Category Archives: Dry Dock

Late Winter Check-up

With the snow gone and temperatures warm, I couldn’t resist the urge to drive over to the shipyard and check on Errant. It’s been over two months since I last visited her, but everything still looks great. The winter cover is still secure, and the unusually warm day heated up the interior enough to [almost] imagine it was summer. Okay, so I’m stretching it. But I did daydream a little! Soon enough it will be launch day and another season of sailing on Lake Champlain will begin.

I tackled a few small projects and removed the wheel. More on that in my next post…

Removing Winter Storage Cover

Removing Winter Storage Cover
Removing Winter Storage Cover

Spring is in the air. Not only is the weather warm enough today for me to work on Errant barefoot, but I broke a sweat removing the winter storage cover.

Gravity helps rather than hinders. And disassembly is just plain obvious.

It’s worth noting that removing the winter storage cover is a fair share simpler, quicker, and less aggravating then installing it last autumn. Gravity helps rather than hinders. And disassembly is just plain obvious. Figuring out how to jury-rig all of those supports last fall made removal all the more challenging. Today was pleasant in comparison, sort of like feeling extra super well after recovering from a cold.

More good news: the winter storage cover made it through the winter without coming unlashed and without getting ripped or chafed. Bravo!

Late March Check-in

On the Hard: Errant winter storage at Willsboro Bay Marina, March 8, 2015
On the Hard: Errant winter storage at Willsboro Bay Marina, March 8, 2015

I keep feeling the hankering to visit my lonely vessel, so I drove up to Willsboro Bay Marina where Errant is still snug in winter storage.

Pleased to see that her winter cover remains intact despite the whipping winds, and the interior is totally dry. So many boats in the shipyard have flapping covers and loose straps/lines, but fortunately our slow, concentrated effort last fall learning how to install and secure the winter storage cover has paid off. We’re not 100% out of the woods yet – at least one more snowstorm in mid/late March (or even early April) is likely – so we’ll keep Da Capo/Errant weatherproof until at least Easter. Then the spring work begins!

I unzipped the cover and climbed inside to ensure that everything was shipshape. I expect to come back in a week or two with my bride to take some measurements for interior cushions and curtains that she is reupholstering before we launch.

Reminders to Self

The “to do” list is already swelling! Here are some reminders: check on sail repairs; check in regarding fiberglass/gelcoat repair schedule; remove v-birth door hardware to determine why door is binding; order new cockpit cushions; continue researching folding help; and look into re-rigging to ensure safe lines throughout.

On the Hard 2014-2015

On the Hard: Errant winter storage at Willsboro Bay Marina, March 8, 2015
On the Hard: Errant winter storage at Willsboro Bay Marina, March 8, 2015

Stopped by Willsboro Bay Marina today to check on Da Capo/Errant. So many whistling, flapping halyards!

The date is March 8, sort of spring, at least it seems like it should be spring. But the cold, humid wind and a lingering blanket of snow suggest that spring launch is still a good way off…

I was relieved to see that the winter storage cover has held up well, not a single tear or loose line. Frankly, I was a little surprised. I guess all of the hours trying to decipher the cryptic instructions paid off.

I didn’t climb aboard, but I will return in a couple of weeks if the temperature rises to inspect the interior and start a few projects like refitting the v-berth door and deep-cleaning the bowels so that I start the sailing season with a super clean vessel.

Hauling for Winter Storage

Hauling Da Capo at Willsboro Bay Marina on October 3, 2014
Hauling Da Capo at Willsboro Bay Marina on October 3, 2014

Another first this morning! Although I spent many summers in my teens and early twenties working at the Westport Marina, often assisting with hauling boats, I’ve never before witnessed my own vessel being lifted out of the water and trundled about a shipyard with a giant travel lift. I’ve never before had a sailboat hoisted into a cradle where it will spend the winter on the hard.

Now I have.

Mark on Errant at Willsboro Bay Marina early morning, October 3, 2014. Ready to haul for the winter!
Mark on Errant at Willsboro Bay Marina early morning, October 3, 2014. Ready to haul for the winter!

Early Morning

After a fun sail, supper and late night bull session with Mark and Jim last night, Jim headed for home and Mark and I crashed aboard Errant. He slept in the aft berth and seemed to slumber solidly enough. I sleeping-bagged it in the v-berth, and I slept fitfully. Comfortable enough, but maybe just anxious about the haul, the possibility of finding surprises beneath the water line, or something.

Mark whipped up some bacon and eggs this morning, and then we idled over to the service dock.

Willsboro Bay Marina’s docks were quiet, but the service dock was already buzzing with staff ready to haul. From the get-go through the moment that Da Capo was secured in her cradle for the winter, I was impressed with how organized and efficient the shipyard team was. Paul, one of the owners and the head of service, was especially capable. I feel fortunate that my sailboat is being taken care of by this team.

The photos in the gallery below tell the story better than words, from sun up to keel down. Thanks, team WBM! I look forward to spending the next six months or so on the hard, tackling my list of deferred maintenance tasks.