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.
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!
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.
cantankerous keel sheared off again.
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.
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
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.
soon, we'll be able to add a new section "Results",
but for the moment, we're stuck only with the cantankerousness!