The Schooner Sara B Log

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December 23, 2019     Post 56
2019 Season Summary

It’s been eight years since Sara B’s big Cover Up job and so far the supplemental hull and external ballast keel job appears to be holding up just fine. As far as maintenance goes the main project this spring was replacement of the wooden steam bent boom gallows AKA the Arch. We fastened and glued ours together using four layers of white oak much as per the original. We used 5200 as an adhesive figuring it would fill gaps and remain somewhat flexible. White oak and epoxy glue do not mix well especially underwater as we learned back in 2005 when we used them on a replacement rudder stock for Sara B. Chris also resorted to screws and 5200 and “southern teak” to craft the four braces out of several layers of pine to hold the arch in place. This is Sara B’s third set of arch braces. The original grown grain hackmatack knees were replaced shortly after we bought her by a set of oak knees that Toby made. A couple of them were showing rot so Chris replaced them with the pressure treated wood.

No wind, time for a swim!
Other than some on going barrier coat flaking off issues below the waterline, the glass job seems to be holding well. I’m annoyed with the barrier coat, but it was put on over a coat of straight epoxy so it’s not really very important as far as preventing moisture penetration or possible blistering (absolutely no sign of which is as yet visible). I suspect I didn’t sand the epoxy enough before putting the two part barrier mix on. An experienced boat fixer, Andy Derby, who was our first source on the Vaitses cover up process suggests maybe I didn’t get the waxy ‘amine blush’ off and I suspect he’s correct. Bob Wagner and I put a new coat of antifouling on this spring. It held up pretty well.

Sara B’s summer home the Pleasant Beach hotel mooring field is now under new management, H and Bonnie having sold and retired to the sunny south. Chris, Sue, and Tom Sullivan raised the chains and attached the floats, and Sara B was re-united with her mooring by mid May. Once again high water was the order of the year and the consequent prolonged no wake ordinance made for a delightfully quiet summer for paddling rowing and sailing on the bay. This year Sara B didn’t make it to Canada but she had a good number of day sails with co-op members, guests and a couple with just Chris and Sue. She did get a short overnight cruise to Sodus Bay with Jim Aspenwall and ourselves. We agreed to travel with Tom Sullivan on his engineless little gaffer “Shadow” and the trip down was with light following winds and slop. After a night off Thornton Point we had one of those glorious late summer south wind trips back to home port.

Amazingly about a month later we pulled off another overnighter with the same utterly perfect conditions to take us home. That night was spent off the family property near Port Bay. We got it into our heads to re-activate the drone one more time and fly over and photograph the north end of Blind Creek where its one time barrier bar remains non existent. We rowed ashore with Jim A’s borrowed dinghy and the drone and Chris pulled off the flight. The water was as clear as I’ve ever seen it off that bluff. However, a six inch swell prevailed throughout the night so we did NOT sleep very well!

About a month later Sara B took her last day sail of the year and then made the final journey to Fair Point where she was tucked away for the winter. As we have posted previously, Sara B has had a really good run with us since we first trod her decks in October 2004 down in Freeport. Most of the time it’s been fun, though there were a few hours in the bilge and under the hull in the boatyard that are not recalled with much fondness. She has taken up a big part of our lives and a fair amount of our bank account for fifteen years, but Chris and I both feel it was a pretty amazing learning experience and we hope someone else out there now will come along to enjoy living on the edge with Sara B. It’s truly been a grand ride with the old girl and we believe she has a lot of life left in her with her strengthened hull.

Now we are counting the days until launch in 2020.

Anchored off the family property

Late season sail

Peaceful evening on Sodus Bay; Tom & Shadow anchored a ways off

Sara B tucked away (center right) for the fall gales

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