Some boats stay with you longer than others. What can I say? Things change. We’ve a lot on our plate, most self-inflicted. In any event, this sweet little boat has found a new owner who I believe will carry on her renovations. I know he likes the design because he has a 1965 Tartan 27!
I’d be lying, if I said I didn’t have some remorse. What a wholesome and easy sailing boat Chick is. That old adage about a boat owner’s best two days, the buying and selling of, has never set right with me on the back end. I’ve missed them all. Nonetheless, Chickadee sailed off last Sunday to live on the Coan River off the Potomac. I expect I’ll see her again. Hope so.
Generally, Chickadee’s old Atomic 4 engine has been running great. It is one of some 40,000 built for marine use over the many decades and half are still pushing boats! Good Old boat has a write up here. The Atomic 4 is a well proven concept of four smooth running cylinders on gasoline versus in this case what would be two banging diesel sleeves rattling your teeth out. At half throttle, Chickadee reaches hull speed easily. Still, long ago, back when it was warm, there seemed to be an occasional problem with the transmission (technically called a reversing gear). The prop, on occasion when asked to push forward, wouldn’t spin or did so weakly. Fortunately the solution wasn’t difficult, or so it seemed. The cockpit shifter’s linkage wasn’t throwing the “reversing gear’s” lever arm far enough to engage fully the prop shaft and engine. As luck would have it, while adjusting this travel range I elbowed the water lift exhaust hose. Chaos ensued. Water began spraying everywhere. The original iron pipe exhaust had crumbled and given way. Thankfully we were at the pier and not out cruising. After shutting the engine down and closing the thru-hull a harder look at the exhaust revealed all common black iron pipe and fittings. They weren’t at the big box stores, but Ferguson’s had the pieces to assemble a new exhaust.
After some wrestling, the new plumbing was installed and tested.
Hard to believe, but it will be warmer again, hopefully soon. There is a haul out for a few more projects to get Chickadee ready for the season. That first sail, as always, will be sublime.
Sadly, this is the first sailing I’ve done this year. Let busy get in the way. Had a wonderful late afternoon sail upriver and back with my daughter, my puppy and a really good friend. Oh, and a beer. What else can you ask for?
Life demands responsibility. We all make mistakes, but how responsible are we for those others make? Sadly, too many won’t take any ownership of the problems they’ve wrought in their own lives. It is an overwhelming problem in our land and to foment this discontent is criminal.
Like many, I’ve had enough of the corrupt “news” reports of left wing “peaceful protests”. Hate and destruction are never a recipe for heeling. The stories are practically unavoidable. You can forget who you are. So, I sought some peace on the water where no one is leering at you for not wearing a mask. Where you’re free to go where the wind takes you. A nice sail has always been restorative, rejuvenating and recuperative.
Though Chickadees’s projects are ongoing, it was time to sail her home from the yard after fixing the centerboard, painting the bottom and mending a few deck leaks. A light breeze pulled us out into North River as several porpoise raced in our wake. Beautiful creatures. Otherwise, it was just me and my Huckleberry pushing to weather. I longed to continue on up the Bay on some grand adventure removed from so much insanity. Soon I hope.
Finally took Chick back out over the past few days. Diving revealed she had little growth, but a scrubbing removed some scum and let her slip along even better still. The water was a perfect temp. Did some reading and napped in the shade of the cockpit afterwards. As the days heat up, late afternoon sails have been delightful too. Look here:
Our Tartan 27 has already proven to be a capable little vessel. The small sturdy bird commonly referred to as a “Chickadee” seemed an appropriate name for our tiny ship. Additionally, my momma used to call her 4 babies “chickadees”. So, yesterday we made it official.
Afterwards we took a short sail upriver and back.
In studying the sail plan, I realized the shrouds were backwards. Added to that, the spreaders were sagging as their support rod going through the mast was upside down. 2 of my sons cranked me up the mast to fix the latter. The fix required disconnecting the various shrouds while suspended and healing the boat to counteract the loose rigging.
Chickadee’s rigging is happy now. It’s not drooping and is properly tensioned. Her main sheet is new. The other was half the needed length! (That escaped my notice in surveying.) The Cubic Mini stove install is nearing completion. So, we’re making small improvements while keeping her working. Very satisfied with the boat! More later.
Running the engine to charge batteries is a poor solution at best to deliver amp hours back into the cells. A shore powered multi stage charger is far better. So, I added a Powermania 12 amp 2-bank “smart” charger that plugs into an appropriate extension cord led forward in the cabin and up through the bow dorade to pier supplied electrical power.
Other adds/fixes are:
Battery monitor: Xantrex LinkLite. This effectively a true amp hour “fuel gauge” to know the state of the batteries.
12 volt/ USB outlets for all the 12v components now used from phones, cameras, speakers, handheld VHF, GPS, etc.
Bilge pump switch works now in manual mode, but automatic mode will require a float switch of some sort. I’ve a Water Witch switch from Luna that may serve. The wine glass bilge may be a challenge. We’ll see.
VHF Radio: a Uniden waterproof (overkill?) VHF radio is now mounted and powered. The masthead antenna will have to wait for a Spring haul out.
May need a few more breakers as instruments and autopilot are added, but for now the boat is much improved. More later-
Hull Type: Keel/Ctrbd Rig Type: Masthead Sloop LOA: 27.00 ft / 8.23 m LWL: 21.42 ft / 6.53 m Beam: 8.58 ft / 2.62 m Listed SA: 376.00 ft2 / 34.93 m2 Draft (max.) 6.33 ft / 1.93 m Draft (min.) 3.17 ft / 0.97 m
Displacement: 7,400 lb / 3,357 kg Ballast: 2,400 lb / 1,089 kg Sail Area/Disp.1: 15.89 Bal./Disp.: 32.43 Disp./Len.: 336.14 Designer: William Shaw at Sparkman & Stephens
Construction: Fiberglass First Built: 1961 (Chickadee is hull #471 built in 1974 at Douglas & McLeod in Grand River, OH) RIG AND SAIL PARTICULARS I: 34.65 ft / 10.56 m J: 9.83 ft / 3.00 m P: 30.50 ft / 9.30 m E: 13.50 ft / 4.11 m SA(Fore.): 170.30 ft2 / 15.82 m2SA(Main): 205.88 ft2 / 19.13 m2 Sail Area (100% fore+main triangle): 376.18 ft2 / 34.95 m2 Sail Area/Disp.2: 15.90 Est. Forestay Length.: 36.02 ft / 10.98 m
I’ve too many excuses with little reason behind any of them to explain my love of boats. Simply, I feel dead without them. (I apologize here and now Luna). Last summer I saw a boat advertised for sale that I’ve long admired, the Tartan 27, “classic plastic”. She was in Annapolis. Couldn’t get up there. By chance a month or so later, a family wedding was nearby. The boat was still available. Hmm. Perhaps I could escape during the reception? No one was going to ask me to dance. I’m a bit of a one trick pony and the Chicken Dance is out of fashion (was it ever?). Would have been bad form I know, not the dance, the disappearing. I suppose all was for the best. Luna needed a new home first. It seemed a long 3 months getting that done. Was quick really. Once accomplished I felt maybe I was done with “in-the-water” boats for awhile. The best day in a boat owner’s life … No such doing however. In short order I began thinking about the little Tartan. Yet, the ad had disappeared and I had lost the contact. So, I joined a T27 group to inquired of others on the market. Sadly, most were dogs or too much in the “project” category. Then favor shined. The son of the summer boat saw my post. “Faith” was still waiting. After several calls, 2 trips north and2 minutes of deliberation, the sweet little girl became ours. Getting her is a long 3 day journey. Add our December weather to the mix and none of it makes sense.
The first attempt was aborted after I got the rental car loaded. Optimism didn’t prevail. “Faith” became “Chickadee” and one week later a 3-day window opened. It was quite cold with small craft warnings, but no rain. The clear skies brought winds from the starboard quarter to offer a firm push home. Lunacy! Here are our 2 days getting south. A third is to come. Merry Christmas!