In the Water, Volcano Leak, and Cheap Bailer.

We finally got the boat in the water for the season. Well, maybe for the season. We launched, which went pretty smoothly. Since we had the mast off the boat, we had to get all the rigging back  connected, which took a little more time than previous launches, but experience from previous launches compensated.

Quick-release toggle pin.
One thing we bought that makes it a little easier are some quick-release toggle pins. Use three of these to replace the pins that go into the chain plates, one for each of the forward shrouds, and one for the forestay (which is at the bottom of our furling jib). This makes it so that you are not fooling with cotter coils, which I hate messing with for anything that is not mostly permanent. They are a little pricey at the Catalina Direct web site, but they do make putting on the shrouds and forestay easier. The other shrouds stay connected to the boat when putting down the mast, unless the mast is removed from the boat.

We do need a technique for keeping the shrouds from getting caught on the snaps on the side of the cabin used for our cabin cover. The shroud gets under the snap, and gets a lot of tension as we raise the mast until we realize it is caught and pull it loose. This has happened each time we have raised the mast. We are considering our options here.

The crew and the mast raising system.
Our mast raising system rocks! We will get a detailed description here for it sometime soon. Greg had made a pretty good checklist for getting the mast raised, which makes sure that we do not forget any important step. (By the way, checklists are a good thing. If you want to learn about the value of checklists, read The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.)

After getting in the water, Sandi motored down to our summer moorage. Greg stored the trailer and unloaded all of the stuff like the gin pole and ladder back at the house and met Sandi just at sunset at the dock. Everything on the way down went smoothly, except the water in the bilge!
Captain at the helm.

Yes, after two seasons of a completely dry bilge, there was a little water. It is coming in at a pretty common place on a Catalina 22. There is a cable that extends from the keel winch through a keel cable tube and then through what is called the volcano. The volcano is a fiberglass cone that extends through the bottom of the boat to the keel. The keel cable tube is fitted to the volcano with two hose clamps. The seal between the tube and the volcano is seeping just a little, letting in water, about maybe a cup a day.

Fantasia arriving at the dock at sunset.
We ordered the parts from Catalina Direct to replace all the keel lifting hardware, including the cable and tube. However, you cannot replace the tube while the boat is in the water. The place where the tube meets the volcano is below the water line, and trying to remove it with the boat in the water will sink the boat! So to do this maintenance, we will have to pull the boat out. That should not be terrible as we do not have to put the mast down as we do the work...we just need some space at the boat launch to park for a while before we put it back in.

In the mean time, we will put on some Vaseline and wrap the joint in duct tape. That should slow the leak.

With the thought of having water in the boat, Greg made a hand bailer out of a milk jug.


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