The Schooner Sara B Log

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May 16, 2009     Post 26
Spring Launch

Stepping masts

Sara B and Titania spent a long cold windy winter up at Fair Point. They both survived the gales and snows and when April's longer days arrived so did the paint and putty crew to work on Sara b. This year Jim Aspenwall and Rich Seubert and Skipper Sue made up the work crew. We peeled back the cover on a warm early spring day to start sanding the topsides and discovered a good start on a bird nest up forward by the bowsprit but thankfully no baby birds. The boat parked beside us did have a bird, a mourning dove had set up shop on the bottom rung of its swim ladder. As the days went by we sanded, painted and puttied and the dove sat on its growing two chicks three feet away.

By the time we were ready for launch on April 22 the baby birdies were getting pretty good sized. I wonder if they managed to fledge and if so, if they survived Hobie, the marina's resident cat. He dropped by and climbed up the ladder to check on our progress a couple times while we worked.

Boatyard doves
On a chill and windy day while still in the travel lift slip Sara B got her lead ballast back, most of it being put in place by Chris and Sue though Rich also lent a hand the next morning to finish up. Jerry, the marina manager, managed quite nicely with his first big old leaky wooden boat launch experience, and after a couple of days of 'soaking' Sara B got her spars stepped on Saturday, the engine fired right up, and she chugged off to her dock at the Pleasant Beach Hotel. Rich went aloft (twice) to get the fouled halyards squared away and then to attach the triatic. Then a few days later he went up one more time to fix the fouled monofilament. So we had lots of practice getting him aloft. He says he likes it up there. I guess so! I was over at the boat yesterday and though purple martins were sitting on Titania's mast head, nobody was on the triatic.

Sara B leaves Fair Point Marina for Pleasant Beach
We didn't do any major “improvements” this year. Just replaced a couple boards in the oak forward hatch. But the newest Sara B associate Rich S has been very busy sprucing the old girl up with whipping and general ship keeping tasks. She's already looking a bit less neglected in the rigging department. Now she just needs a bit more paint and varnish work.

Her first couple of sails were light air affairs, always good while she's still soaking up. Sue and Rich took her out three weeks after launch for a quick bay sail on a gusty south wind maybe hitting 25 mph in the stronger puffs. Since it was my first time out with her I went with just a reefed main and staysail and was surprised at how maneuverable and agreeable she was with such reduced canvas. I suspect had we raised a reefed fore she would have done very well.

Rich aloft trying to sort things out

So we begin our fifth year with Sara B some new “associates” as well as with friends from the past. We are hoping to get her over to Canada for a couple weeks cruise next month possibly getting as far as Toronto. Stay tuned.

Bending on sails and putting her together

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