Over the winter of 2019-2020 we had to make several modifications, including repairs, to our race boat, Cepheus. Some were planned upgrades, others were unplanned repairs.
At the end of the 2019 season I sailed Cepheus to Narraganset Bay a week before she could be taken out of the water. She was sitting on a mooring in Jamestown and a classic Nor’easter (a storm with winds from the Northeast) blew in and sat stationary for 3 days. Unfortunately, she bounced around violently and the headstay broke – the headstay comes from the bow to the top of the mast and holds the headsail (jib). Fortunately, the mast stayed intact and I was able to get the boat up to New England Boatworks where she was hauled out for the winter. Now, in 2020, she has a new headstay and furling mechanism ready to hoist sails again.
A planned area of attention was replacing the rudder bearings. To attend to this we had to drop the rudder out of the boat, new bearings had to be ordered from France which were shipped just before the covid-19 shutdown in that country. When they arrived in Newport, the receiving company was in quarantine and we were delayed receiving these important items. Fortunately, however, everyone was healthy, the team at NEB installed the bearings and re-inserted the rudder. In addition to the reinstallation of the rudder, we needed to do some fiberglass repair of the rudder. A section at the front end of the rudder received some damage during the winter. But with a day of work she was ready to go again.
Every winter it is necessary to clean the bottom of the boat and add some new bottom paint. This can be a laborious task. There are two general types of paint – ablative and hard paint. The hard paint needs to be polished to minimize resistance to water flow and thus to speed up the boat. This was backbreaking and took countless hours. Actually, I didn’t even try to count the hours for fear of depression setting in as I polished up to 600 grit paper. She sure has a shiny bottom now.
The final small piece of work to do was to repair the bow of the boat. In a storm last year Cepheus moved and received damage to the fiberglass. I had previously filled the damage to protect the boat but still needed to finish and paint. Since I couldn’t find a matching paint color I decided to use a white stripe and not even attempt a perfect patch. The painting involved sanding, a coat of primer, sanding, cleaning, then painting with white polyurethane paint. She looks much better now.
Ready for summer
Within hours of the white paint drying Cepheus was launched and now sits in her slip at New England Boatworks in Portsmouth RI, where she awaits my installation of sails and all of those lines. Finally, I decided that its time for a new multifunctional display that displays the charts of the oceans, GPS location, boat speed, wind direction etc. The existing version on Cepheus is 18 years old and breaking. I will install a new B&G Zeus3 9 inch system over the next few weeks and enjoy playing with it.