The week leading up to the weekend of August 13th was hot and humid. Temps were in the 90’s and it was thick-air-like-breathing-through-a-wet-blanket humid. At one point I did a comparison of the temps and dew points between West Hartford and Sarasota, FL, and they were the same. I’ll take it over winter any day, but with no air conditioning in the house I was looking forward to heading to the boat. Unfortunately, work was interfering so heading down on Friday evening was out, but I went to work at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday in the hopes of salvaging some of the weekend, and by mid-afternoon we were driving to Shenny.
There wasn’t enough wind for a late day sail, but just being on the boat was splendid. Significantly cooler than even standing on the lawn just 1/4 mile away, we relaxed on the mooring watching the hazy evening approach.
The next day was HOT but there was a good breeze. We flip-flopped on going for a sail multiple times, but ultimately decided not to because we didn’t want to bake in the sun. Pegu Club came with a dodger (a canvas structure that covers part of the cockpit and the companionway), but she doesn’t have a bimini yet (an open front canvas top that covers the rest of the cockpit, providing protection from the sun). Making a bimini on the Sailrite before we cut the lines in 3 years and 8 1/2 months (but who’s counting?) is on the must-do list, but for now we simply have a makeshift sun cover.
Pegu Club came with a pretty ingenious (although a bit stained) sun cover. Made out of white sunbrella, one end zips onto the dodger and the other end has PVC pipe for support with three lines attached so that we can tie it to the backstay and back stanchions. You can see how it covers the cockpit in this picture from Stonington Harbor:
Right before we left for vacation last month we MacGyvered the sun cover so we could get more sun protection on the sides. We brought the suncover home, measured, cut, and hemmed two side panels, then installed snaps along both sides so that we could have removable side shades.
Unfortunately, we can’t sail with the sun cover up because the wind will thrash it around (hence, the need for a bimini before we head off). So instead of sailing we enjoyed a breeze with our deluxe sun cover keeping us from baking in the cockpit while we decided on what boat chores we would take care of.
First up was cutting the vinyl covers off of the lifelines. Right before we splashed back in April, I was chatting with SV Infinity and I saw they had bare lifelines. The stainless sparkling in the sun looked sweet, and I told Jeff that we needed to do that with ours this season. A bit of research turned up the fact that it was actually better for the lifelines not to be covered, because the lack of oxygen promoted corrosion.
We don’t know when our lifelines were last replaced (we’ll certainly be doing that before we head out), and we weren’t sure what condition they would be in when we cut the covers off, but we decided to go for it. Jeff dug a razor blade out of the tool bag and an hour later we had (mostly) shiny lifelines glistening in the sun.
Vinyl covered on the left, the finished product on the right.
Once that was finished it was time to go swimming! Jeff went in first and cleaned Pegu-teeny’s bottom while he was at it. We didn’t put anti-fouling paint on her before we launched because we weren’t sure where the waterline was. We figured we’d just clean her by hand, and then next season we’d know exactly where to paint her.
We had already cleaned the growth off of her bottom once this season by taking her to the sailing school boat launch and hauling her out of the water. Once she was out we flipped her over and made quick work of the task with a bucket and scrub brush. This time the water was warm enough that it was easier to simply take care of it while she was floating. Well, it was easier for Jeff. It was certainly easier for me because I remained on the boat and took pictures, commenting that this was the first of many times that we would be cleaning our boat in the water.
Once that was finished I jumped in too, and we enjoyed hanging out in the water for awhile. I have to admit, the water is warm enough to be concerned. We’ve heard reports that the water temperature in Long Island Sound is in the mid-70’s already which is NOT helpful if a hurricane decides to make its way into our area. We bought Little Bristol the year after Sandy, and so far we haven’t had to do any emergency haul outs. Fingers crossed that our luck doesn’t run out this year.
Driving back to West Hartford at the end of the day, we both felt refreshed and were glad that despite work getting in the way, we were able to still get some time in that weekend on our Pegu Club.