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Sunday, April 29, 2007

April 28, 2007-Haul Out in Singapore

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Wings in the Boat Yard

There is another variety of sea-dog and that’s “Yard Rat” and I have to admit I am one. There is something about the sound of air powered tools and the toxic smell of bottom paint that I can’t resist. Even the thick sanding dust floating around the hauled out boats brings back memories for me. A boat yard anywhere smells and sounds the same as all the others and they all seem like a second home. I’ve been in a few boat yards over the years; usually coated with sweat and dark bottom paint dust so thick you could do finger painting on my forehead and I keep going back.

For the past month Wings has been in the yard at Raffles Marina. Usually we do our own work, but this year we hired the team at Marina Yacht Services. It’s more than a weekend job: we’ve had some deck work done and had the deck repainted. We’ve had the engine out for some minor work that was easier done in the shop than in our living room. And then there was some new through hull fittings and sea cocks, and finally, new bottom paint. Its enough work to take a month.

My last two trips down from Bangkok have been visits to see how the work is progressing.

wingssail image-fredrick roswold

It’s been going fine, and it is nice to work with a bunch of guys who want to do the job right. I suggested a couple of corners to be taken and Jeffrey, the yard manager demurred. He didn’t say much, but he was clearly not happy to cut corners. OK, I went along, lets do it right.

It reminded me of Phil at Seaview East a number of years ago. Phil told me he wasn’t sending out any boat with a half assed job. He has his reputation and pride of workmanship to consider.

Anyhow, I’ve been happy to see it here at Raffles too.

And these trips down to Singapore to hang around in the boat yard have been alright.

Amid all the sounds and smells of a boat yard that I love, I get to watch somebody else work.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Singapore

wingssail image-fredrick roswold


Sunday, April 08, 2007

March 31, 2007 A Light Moment

wingssail image-judy jensen
A Light Moment

We had a good practice for an hour or so. We set the main and jib and practiced tacking, trimming, all the usual stuff you do on the first day out with a new crew who are a little light on experience.

They have to learn the Wings’ way: nobody leaves the rail until the boat is turning, everyone has their routes to the other side all planned, the positions and timing have to be down pat. Releasing the jib is done a certain way and tailing…well, tailing is an art in itself; it can make all the difference in a tack. We practiced these things; over and over, and we sailed upwind past Merrabong Island.

Time to put up the spinnaker.

Judy steered when I went forward to show the foredeck how to rig it.

That’s when the wind changed.

First we got a big shift, 180 degrees, from south to north. Then it went back again and got light. Judy thought it looked like a squall was coming, maybe we should hold on the kite for a while.

Now the wind was coming from the west. Can’t set the kite now, no sea room. So we just reached along for a while, took this photo, had a laugh, watched the sky.

It turned black.

We took the jib down and started motoring back to the marina. Time to drop the main too, but it jammed. This was the second time this has happened and we didn’t know what was causing it. Maybe the headboard slides. Finally it came down. Something to check later.

Then the rain started; big drops, and wind, lots of it. With the rain and the wind we couldn’t even look ahead let alone see anything. We got drenched. We slowed the motor down. There was lightning everywhere. Some real close. Got scared, but it didn’t hit us. We told stories about other boats which have gotten hit by lightning.

After we eased in the slip, we literally ran to the club house for a shower and dry towel and to change clothes. Had a beer and some snacks and talked about sailing. “The tacking went well but too bad we didn’t set the kite, we could use that practice too. Oh well, next time.”

And that wrapped it up. A nice sail, accomplished a little, still have a long ways to go, but it’s sailing, and that’s what we do.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Singapore

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