Once upon a time, there was a windlass in Kenutu. This windlass was heavy duty, a Simpson Lawrence SeaTiger 555, which is a name that only barely conveys its heavy-dutiness. Sadly, the windlass was jammed, taking away Kenutu's ability to anchor. The owners of Kenutu thought that since they'd serviced the winches, they could handle an overhaul of the windlass. They unbolted the 40-pound hunk of metal from the anchor locker and soon realized they were dummies, for there were 10 gallons of unexplainable goo inside. And the smell. Oh, it smelled of instant defeat.
Despite the obvious obstacles, the dummies felt empowered after a few internet searches offering up such clever ideas as "turn it upside down and fill it with mineral spirits and let it soak." Boldly, they pried off the base plate, revealing an ancient, pungent, creamy goo that made the first goo look like frosting. They donned gloves and plunged into the metal abyss to scoop out handfuls of gunk.
After purging the innards, it quickly became clear that the dummies were going to need a professional. They again turned to the internet and found Tom Dessel of Coast Marine, a character who will henceforth be referred to as Asshole. They left a message for Asshole, who immediately called them back and arranged a drop off time to get the windlass repaired. On a nice morning in June, full of optimism and naive belief in professionalism, one of the dummies drove to Asshole's shop and dropped off the windlass and $260 cash. In exchange, she received an estimate repair time of 2-4 weeks and a promise to email a receipt. As his name may suggest, Asshole failed to deliver on all counts.
In July, they called and emailed to check on the repair status. In August, they called and emailed to nudge it along and ask for a reply. In September, they called and emailed threatening to take it to the next level, legally speaking. In October, they called, emailed and drafted a letter to send via certified mail. In November, they emailed a way less cordial email demanding the windlass and including the phrase "if you have a brain in your head," and Asshole responded. Apparently the parts were ordered and it'd be done in two weeks. His name is still Asshole, so clearly that was a lie. In December, the windlass arrived in the same condition it was delivered to Asshole in June. And it arrived without the dummies' $260.
At about the same time, Scott, who often sails with the dummies and laughs at their follies, was coming up from San Diego to visit and mentioned he had seen a windlass at Minney's during his stopover in Newport Beach. It was a boating miracle. The thing they needed, an almost 25-year-old hunk of metal, was actually available?!! They wouldn't have to drill other holes into the deck?!! Parts for this windlass sometimes make repairing it either impossible or not cost effective. This one at Minney's, though, presented an opportunity... a $700 opportunity. They could get a functioning windlass and keep the other for parts. Before they could even make a pros and cons list, it was bought and installed on Kenutu.
The new windlass fits like a glove. It only took 6 months, but the dummies finally acquired the ability to anchor. And now, they must learn how to anchor. Here's hoping for more miracles in 2017!
Kenutu moved AGAIN. That girl just cannot commit to a home. This time she moved to Long Beach's Shoreline Marina, and for the first time since we got her, she finally lives in the same city as us.
Before she could settle in, she had to be inspected. We'd never had to do that before so it was a little weird. The guy told us we needed to fix our running lights and get new fire extinguishers since we hadn't been turning them upside down a couple times a year. And we were like, now??? But no, it was an immediate requirement and we made our way toward our slip.
There weren't too many slips when we were ready to relocate so we ended up on what is affectionately called Repo Row. Being there is kind of twofold... there's no one around and there's no one around. I'm hoping we get a slip near some people who actually come on their boats since we learn a lot from them, but for now, we're enjoying being right next to the beach and, more importantly, living just a few minutes from Kenutu.
Kenutu has a beautiful 150% genoa that we flew the first time we met her. When it whipped out, it was like a giant wind blanket, clean and full of opportunity. We've been sailing with the genoa quite a bit, but we don't always unroll the sail all the way since it's sometimes too much for the wind we've got. Well, we finally found the jib, and since some of the UV fabric that covers the genoa had started to flap we swapped the sails.
I brought the genoa into the garage and started to seam rip out the sunwrecked thread and prep the fabric to be patched. About 75% of the way done, I got ADHD and decided to start sewing some of the pieces back down. I have a heavy-duty Singer sewing machine. I have sewn a boat full of cushions, including some that are vinyl. I am a professional seamstress. Obviously.
Well, this is how far I got.
I'm pretty sure my sewing machine laughed at me during the first stitch attempt. It couldn't even muster enough strength to go thru the sail. I tried manhandling it thru hoping that once it got going it would have some confidence. Yeah, the needle broke. Clearly I was out of my league and should stick to cushions.
I bagged up the sail, apologized to Mack for ruining it by my overzealous seam ripping, and hauled it in to a shop I had talked to about a bimini cover. They sent me around the corner to Quantum Sails, where I met Olga. At this point, I'd just like to say thank god we live in a boat mecca so that these repair places are around the corner.
Olga took a look at my sail and noticed that the luff tape (aka the fabric tube that threads the sail onto the boat) had started to fray. It wasn't totally in shambles, but she said that when it starts to go, it'll rip off like a zipper unzipping and who knows where your sail will end up.
Olga knows just what to say to make you nervous. I saw what good luff tape looks like and realized the sorry state of ours. And the decision was made. The Sunbrella fabric was going to be patched and we were getting new luff tape.
A couple weeks later, the sail was done. The $775 repair did not feel good, but it felt better than the $2000 that a new genoa would cost if ours decided to rip apart and fly away. Now we just gotta get the UV fabric applied to the jib and maybe we'll finally be sail ready.
Two people dumb enough to think anything is possible and smart enough to bumble their way into discoveries.