Category Archives: Sailing Friends

On the Hard – Sarah’s Creek, Yorktown VA

Sailing has always taken a special breed.  People who can go for long periods with little sleep, facing challenges that seem impossible, and powering through.  A very individual sport / adventure for those who love the history and the science of moving around the world powered only by the wind.

But it really isn’t an individual sport.  We are able to succeed only on the backs of the dozens of supporters that email us, read our blogs, and help us fix our fine yacht.  It’s to the last of these that this blog is dedicated.


Can you make her pretty again Eddy?

We are sitting on jack stands with the deck about 12 feet above the ground, nestled between two powerboats in York River Yacht Harbor. Several things needed the attention that can only be given when a boat is out of the water.  These little forays “on the hard” are messy and expensive “must do’s” in the life of any cruiser.  Fortunately, YRYH has really gone above the call of duty for us.

First there was Danny, who made sure we felt welcome – even anchored out before we decided to pull the boat.  He offered us prime space for our dinghy, and the ship store team not only worked hard to find what we needed, but also offered us a car to buy at West Marine the items they could not supply.  Like Dorthy said “we aren’t in Florida anymore”(sic).


Welcome to the hotel Country Dancer

And our neighbors.  Sailing is as much about the people as it is about boats and wind.  Next to us is Lee on his Grand Banks trawler.  Always ready with tools, workbench or help. Beside him is George and Karen on a Morgan 41.  They were “There” for us with a hose, grease gun, and even epoxy filler to help us out. The advise and the help were more than appreciated, thanks guys.

Then the yard.  Larry, Ralph, Ron, Danno, and Eddy.  Thanks guys.  Without question, working in a boat yard has its high moments, but it is overall a grueling, dirty, and physically exhausting job.  You are working on the craft that people have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for, and they all want it perfect and they all want it all cheap. Did I mention dirty.  The air is full of blue dust from sanding bottom paint,  the grounds are littered with the sundry masts, booms and rigging of boats stacked together in the gravel work area.  Any breeze sends the sticky grit into everything. Even walking through here is probably a bio-hazard, yet these guys continue to show up, working on the impossible, in conditions that no amount of care and cleaning can ever makes really pleasant. Yet there is something in their style.  They LIKE boats, they LIKE making things better and solving problems. THEY are the “yardies”, the “BN’s”, the “Wrenches” and the “Smurfs” that make Yachting what it is today.

in the ways

Trying to get straps under a grounded “Dancer.” We waited overnight for a high tide.


But this is  really about Eddy.  Eddy was the guy that worked for hours under our hull with a sanding board and DA sander held 2 feet above his head, sanding the nasty stuff off our hull.    Eddy suited up in his Tyvex suit and full face respirator, sweating profusely inside the impermeable plastic,  while the blue grit blows around him in the sun.  I  did some of this too, and know that 800mg of Ibuprofen just isn’t enough to take the ache out of your arms and shoulders after a few hours of this shoulder torture.  They affectionately called him “the Smurf” because of the blue hue that permeates his clothes and skin.

When they could not get us out of the water on Friday, Eddy and Danno were there Saturday morning to make sure we got out and blocked up so we could have the weekend to work.

We are not done as I write this.  The prop and shaft are sitting on a workbench and the bottom paint is still on a UPS truck somewhere coming this way.  It is Tuesday night and we have to be back in the water on Monday.  Will it all happen?  Can those rugged sailors continue to Ireland?  Not if Larry, Ralph, Danny, Eddy and the rest of the super rugged YRYH team can’t pull yet one more rabbit out of this grimy hat, it won’t.

We love sailing. The travel, the sights, the adventure… and we love the folks that drive themselves just as hard to make it possible for us.  Guys, you may not make it to Ireland with us, but our appreciation for all your effort will. Our most heart felt THANKS.

Gary, Jodi and Rio on S/V Country Dancer.

Work done:

2 coats of Micron 66 black bottom paint, re-faired keel and rudder
3 coats Pettit zinc prop paint on running gear
added “Spurs” line cutter to prop
replaced cutlass bearing
rebuilt PSS shaft seal
repaired about 40 blisters with glass and epoxy (about 100 to go!)
Cleaned, greased and reconditioned Autoprop
replaced 2 through hulls, lubed the rest.
added 100′ of copper strapping for SSB counterpoise
replaced SSB antenna cable
cleaned and repainted engine parts.