We have a tent!

Christmas has come and gone for another year – blink, and it’s over! Our decorations have been taken down and put away, the snow is melting, and boat-work is going on.

The Acorn has now had the breasthook installed and shaped, the thwarts and knees installed, and the rope bumper nearly ready for installation. The ribs have been trimmed to the top of the gunwales, and blocking installed for the oarlocks. Oarlock pads have been rough-cut, and will soon be installed.

The Acorn is currently sharing the shop with the Vogler, which is in for that bit of planking repair sustained in a storm a year ago. We’ve applied some thickened epoxy to fill the gouges, and now we need to smooth it, and then get some paint on it. The boats seem to be getting along ok for now.

Vogler’s berth was modified (shortly before we hauled her into the shed!), giving us a bit more room to get at her, moving the life-ring stand, tucking the cables and hoses under the bull-rail, and giving her some cleats to tie her off to. These improvements should make her much more accessible and enjoyable to get into!

When removing Ragna’s sail to put on the winter cover, we noticed that the top batten pocket was taking a beating. The sail-cloth had torn at both ends, leaving the batten in danger of falling out, or further damaging the sail. After consulting our club member Bob who has made our sails, we removed the old batten pocket, repaired the rips using sail-repair tape, and fashioned a new pocket. While we were at it, we changed the angle of the batten, so that the sail will roll up easier. The old angle was part of the reason for the damage, as it caused a lot of stress on the pocket ends. The boat is now ready to sail again, when conditions allow. Thanks Bruce for lending us Sheila’s sewing machine for this!

Since about the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been talking about and planning a tent on the dock, to give us another sheltered workspace. In December, we finally got it, and set it up, and then worked on stabilizing and reinforcing it to keep it standing through the strong winds. This last windstorm on Friday was the first real test, and it held up, thankfully!

We’ll probably keep the sides rolled up most of the time, only dropping them when we’re in there working, or if we’re sure we won’t get a storm.

The tent is now home to Button Swan, which is next in line for a refresh. We found that the bottom paint was completely worn off in places, putting the planking in danger of damage by shipworms or other destructive pests.

Storms have been happening more often than usual, and MUCH more than we’d like. The docks and the shed are taking a real beating. The wind and waves have been bashing the shed against the dock a lot – so we’ve added more cushioning using wider tires, and reinforced the shed where the tires hit it.

HUGE thanks to the club members including Arnt, Knut, and Dylan, who have been at the dock helping Bruce during the last few storms, tending the lines, and making sure the boats and shed haven’t been damaged too badly. There was some pretty dramatic footage of the last storm which happened at a King tide, with water washing over the spit, a boat getting washed up on the rocks, and the incredible force of the wind.

One way I’ve been keeping an eye on the harbour (and the rest of English Bay) is a local webcam which was activated after the barge ran aground in November. The camera cycles among a bunch of views, and one of them is a great view of our harbour. You can see it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/wAfNuT8IqJw

I think I’ll leave it at that – a lot of stuff has been piling up in the almost 2 months since the last post – life seems to be getting busier all the time!! Hopefully Covid conditions will allow us to keep meeting at the shop for our Saturday workdays. The tent should allow us to work on two projects, as long as we get back to more normal temperatures!