The Keel... again

A bit of background: The lifting keel is handy for a couple of reasons. First, she sits very low on the trailer, for easy towing, and easy work in the yard. Second, she can be taken into very shallow (2'!) water. But... it is also an achille's heel - it's fragile, and troublesome.

Finally, we were sailing. About a dozen times. Even participated in our first race - happy to get around the race course without breaking anything, and we even beat a boat or two. Of course, we had a lot of room for improvement, but we raced, we survived, we remembered why we bought a boat!

Then, Disaster Number Two struck. We hit soft Alameda Estuary mud at about 4 knots, and the forward flange of the keel sheared off. In retrospect, we never should have listened to the former owner; we should have had the rear slider/locator blocks in. But we didn't. And the "renowned" yard that put the boat back together didn't mention anything (nor did they follow our instructions about leaving the forward sliders off, which would have led us to putting the rears in, but it's hard to follow instructions if you lose the fax 3 times.

The cantankerous keel sheared off again.

Most painfully... this damage occurred ONE WEEK before Vallejo. The race we were hoping to debut in, and had been looking forward to since September 2001. But Bushwhacker had something else in mind.

So, we're out of commission again. But we're working on it. We think we've found a good yard (we'll see...), and we think we're on track to get back on schedule. But we know how cantankerous she is!

Regardless... it's been an adventure, and while we'd just as soon have put cash into electronics and sails, rather than repairs, we wouldn't trade her. Period.

Hopefully, soon, we'll be able to add a new section "Results", but for the moment, we're stuck only with the cantankerousness!


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