Our Maiden Voyage! We motored/sailed from Genoa Bay to Esquimalt over 3 days. We anchored both nights, the first in Princess Bay on Portland Island and the second night in Cadboro Bay. We had a great time and Arctic Loon handles very well! Now that we have Arctic Loon home there is still a long list of things to do and I suspect that list will never really end. We are so happy Arctic Loon is part of our family!
We were so excited to finally step the mast! Other sailors kept saying “where’s your mast? & somethings missing! We kept explaining that we were stepping the mast soon. We required a crane to step our 43 foot tall Aluminum mast. In order to do this, we motored from Genoa Bay Marina, where we were staying to the Government dock in Cowichan Bay. Following shipbuilding tradition, a few days earlier, we had glued a 2015 Loonie to the mast step. This ceremonial practice is believed to have originated in ancient Rome. Two theories for why sailors have been doing this are: 1) the coin will allow the sailors to cross into the afterlife if the ship is sunk. 2) The coin functions as a form of sacrifice, thanking the gods for a successful construction or divine protection in the future. Either way, gluing a coin to the mast step seemed like a good idea. This is just one of the many nautical traditions that we intend to follow. The crane finally arrived with the mast and it was slowly lowered down into position. The shrouds were secured to the chain plates and the stays were secured to the bow and stern. Overall, it was very successful and we felt Arctic Loon looked much more complete with her mast.
We had to wait until late in the afternoon to launch Arctic Loon as we needed a rising tide in Cowichan Bay at the public boat launch. We planned on launching Arctic Loon and stepping the mast the same day but it took longer than we thought to get the boat secured on the trailer, so we decided to step the mast two days later on Sunday. We had told a few friends and family about the launch and were pleased to say that the atmosphere was quite festive with about 12-14 people in attendance, taking photos and asking Ellery and I questions about Arctic Loon. At this point, all the essential things had been done on Arctic Loon to make her ready for launch and the trip south to Victoria. The cabin was looking very clean and organized with everything stowed in its place. Her deck and hull were also clean and ready for launch. Just before we launched Arctic Loon, Ellery opened a bottle of champagne, said a toast: May God bless this ship and all who sail in her; and then sprayed her bow.
We would like to thank Ellery’s parents Bob & Sue for allowing us use of their driveway and shop for 10 months while Arctic Loon was in refit. We also appreciate staying at their lovely home pretty much every weekend during this time. Thank you!
A lot has happened since our last post! We have decided to finally launch the boat this Thursday afternoon, July 30 in Cowichan Bay. We picked this day for a few reasons; it is about 1/3 through our summer vacation/time off, so we still have time post launch. It is also our 4th wedding anniversary and thought what better present for our family, than to have Arctic Loon in the water?! We have booked the trailer, the crane truck to help step the mast, and a slip at the Genoa Bay Marina for Arctic Loon to reside for a few days post launch.
Here is a list of what we have accomplished in the last 2 months: installation of Purple Heart caprails – this proved to be a lot of work for Ellery and took up at least 3 solid weekends, mainly because we did not have old caprails to use as a pattern. This was the process: first, measure to figure out what width of wood was needed due to the curved nature of bulwark, buy Purple Heart wood, place the wood on and trace the size needed, cut it out using the table saw and bandsaw, replace the blades on the saws because Purple Heart is such a hard wood, finally once the pieces have been cut, then the edges needed to be routered, lastly clamp the caprails down, drill the holes, take them up, put glue down on the bulwarks, screw the caprails down, glue plugs in, cut off plugs when dry, sand, and varnish (this we have not done yet but soon), installed cabin lights, installed two Barient 23s, 2 speed self-tailing winches, installed bow sprit (made by previous owner) and new whisker stays, fixed the mast step, installed custom stainless steel water tanks under port and starboard sittees (each 87 L), bought track for sheet cars, painted side decks, cleaned fenders, laid out and measured the anchor cable, we also went through all of the stuff/gear/parts we got with Arctic Loon and found some key parts that we needed and also some stuff we didn’t even know we had.
Now, here is a list of what is still to be accomplished in the next 3 days before launch: install rudder, install aft bilge pump thruhull, install cleats, paint hull with bottom paint, install boomkin, secure a coin to the mast step (nautical tradition), install mast gooseneck and mast cleats, install masthead light, install deck/steaming light, buy champange to pour over the bow in celebration of launching!
Hopefully we can get it all done in time for Thursday afternoon! We appreciate everyone who has helped and supported us along the way! Thank you!
Ellery has been hard at work this spring. He has installed one water tank in the v-berth, which will provide water via foot pump for the sink in the head. He has installed said foot pump as well. We have also ordered a pair of large 316 stainless steel water tanks for under the settees (Welditfabit.com), as well as the stanchions, mast pulpits, and boom gallows (Westsail Parts Co.) Ellery has also installed the grab rails on the deck, made top access lids for all the galley storage, and installed cockpit drains. Of course, there is always more varnishing and electrical work to be done. Next will involve installing the rudder and finishing painting the non-skid (Kiwi-Grip) on the deck. It is really starting to look like a fully functioning sailboat!
We also got a new/used dodger from W32 Drommen. This was an easy fit as it came off another Westsail 32!
Life will be much drier and more comfortable here in the PNW with the dodger. Bonus is that it is blue which goes along with the boats theme colour.
Ellery has been hard at work doing more varnishing and electrical. He has also secured the cockpit tub in place and installed the cockpit drains. The instrument panel is in place in the cockpit tub and all hooked up. We also received our cook stove from Trotac and it is just sitting in place for now. It sure makes me excited to do some yummy cooking on our boat! With the help of Ellery’s father and his truck, we purchased the wood to make the cap rails. Ellery decided on Purple Heart because it is a very hard wood and less expensive than Teak. I think it’ll look great when it’s varnished! Last but not least, Ellery took the ferry over to Point Roberts this weekend to pick up our shipment from Bud at Westsail Parts. It is all coming together and we hope to launch her this summer!
Since the new year we have installed all the port holes and sea cocks, as well as varnishing all the teak cabinet doors and trim inside the boat. Ellery has nearly varnished all of the cabin sole. Some of the reading lights in the salon have also been installed. We are also super excited to have scored a great deal on two pairs of winches!
Ellery finally got the engine running thanks to the wonderful work of our mechanic. He said he now feels more equipped to deal with any mechanical difficulties in the future.
We ordered custom cushions for the salon and v-berth, which we are really pleased with. They are very comfortable and really make the boat feel like home. Ellery also installed the breaker panel and our new Bluetooth stereo.
The boat is really starting to look and feel like a sailboat now! Ellery has painted the deck and the bull works, installed the hawse and chain pipes. He has done more varnishing because this seems to be a never ending job! The navigation station with electrical panel is looking operational now too. We decided to remove the old toilet and we have ordered a compost toilet. This means we won’t have a holding tank, so we can use that space for something else.
On October 18, 2014 we sealed the deal to purchase Arctic Loon, a Westsail 32. It was on this day that we picked up all the bits and pieces.
October 25th was the day we brought her home. It began with a crane picking up Arctic Loon and lifting all 17,200 lbs of her over her third owners garage and onto their driveway. From there, she sat in the driveway until the boat trailer arrived to pick her up and transport her to Cowichan Bay. Arctic Loon had been resting in a backyard for the last 27 years, while she was rebuilt to a very high standard. Arctic Loon made her way safely to another driveway in Cowichan Bay, where she will remain until she is ready to launch, sometime in 2015.
November was mostly spent building supports and a shelter, which has enabled us to work on the boat at all hours of the day or night, and throughout the winter with lights and heaters.
Christmas holidays allowed us to really get started, which felt like a big sailboat puzzle. It was during this time that the skylight, hatch, and all of the thru-hulls were installed.
After Christmas, we scraped off the old paint and caulking from the chain plates and washers, so that we could install them.