A first in the record books for Vento Solare. We splashed on 30 March 2021 – the first time ever we’ve made a March launch date. Unfortunately the early launch date doesn’t provide immediate sailing gratification. There is still plenty of storm damage work to be done. The early launch was enabled by some warm weather windows that permitted completing the bottom repairs. Thanks to help from Roland & Gardner, a wet sanding party was held prior to the launch, and a few tasks like removing the boom to prepare for mast unstepping were done.
Early in the season provides more of a bottom wet sanding challenge since the water is not yet turned on at the marina. We were able to rig some long hoses and get inside water run to the boat that allowed early sanding. Hull waxing was done in the fall so only a light touchup was needed before launch. The boat was ready to launch on Friday 26 March but the weather window delayed it until Tuesday 30 March due to more high winds! The boat was launched about 1pm, then prepped to motor down the bay to Hinckley Yachts the same day. Leading up to the launch was behind the scene work to coordinate with the insurance company (Progressive) , Borden Light Marina, rigger (RigPro), mast manufacturer (Sparcraft), stainless steel fabricator (White Water Marine) and Hinckley Yacht Yard who provided the crane services to unstep the mast.
Gardner and Bill did the 2021 maiden voyage under power the same afternoon the boat was launched for delivery to Hinckley Yacht Yard.
The sun was out but it was still a brisk spring day with winds in the teens blowing off the cold water. We tied up at the crane dock late in the afternoon to be staged for the first boat the next morning.
Pat Tormey met Bill at Hinckley on Wednesday morning to help disconnect the mast electrical wiring and rigging. The Hinckley crew showed up on time and was able to get the mast pulled and placed on roller stands so it could be wheeled to RigPro. Once the rig was pulled, Pat & Bill taped over the hole where the mast was removed, then proceeded under power to Borden Light Marina, tied up and had a celebratory outside lunch and beer at the Tipsy Toboggan.
Whitewater Marine had a quick turn around fabricating the replacement bow pulpit, pushpit and stanchions. They arrived on Monday via truck from Michigan. Now that the boat is at the dock at Borden Light, the work to replace the bent parts and lifelines will commence. The replacement mast is being built at Sparcraft in Charleston. I’m still waiting to get confirmation on a delivery date. Hopefully this will be here before the end of April so that we can be sailing again in May.
I’m keeping a folder containing storm damage pictures and documenting progress as work is getting completed. You may check out this link to view the photos. This includes the fiberglass and fairing work I did to repair the rudder, keel and bottom.
Finally – Barby MacGowan from Media Pro International just sent an email to past Ida Lewis Distance Race competitors and posted on the race website with great pictures and quotes from J/109 Vento Solare. Also prominently featured are our J/92s Spirit friends. Check out the story Variety Adds Spice to Ida Lewis Distance Racing with pictures on the Ida Lewis Distance Race website. We are registered for 2021 and look forward to starting the sailing part of the season!