Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Welcome aboard the Seatard

Well, we still haven't officially named the boat, but for a week now it's been referred to as the Seatard, and I'm worried it's going to stick. I Googled Seatard, and it actually came up in UrbanDictionary.com as being slang for a manatee. Of course, I then had to jokingly Photoshop together a Seatard logo with a dopey-looking manatee as the S. Everyone loved it. I think we may be stuck with Seatard.

Personally, I was hoping for Sea Horse as that was kind of what the boat was telling me after this past couple months on the water. It's slow, it likes to buck, and it makes my ass hurt after sitting on it for more than an hour. But how can something as mundane as the Sea Horse compare to Seatard?

The past couple weeks the Seatard has been living up to its moniker. Two weekends ago we had anchored out to swim and we found the motor wouldn't restart. I thought it was out of diesel as several trips had been taken without topping up the tank. We ended up sailing all the way back through the Kemah channel, Clear Lake and into our marina. Unfortunately, the wind didn't really pick up until we hit the marina, and although I dropped the sails as we were making the turn into our slip, I couldn't get us slowed down enough to avoid hitting the pier. Luckily, there was no damage to the boat or the pier, but I ended up going overboard in my attempt to make it onto the dock with a line. My flip flops floated up after the incident, but my prescription sunglasses were lost to Neptune.

After putting a couple gallons of diesel in the tank, we thought all was well, and the boat motored out to the bay with no problems this weekend, but when I attempted to add another five gallons, the tank overflowed. Therefore, we had not been out of gas the weekend before.

We were sailing with a friend to Redfish Island, the longest trip we've made to date. Although we had about a quarter mile head start on him, he passed us with his 34' Ketch and was quickly disappearing into the horizon. I thought maybe I could motor-sail for a bit to catch up, but the motor started sputtering. I shut it back off.

My friend thought perhaps the diesel was sucking air, so while anchored at Redfish I tightened the hose clamps on all the fuel hoses. Hopefully that was the issue. After sitting at Redfish an extra two hours while we let a thunderstorm pass through, there was absolutely no wind. The motor ran well all the way back to the marina.

Hopefully that solves the motor issues, but it was also pointed out to me that my mainsail was rigged completely wrong. I have an entire list of things to remedy in my rigging this weekend. Supposedly fixing my reef points and outhaul should speed up the boat a bit.

Then there's the dampness. My opening portholes are installed at an angle where the bottom sill collects water, which eventually get so high that it leaks in through the hinges at the top of the opening port. This leaves the floor of the head damp and slippery all the time. It also keeps the inside of the boat smelly and moldy. It looks like vents are on the must-purchase list.

The last somewhat sad realization regarding the Seatard is that because it's such a light boat, it bucks around like crazy in the surf. I have yet to experience seasickness but everyone else seems to be suffering miserably after about half an hour, especially Nikki who becomes reduced to a green heap in the cockpit. I either need to find a remedy that works better than ginger snaps and dramamine or I'm going to have to find new friends if I ever want to make it all the way down to Galveston.
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