The Race Is ON

April 25, 2023

When we last left the transom relocation project, the new transom was built and glued in, the new bottom was roughed in, the longitudinal stringers reinforcing the transom were all in, and the top of the splashwell was tabbed in. Not much to go, right?

Wrong as always. Because of the Memorial Day weekend, my intrepid hauler Kevin needs to take Tardis to Maine May 20. And I will be in Washington State for a week for my sister’s 50th anniversary. So cool weather, rain and what seems like a huge amount of glassing, painting and fairing for such a small project are stretching the timeline on and on. Plus, I will admit I just can’t spend the time I used to 10 years ago laying on a bed of rocks sanding and fiberglassing with my arms stretched overhead and back killing me.

All is not lost. Theoretically, I have 10 full days when I get back for the finish work and a lot is done. But that assumes that Brown’s Boatyard can get the engine back on in the next couple weeks. That is scaring me. The yard is totally full of boats. Very few have gone back in. And Dickie the engine man seems to have disappeared.

So I have been spending a lot of time figuring out exactly how to rerun the engine controls to the new location, buying parts and rerunning all the wires and control lines to what I believe will be their new attachment points. I want to be in a position very soon where I say to Hank the owner, “Lift the engine back on, this goes here, that goes there. Hook it all up and see what happens. I can be here at any time to help.”

I am constantly in this dilemna with boatyards. They make their money on projects like this charging $135 for labor. But they don’t HAVE any labor. So I try to help them by doing a lot myself. That means they can charge all the slick guys with 40-foot, 600 horsepower center consoles $135 per hour and not get screamed at. By June 1 there will be a lot of screamers at Brown’s, and I don’t want to be part of the problem.

Finally, many of my followers, all two of you, have asked me, for all this work, cost and travail, exactly how much cockpit space are you gaining? Well, the plywood piece in the last picture shows the new deck addition. It is 38 inches wide by 23 inches deep, or about six square feet. Logically, it makes no sense to do this. But I already feel better just moving around the cockpit. And I am stronger, losing weight and sleeping like a rock having taken this on. So far, so good.

New splashwell sides going on.
Fairing transom and splashwell
Bottom plate glassed. Two layers of glass on all seams.
The new dance floor.

3 comments on “The Race Is ON

  1. Mark Smaalders
    April 27, 2023 at 12:15 pm #

    Nice work Paul. I’ll be interested in hearing how much difference you notice in performance and handling.

    Glad to hear the boat work has fitness benefits … maybe a new marketing angle?


  2. Steve White
    May 1, 2023 at 6:31 pm #

    Keep up the good work Paul. We are pulling for you.


    May 20, 2023 at 12:25 am #

    Paul, Are you referring to a race between Tardis and Arnhem?
    You win that easily: Arnhem has not had her maiden trip yet, but that is only a mere weeks away. She now sits on her trailer, outside, while we fix mast, rigging, trailer wiring and much more.
    After Arnhem was put on the trailer, we could pull her outside and work on the mast and boom rigging. We also filled the hydraulic steering, ran a dockside training on the autopilot.
    Amazingly, there was still a little bit of gasoline left in the engine, and it started when we turned the key!
    Sytse also had a problem with the connection from his (private) way to the public road. The county stepped in to widen the access just last week, so we are soon ready to roll and ready to sail.
    Maiden Trip will be in Kerr Lake on the NC/VA boundary, where we can train trailering, the autopilot in the water and ALL other systems that make up a boat like Mark had in vision, Sytse had in desire and I had to fit within ABYC rules.

    See you soon!


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