Friday, October 19, 2007

Fair winds or foul?

Two appointments to haul "Kuan Yin" out of the winter for the winter have so far had to be cancelled due to high winds. Last Saturday the wind from the west was so strong that it was difficult even rowing out to the boat - the dinghy was blown back at least half the distance of each stroke before I could get the oars in the water again. There's a metaphor for some of life's winds sometimes.

However, on "Kuan Yin" all was well -- there's something extraordinarily comforting being cocooned down below in a boat when the wind's howling and she's moving in response. (And knowing that one is securely anchored or moored!)

The main reason for the haulout is that I will be spending the winter months in Asia and want the boat secure on dry land throughout the months I'm away. It's also an opportunity to clean the bottom, apply new anti-foul paint next spring and do some work on the through-hulls - those holes in the bottom of a boat through which water is drawn to cool the engine, for example.

Two of the through-hulls on Kuan Yin are plastic, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense on a steel boat. They are definitely the point of weakness and need to be changed. (The reasons for using plastic are that 1) it's cheaper 2) plastic does not interact with steel, whereas bronze must be bonded not to be in contact with the steel. A complicated subject to do with corrosion. However, I don't think it makes any sense to have plastic through-hulls in a steel boat when there is some danger of icebergs and rocks. One good hit against either could sheer off the plastic and the boat would sink in minutes. When Kuan Yin is out of the water, the through-hulls can be changed.

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