud: The crane operators are both careful and alarmingly swift.
"Pushers" keep the boat off the wall as the slings are adjusted.
Damn, this was too early for my taste.

Note the "cinch belts/straps". These keep the slings in place lest they creep along the hull and cause the boat to pitch.
Once up, I see the bow is a little down. This, however, is less about weight distribution and more about how the equal-length slings are "longer" because of the cutaway forefoot of the hull. The cinch belts are precautionary, especially as it was blowing a hoolie.
This is about the time people back away.
In the video portion of our blog post, you can hear the wind and see that Alchemy in flight is a bit of a handful. Still, the club members know their business, and all ended well. Now, back to work!

Update, 16.10.25: Head, A/C, sinks and raw water engine circuit are all winterized. Next not-cold day brings a general end-of-season clean-up before I fill the insides with sawdust again.