I guess it is s pretty sad thing, but I seem to have a penchant for the beautiful shape of traditional sailboats. It has sort of taken hold, and so I have … more than one .
C.E.Ryder – Southern Cross 28 (1978)
This boat is a photo taken by the previous owner shortly before I bought her. She is a 1978 Southern Cross 28 (ie 28′ long), Hull #4 and is a cutter rig (ie she has two staysails – you know those ones up front) and is probably the most seaworthy boat of the lot. I currently have her berthed down in the Bay Area, and I am slowly bringing her up to snuff, having completely rebuilt her bowsprit and removed a fair amount of dry rot and reinforced her chainplate (the bit to which the shroud is attached that holds the mast up). I am now in the middle of a varnishing effort to freshen up her topsides. It is turning out wonderfully, and soon I will be starting to work on her toerails (the bits around the edges of the deck).
The following year, I was the owner of the Will ‘O The Wisp, and here is a shot of her at her berth in Point RIchmond – the Brickyard Cove Marina.
Feb 2,2012 – This week I took a jaunt down to the Bay to do some more work on the Will O’ The Wisp. I may have mentioned elsewhere that one of the things that I would like to do is to sail single-handed (ie by myself) over to Norway. Well, there are a lot of hoops that I will need to jump through before I get to do that. Well I am slowly getting a few of the requisite experiences under my belt. The first was to go out with the Southern Cross into the Bay by myself. This was quite exciting, particularly as the wind started to come up! Then this last week, I went up the mast to make some repairs. It was a blast going up using rock climbing ascenders, but I am wondering how it might be if I were out at sea and the wind were thrashing the mast about! So the next time I go down, I will be trying out a different system, using a ratcheting block and tackle. In any case the following are a few photos that I took from the top of the mast. It was gorgeous, although I did somewhat fear dropping my camera! I might add that in the process, my glasses were wiped off my face, and I watched in dismay as they fell down… Thank heavens they didn’t go into the water! I guess I need to bring down a backup pair!
The first hurdle was taking the Will O’ The Wisp out alone, with which I am now quite comfiortable. The second was to go up into her rigging (I still have to repair a few more things and so get a little more practice.) The next project is to poke my nose out beyond the Golden Gate. Most have told me that the winds in the Bay are much more severe than outside the gate and so it should not be much of a challenge. I’ll have to pick a day with a reasonable breeze in which the tides are in my favor, so that I don’t have to buck the tide when it comes time to reenter the Bay.
This boat took my breath away when I first saw her. She was sleek and low to the water, and when the owner let me sleep in her… well that clinched the deal! Also the price was right – just right enough for me to imagine spending huge amounts to bring her up to snuff. But then designed by Carl Alberg, how could I resist??? She might not be the fastest boat in my fleet, but a lovely short-distance cruiser – really not quite enough room to carry everything, but others of this breed have gone around the world, so she is quite capable. If you are interested in a link to another one of these boats with lots of pictures, go to:
This link has some great stuff about sheet to tiller steering (whereby you use the tension on the mail or jib sheets to control the boat steering so that you can take care of other tasks.
So here is the photo of “Obsession” in Nevada City, after having taken her out of the water. I have since taken her to Maine, where I am looking forward to refitting he, painting, fiberglass work, etc.
In Nov of 2011, I finally trailered her to Maine. It was a most exciting trip. I did not listen to the radio or CDs as I was intent on listening to the sound of the truck and trailer in the event of mishap.Well, sure enough, one tire blew out (I had bought a spare just prior to the trip thank heavens) and one hub blew apart in New York. For this second event I was not so fortunate to have a spare, but the gods smiled on my adventure and directed me to a store where I could get a replacement and so within a few hours I was off the side of the road and finally ended up on Swan’s Island, with an otherwise uneventful trip.
So here we are, parking the Ariel on my property on the island.