Monday, January 26, 2015

Finding and Fixing Dinghies

"Do you feel like checking out some sailing dinghies this weekend?" asked Erik.
"Sure," I said. "Sounds fun."
"Great. They're in an old container down at the dock; someone abandoned them years ago."
I looked up. "Abandoned" is usually a deadly adjective for a boat.
"It's all supposed to be in pretty bad shape." he continued. "The sails are probably going to be full of rat poop, and who knows if anything will still float."
"Boy, Erik, why didn't you lead with that? You know I can't resist a rusty old container full of broken boat parts."
"And rat poop," he added.
"Yes, don't forget the rat poop."

So off we went on Sunday morning. The container was better than I expected. Yes, the promised rat droppings were everywhere, but a neighbour has been storing his kayaks in there, too, so the place wasn't as sad and forsaken as previously advertised.

Erik quickly located the ownerless dinghies, and we dragged them out for a wash.

Rinse completed, the girls instantly took possession of the green dinghy and went for a paddle.

Meanwhile, Erik befriended a man putting his canoe into the water beside us. Twenty seconds later, Erik was paddling away.

Happy, happy happy.
Soon the kayaks were out, washed and in the water, too.

But this was all too easy. When Indy and I got back from our jaunt, we noticed the stern of our kayak was full of water. Unsurprisingly, there was a bung missing. A quick survey of the container didn't turn up a spare, so Erik and Indy did the next best thing: they made one out of a water bottle lid and masking tape.

As Stylish paddled around and Indy doused everyone with the hose, we turned to more serious matters, ie. rigging the dinghies. We assembled all of the gear we could find, and discovered that, between the three masts, two booms and various stays, shrouds and blocks, we had enough rigging for the white dinghy. Mostly.
Unfortunately, there is a small hole in the hull, so I see some fibreglassing in our future.

The sails were another matter. The rats had gone to town, and, being a discerning sort of beast, had preferentially munched their way through the best sails first.

"Well, that's no problem," said Erik. "We have six sails to work with. We'll just scavenge material from these sails to fix those ones. Someone around here must have a sewing machine."
I counted up the rips and holes. One, two... seven, eight... thirteen... "I don't know, Of course we can do it, but it is going to take hours. And once we leave, you know the sails will go back in the container, be forgotten and get eaten all over again."
Erik looked momentarily discouraged. Then, like a true cruiser, he shook it off. "Meh, I want to do it anyway."
I nodded. I kind of wanted to fix it up, too.

So we cleaned the sails and brought them home to dry. It looks like we have a new weekend project.


Anonymous said...

Now that looks like fun. Wish I were there to help out on yet another sewing project. The weather looks great too!

Paul in Iowa said...

Amy & family, looks like so much fun from the frozen tundra of Iowa. Sure not Canada! Oh, the benefits of living near year-round open water. Where are you now? Last I knew you were in Canada.

Boyd Caldwell said...

Awesome! The dinghies, though ownerless, look like they are in pretty good condition. I guess washing them was the biggest fix you could do. Hahaha! Anyway, Erik and Indy did a great job in fixing the kayak. Sewing the sails was another matter, but not a job too big for the family, I assume. I admire everyone for the work they've put in fixing those boats. I'm so jealous at how great a team you all are. Thanks for sharing that, Amy! All the best! :)

Boyd Caldwell @ Hays Hydraulics