Spring at last! Errant will be launched on May 15. I will be traveling much of the time between now and then, so lots of pre-launch preparation and dewinterization needs to happen quickly, quickly. Today I got a good jumpstart.
The morning started with removing the winter cover. Temperatures were cool, but skies were clear and the winds were light. Pretty optimal conditions. Step one was to loose all of the teathers that secure the winter cover to the boat and cradle.
Once all of the winter cover tie-downs were untethered, the lacing at the bow needed to be removed.
Mission [almost] accomplished… unfortunately the lacing finishes way out of reach — even using the step ladder — so I had to climb up inside to work from the bow deck. Here’s a glimpse of the cockpit looking aft from the companionway.
And here’s a view forward once I finished unlacing and unzipping the winter cover from the bow.
The next step was to disconnect the bow section from the stern section by unzipping a series of connections roughly perpendicular to the mast. I folded the bow section on itself in 2–3 foot rolls, and then we folded the long roll of surprisingly heavy waterproof fabric until the bundle is compact enough to fit in a stuff sack for storage.
Then I continued the process with the winter cover’s stern section, starting at the mast and folding my way aft.
Once entire cover is removed, folded, and stuffed into the storage bags it’s time to remove the support substructure that supports the campus. I tend to go a little overboard installing styrofoam insulation on all obvious stress/abrasion points to reduce the chance of damage from wind and snow and ice during the winter. Before dismantling all of the supports, it’s necessary to clip the wire ties that hold the stars one place and then gather all of the styrofoam insulation for reuse in the autumn.
Mission accomplished! The winter cover is off.
Wire tie detritus.