Back in the saddle again

Flutterby left the boatyard almost a year ago, and we started cruising. Sure, we did some projects underway like mounting the oarlocks on the dinghy. Sure, we did even more projects while we stayed at Vero Beach over the winter and spring–We sewed sails and bought and mounted solar panels. But we weren’t hauled out, and more importantly, we weren’t in project mode.

We brought Flutterby back to the boatyard in June, “summerized” her, and drove west.

A week ago, we returned to Flutterby. Yesterday, I dropped Margaret off at the airport; she’s going to Florida to help her Dad through open-heart surgery, and I’ve got a couple weeks to do boat projects.

Finally, for the first time in months, I opened my to-do list, a dozen pages in an Excel spreadsheet. Some things were irrelevant. Some were completed months ago. I crossed those off. I tried to remember all the things I had listed when Margaret asked what we had to do before we could launch again.

Then I went outside with a couple wrenches and took out the bolts holding the tiller arm onto the rudder. I scraped loose the 3M-101 goop that I could get off, then forced the thing away from the rudder. Now it is off, and only a little sticky residue remains. After I clean it up I’ll be making it fit higher so that the steering cables don’t make that AWFUL gritching noise when it hangs up between the quadrant on the tiller arm and the turning blocks.

If this is enough adjustment, I won’t have to adjust the angle of those turning blocks too. Wish me luck on that one.

I’m sure that half of the people reading this are wishing I could have described an exciting job. But moving the boot stripe on the rudder is a later project, so exciting things like sanding, prepping, masking, and painting … repeat … repeat … repeat … will have to wait.

For now, the important thing is that I’m back to working on Flutterby!