April 17th, 2014

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Wednesday April 16. An early resurrection.

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

I am just too excited to keep this under my hat till Easter. “Fleetwood” is resurrected. I have just purchased her twin. Coincidence, I am a twin and “Fleetwood”‘s predecessor a Ranger-29 was called “Gemini”. This NAJA is named “Mariah” but that does not fit my profile. “Phoenix” would work but that might ruffle my last wife’s feathers, her given name is May Fung 冯美华   beautiful Phoenix. So you just will have to be here for the re-launch and christening. The boat is sound but it has been a bit neglected and I will get to cleaning her up and a new coat of paint and varnish. The boat was built from one of the three kits that I imported from Whisstocks Boat Yard in England in 1980. Todd Dhabolt did an exceptional fine job on putting the boat together. It has a masthead rig instead of the fractional rig I had. The masthead rig is easier to handle. The mast is keel stepped instead of stepped on top of the cabin. This is also a structural advantage. Another plus is that my boat was the last to have the plywood planking (ringshank) nailed, from then on they have been screwed which is a much better way of fastening. I was continuously epoxying the recessed exposed nail surfaces. It has a decent sail inventory and a nearly new main. The engine is a 1 cylinder 10 HP discontinued Italian (Ducati?) diesel. Seems to work fine but might need something a little more powerful eventually. I will need a list of new gear for off shore use.

So, I am pleased. For the price I paid I could not have found a similar quality replacement on the Atlantic coast. I am totally sold on the chined plywood construction. I know this boat inside out. I checked into shipping the boat to Thunder Bay on lake Ontario from here. I would have loved to sail the Great Lakes and visit a number of Canadian friends I met along the way and then descend the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. But the cost is out of the question. I plan to get the boat ready to sail south from here to the Panama Canal this summer  and from there pick up where I left off in 2007 in the Eastern Caribbean and then spend time in Cartagena to land travel the South American Pacific Coast.

Here is a picture of her back in 1990 together with “Fleetwood”:

Mariah on left Fleetwood center

Mariah on left Fleetwood center