For the past month weekend work parties have been focused on finishing up projects and putting Zodiac back together so she’s ready for her sailing season. We’ve already completed our first sail of the season but there was still some work that needed to be done before she was truly ready.
Before our first sail we removed the wood frame and plastic that covered the whole boat. That was a lot more work than I expected, but we managed to disassemble and remove everything in one day. It started with cutting the plastic away from the frames, removing bolts and then those pieces were put on the dock where another team attacked them. We removed nails and thin wooden batons that was securing the remaining plastic pieces in place, those clean numbered frames were hauled up to the work shop and stored till next winter.
The following weekend we focused on getting the rig back together. Spars were reattached, blocks, gear and other rigging were brought down from the shop along with all of the deck boxes, life rafts and other large items.
Finally, the last push before the Riverdale high school trip was to attach the sails to the spars, bending them on. Junk and tools were cleared away; we did a very big clean up of the whole ship and fresh linens were put on all the beds in preparation.
Last but not least the final push to get out of winter and into spring was to haul the boat out of the water and check below the waterline. We motored down to Anacortes and went into dry dock. Seeing a boat out of the water after having spent a good amount of time on her is really interesting. You think you know her and could imagine her shape below the water but it can be so different. Zodiac is wide at the waterline which means she has a lot of great space down below, but after that she pinches in and is very sleek, this design makes her very steady in the water.
There were a few important projects that needed to get done, but out of all the yard periods I have been apart of this was the shortest and easies yet. We weren’t even out of the water for a full 36 hours! Seams between planks were filled with cotton and oakum (caulking), we replaced half of the anchor chain, removed barnacles and mussels, applied bottom paint where needed and the coast guard came to do their annual inspection. Overall it was a very enjoyable yard period, I don’t often do deckhand work so when I get the chance to it can be fun.
We’ve put everything back together and been inspected by the powers that be and are really ready to start our season, just waiting on our interns to get here.