The sail "Down East" to Maine was typical in that we had a good following wind, lots of sunshine for part of the trip, and got socked in with thick fog the rest of the way. The Maine sailing is complicated by fog, zillions of tiny islands and rocks, and more lobster pots than I could ever have imagined. With our two outboard motors located in a vulnerable position between the hulls, it made for a rather sporting exercise in slalom sailing between the floats. We got into the tiny Cousins River and could not see either shore from the middle even though I could probably throw a stone across. But once the fog lifted we saw lovely woods, a seal, a doe nursing her two spotted fawns, and a family of ducks swimming down river. We anchored in the river which dries at low tide but the mud flats are friendly to our twin hulls. Then we took the dinghy up to see the place Peace will be hauled. The yard is full of hot looking multihulls, and the sheds are well organized and bright. It is not run like any boat yard I have ever known. If you need to use any of their tools or equipment, just ask and they are happy to let you - it is more like a club in that regard.
On this rainy day, lots of work was getting done. It has been raining here in Maine for about 70% of the time all spring long so folks kept working outside until the rain got pretty heavy. That was just after the turn of the tide, so we had to leave before coffee break but will get better acquainted when we are lifted ashore. Walter was kind enough to row out into the river when we arrived and he came aboard to see our boat and discuss the haul out and our boat's particular characteristics. He and Nev poured over the plans. We feel confidence in him, but I suppose I will worry until we get back into the water all safe and sound at the end of the job.
There will be a huge crane to haul us out. It must reach out into the river to get us and then lift us completely out. Because of the reach, the crane must be large. The other multihulls are smaller than us and lighter because they are foam and fiberglass construction rather than plywood, so they are lifted out on a small trolley or using a small crane attached to part of a bus. But the big crane is here often enough so we saw many places where its feet had been set on the shore earlier in the year. There is a bit of a home grown atmosphere here in that all the yard's own lifting gear is home made, but it looks tough and reliable. There are obviously lots of clever people and no lack of knowledge or skill in building, maintaining, or sailing the fast, foam sandwich multihull racers including lots of trans Atlantic sailing and racing.
This yard is multihull central for New England, that is for sure and lots of the names are familiar because the folks are famous. A couple just stopped by in their dinghy from the big house at the bend in the river. They brought us a bottle of wine to welcome us to the Cousins river, came aboard, and were kindly and amusing. Apparently they wondered what kind of boat we had here, took a digital photograph, sent it by email to a catamaran friend, and he looked at it, sensed that it was a Wharram, and went on line to the Wharram website. Then he saw Peace IV and our letters, emailed the couple back, and said we might be open for a visit. So now Peace has new friends here in Maine and we have another reason to be grateful to the little electrons that made all this possible. I also have some very old friends only 3 miles from here who may drop by when it is too rainy to work. And my childhood playmate, Martha, and her husband Bob might stop by. They live in Vermont and have a small travel trailer so might take the pretty drive and help for a little while. This boat sure attracts nice people to serve her needs!
They lifted us out yesterday and everything went well. And the crane man said we weigh 10 tons so we will have to put Peace on a weight loss diet. Fewer spares, maybe less stores, perhaps fewer books, and maybe fewer tools. She is admitedly pudgey in those areas. With the foremast mast out now, we are relieved to see that the slight damage to the mast case is even less than we thought and the mast is only minimally damaged. Considering the 9.5 knots we were doing when the top forestay fitting failed, it was lucky we did not see the mast falling over the side, but that mast case held and it will be easy to make it stronger than new again. We already replaced that top forestay fitting and will now make further improvements so as to prevent any more of that kind of excitement. The hulls are almost pristine and Nev is easily removing the keel bands and there is no damage there at all. The anchor chain tore off three of the bands, but it happened by ripping the tops off the screws without damage to the hulls at all. So he is fairing it all, I will add more epoxy, and we will just have a longer snubber to keep the chain away from the hulls. Everything needing repairs can be either bonded, filleted, or coated with epoxy or wrapped in fiberglass. It is all so simple. Considering how hard we have sailed this boat, she is in excellent condition. Thanks to fiberglass and epoxy. I guess our only problem is that England did not do well in the soccer. Oh yes, I forgot to mention the mosquito bites... a Maine specialty.
Love, Ann and Nev
© Anne and Neville Clement, 2006