With so many repairs, changes and maintenance projects having been completed lately on Nine of Cups, we thought it might be prudent to take her for a trial run out in Table Bay. She hadn't been out of her berth in awhile and needed some exercise, plus the crew had to relearn how to sail again. The day was sunny and mild, the wind was 10 – 12 knots and the bay was shining and brilliant. David had compiled a fairly comprehensive list of items and systems to check in order to avoid any more surprises when we finally do depart next week. We had already run into a problem with the mainsail repairs before leaving the dock. We'd sent it over to the sail loft for a good once-over and repair of chafe on the batten pockets. It was repaired and returned with the new sail delivery. As we were putting it back up and replacing the battens, we noted that though selective repairs had been made, there was still considerable chafe and what repairs were made were shoddy workmanship … adhesive was coming apart and the stitching was already pulling out. This did not bode well.
We carefully checked out the forward and reverse gears while still in the berth. It was backing out of this berth seven years ago that the gear shift handle broke off in David's hand. We managed to avoid catastrophe, but it was an adrenaline rush we were hoping to avoid duplicating. As we backed out of Berth B25 into the fairway, we could feel a touch of exuberance rise in ourselves. We were grinning … we were getting closer to departure. Out in the bay, the day was cold, but lovely. We slowly and methodically worked our way through the list, while at the same time enjoying being out on the water again. It was a weekday, but there were still a few other boats out enjoying the day.
One item on the checklist was the heater. When we were in the higher latitudes in the past, David had installed a bus heater that worked off the engine. The hot air was routed through old A/C vents and kept the saloon quite comfy at least when we were motoring. He'd disconnected it in the warmer climates, but thought it might be reasonable to hook it up again. In doing so, he noted some hoses that needed replacing. One thing led to another, and he felt it might be good to check out the system and make sure we were indeed getting heat and there were no leaks. All was good and when the engine got up to temperature, the saloon was toasty.
Checking out the electronics was high on the list. Autopilot, gauges, chartplotter, wind instruments, , depth, GPS … everything seemed to be in working order except speed through water which will need some coaxing. The alternator was charging the batteries properly.
The furler foil seemed to be just fine and the new rigging and tune-up looked good. The sail was stiff from its newness, but deployed well and furled up just fine.
We didn't go far or for very long, just enough to feel comfortable that Cups was in fine fit. We're still waiting on the repaired yankee and a rush-job on a proper repair of the mainsail. There are still several small tasks and chores to get done plus the usual laundry and provisioning (again), but we're hopeful we'll be off with the next weather window within a week.