I spent most of today at Fishing Bay Yacht Club putting the new boat together.  After 4 hours and 3 trips to West Marine and I had it all tricked out like I wanted and ready to sail.

6/14 drilling holes in and tricking out the new boat.

6/14 about to launch the new boat for the first time.

What really surprised me when I was sailing was how much stiffer the mast seemed.  I haven’t sailed many boats and am pretty used to the feel of the old boat.  I’m guessing after 17 years the old mast has been flexed so many times it’s lost a bit of stiffness.  Couple the stiffer mast with control lines that are just a little thinner than I’m used to and I really felt like a wimp trying to crank everything in.  I’m sure it’ll loosen up a bit as I get used to it.  The other difference was the all Holt-Allen fittings which were just a little different than the Harken ones I’m used to.  I’m not sure yet which I prefer, but I’m sure I’ll be able to tell in time.

6/14 first sail in the new boat.

I was supposed to be on my  way to Cape May New Jersey today for the District 10 Championship Regatta at Wildwood Yacht Club and Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May.  I was looking forward to visiting with NJ sailors and visiting a new club.  I was also looking to avenge a demon of the last time I was in Cape May and had a run-in with yacht in the harbor.

That wasn’t going to be.  Last night when I was loading the Laser I slipped with it and it fell off the car with the bow hitting with a thud.  It got a small crack in the gunwale and there were several inches of the hull/deck joint that separated where the boat flexed so it was clearly out of commission.  It’s fixable, but it will be a while. Me, the car and the ground made out with out any scratches.

159785 was one of the boats at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, has a great logo on the side of it and was a very well made boat.  I was fortunate that the boat was a spare for that regatta and didn’t get as beat up as the other boats.  We picked it up at the beginning of 1997 and it served me well for the 17 years since. But with any boat sailed that hard for that long – it was beginning to show its age and have little things go wrong with it from time to time.  Almost exactly a year ago I was in NJ and the traveler fairlead pulled out.  I had planned on getting a new boat in the next year anyway so might as well move that up and pick up a new boat to use while the old one is getting fixed.  Eventually, I’ll keep the old boat at the club for local sailing and keep the new boat in Richmond ready for travel events.

The name for this boat will be No Quarter.  That’s the beloved battle cry of my ECU Pirates and loosely means show no mercy, take no prisoners and accept only unconditional surrender.

I ultimately decided I had enough things go wrong for one weekend and didn’t want to temp fate any further by trying to race on a brand new boat… so I thought it best to sit this D10 Championship out and get the boat put together and take it easy this weekend.  I’ll have the boat out for it’s maiden voyage tomorrow.