The Schooner Sara B Log

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May 01, 2008     Post 20

New plank

Sara B got wet on April 25, a full month earlier than last year. She got another new plank in her bottom, re-enforced stanchion bases for the lifelines, three new white oak replacement butt blocks and most of the old ones re-fastened at least partially, and the usual paint and putty job. We shall see how the pressure treated pine from Russel's hardware holds up.

The butt fastening was partial, where plank ends were 'used up' with no room for additional screws, a new screw was added to the adjacent frames. With the assistance of Jim Aspenwahl, a dozen or so bolts were strategically placed and another 250 or so stainless screws were added to Sara B's bottom to reinforce her “memory”.

She went in on a mild Friday afternoon and promptly took a long cold drink of Fair Haven Bay. We had all three pumps running full bore. By Saturday she was down to her two bilge pumps and by Sunday one pump that was at least briefly shutting off was keeping her up. Saturday and Sunday she got her ballast back, and on Sunday Friedel and I puttered around painting and varnishing while Chris, Toby and Zach made a couple trips with the truck to ferry the masts over. We got a couple coats of varnish on Sara B's bowsprit, an important maintenance procedure to prevent splinters in the fanny. Chris tried the old Thorneycroft and it started right up.

A new and an old butt block

In theory Sara B was to be rigged on Monday, but our 80 degree weather had shifted to 44 degree weather, rain and wind. The sharp chill and wet conditions were not conducive to juggling telephone poles in a delicate but demanding dance on her cabin top so we scrubbed. Chris chugged her around to a dock and she sat there still plugged in to shore power and waited until Wed for her rig.

It was still cool but sunny when the yard stepped the spars and Chris went aloft to secure the triatic. This year we had foresight enough to attach the bird prevention device ( monofilament fish line) to the main before we stepped it. This in turn required only one trip up the mast instead of three like we did last year. It was a cold morning, with temps in the thirties during the night, and both the mast stepping crane and Sara B's diesel were a little reluctant to go to work. But both did. We chugged the old boat over to Pleasant Beach and secured her to a dock to soak up some more. Bonnie and Bam-Bam and Elliot of Pleasant Beach came down to give the old girl a gracious welcome back. It was good to see them again, too. So the season begins.

Taking the winter cover frame apart

We'll probably get her gaffs and booms assembled this weekend. Sails might wait another week, depending on the weather. At any rate, we have a schooner again!

This year the web author wants to be sure to acknowledge the very helpful assistance of various LLC members including Friedel and Jim who put in a good many hours and helped paint, re-fasten and putty seams. Also Gale who stopped in to check on Sara B's pump and electric supply when thunderstorms threatened the local electric grid and Zach whose young muscles were extremely welcome during the lead loading and lead packing in the bilge. The Gateleys- Toby, Chris and Sue also put in time, with Toby doing the life line stanchion re-enforcement project, and Chris doing the carpentry and Sue doing a bunch of dirty work.

Serious consultation

Sara B in the slings and a mast arrives via Chevy

Stanchion brackets should add considerable strength

Masts stepped - about ready for another season

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