Wednesday was a big day, at least for me. My first survey on the receiving end as well as taking the boat out for a sea trial on a very breezy day. I was planning to take a half day from work so that I would arrive when the boat was going back into the water, but I took the whole day so that I could be around to see the boat come out, witness the hull survey and be a part of the action instead of missing half of it - it is after all my boat and my responsibility even though Brad was present too. On Tuesday night the boat was already in place at the lift docks to be hauled for a noon hang and allow the surveyor to inspect the hull. We'd moved the boat around after taking her out yet again to mess with the main sail and those pesky battens.
I went for a head clearing run with Haydn early in the morning and got myself ready for a very big day. Oh, I should mention that after the survey I was scheduled to meet up with the crew that I hoped to become a regular part of for Wednesday night races on an Etchells - another story but sorta part of this one tangentially. I had packed a bag with my racing gear as well as a few layers in case the weather didn't turn out as warm as promised for the midday sea trial. While I was getting ready Brad had already headed down to the boat. He gave me a ring to inform me that the contract purchasers were indeed very nice people and that everything was going along fine with the start of the survey, although the surveyor took apart the Racor fuel filter (not exactly standard practice). We're gonna need that working for the sea trial!
I headed off to the boat myself and arrived to find the boat had just been lifted out and was in the process of being power washed. Things were a bit ahead of schedule at 11:15 considering I thought we were doing a Noon hang, apparently the surveyor was thinking he'd get the hull done and the boat back in the water before the workers left for lunch.
It was quite the little epic, the surveyor doing his gig, putting on a show I'd say, for the prospective buyers. Nothing that makes a boat owner more nervous than a surveyor going about his business; tapping here and there, taking pictures of the moisture meter readings and studiously observing the prop rotation and blade angle. Go figure huh? The hull is only the most important part of keep a boat afloat right, it is the boat? However, to use a meter on an ablative paint just out of the water is pretty ridiculous but I guess the standard deal nowadays - the reading are most certainly going to show that the hull is wet. So, chalk that up to hoping that the readings are consistent across the hull. Hey the guy's got to find something right? Ugh. What would a perfect boat mean? No need for surveyors!
Once the hull was done and the buyers had been shown whatever it was the surveyor felt was necessary, we all waited until the yard workers came back from lunch and put the boat back in - and here's the duh on my part as I watched - I should have taken a video!! Next time!
Now for the sea trial part and it would be without the benefit of Brad to help our broker unfurl the main sail - we were crossing our fingers things would go well after inserting smaller battens and refurling with different tension on the main halyard.
So, I was a bit nervous before with all of this seriousness going on, after all a boat is a big purchase since it's completely for pleasure, but now we're talking CALIX has to perform well under sail only after we rev up her engine to it's fullest RPM and hold there for a few minutes while the surveyor does his thing in the engine compartment. I don't ever recall revving up a car engine prior to purchase... guess I should freak out the car sales man next time! Now off we were through Back Creek and out in to the Bay for our little sea trial excursion. It couldn't have been a more perfect day for sailing, too bad this was going to be a short trip. I was pretty excited though because I knew I was headed out again later for racing and the wind was blowing an easy 14 knots, just enough for white caps and creating a 1+ foot chop, with some gusts up to 18 or so. Out we motored and the engine was maxed at 4000 RPMs, that had us going 8.7 knots under power with wind and waves against us - so that was kinda impressive, but I was excited to see CALIX do just about the same speed under sail!
Unfortunately the main sail didn't furl out very well, it was better, but it did not perform as it should have and I was a wreck about it because I felt there were too many cooks in the kitchen. My broker, who knows the situation best trying to manage it, the buyer's broker doing as asked, and the surveyor making comments about how it's supposed to work and what should be going on and in his experience, blah blah blah, at least to my perspective. Let me tell you, after having owned this boat for almost 6 years, I know what it takes to make her work and she will respond. All boats have their quirks and really I would have been impressed had the surveyor asked me, the owner, about the situation, even though I understand that might be contrary to how a surveyor deals with potential issues he can find for the buyer. Oh well, the sails were up, we were cooking along nicely at 7+ knots on the beam and headed right toward the Bay Bridge. We're going to have to tack soon enough and go back. Darn!
We tacked around, and headed back but not before I felt CALIX do her thing and hit 8.2 knots with a nice even gust. It's kinda amazing that we were in the sailing groove going nearly as fast as we had been with the motor. I LOVE that!
We sailed back into the harbor before we put the main away and I told Scott to take the helm and I would oversee the furling this time. Mike cranked the winch and I held the outhaul and the surveyor commented on how the sail was reacting to the process I was creating - and my reply was a simple, "yes". I was over tensioning the leach and I don't recall the terminology the surveyor used, but it was all part of his gig. Scott for his part said that all you had to do was listen to the lady owner!
In all of this, the broker's wife was taking pictures of the buyers as they enjoyed their sea trial (I'm sure with some bit of trepidation). The funny thing, but only because the buyer's previous boat was a single helm, when Mike gave up the helm to his wife, Amy, she went to move over to his helm, Mike pointed out she could simply take the helm right in front of her and she noted that she wasn't used to having two helms. I kept my comment to myself which would have been, that they could fight over which direction to take with both having their own wheel... hahaha.
We motored back to CALIX's own slip and I docked her in a pretty strong side wind with one big gust pushing her bow askew, but over all a very well done docking in a very stressful environment. I think the hard part was over, and now the surveyor went through the operating of all the interior stuff like the stove (he went on about corrosion on a flint for one of the burners he couldn't get lit but which I did easily) and etc. I'm glad I was there to answer some questions and point out things that are particular to CALIX that only I would know (you have to have the engine running to work the windlass). Everything worked well, even the damnable depth sounder, to which Scott and I were both elated. I'm sure that stupid thing will not work this weekend when Brad and I go out for what may be our last weekend adventure. Near the end of the survey, my racing crew guy called, said we were on even though the wind was picking up and I thought to myself, where will I find the energy. I'm already spent with the stress of the day and the emotions of this ordeal.
Last thing to say, when Brad and I were aboard the afternoon the buyers came to look at the boat last about 3 weekends ago, I noted that they had lain in the forward stateroom and were there awhile contemplating while staring up and out the forward hatch at the furled jib. I asked Amy about that while we were sailing. She was surprised, as was the broker, and said yes, they had in fact done exactly that. CALIX will mesmerize you and take you away. I hope if this goes through, Mike and Amy are as happy aboard CALIX I ever was. She will be missed, but not quite yet...