Aboard the Sailing Vessel

March 16, 2004


The plan was for Shibumi to be the boatyard's last haulout for the day. We promised the folks at the Playboy Marine Boatyard in the Dania Cut-off Canal that we would work through the night to have the new depth sounder and speed sensor for our new autopilot installed in the hull. Shibumi had to be ready to go back in the water at 7:00a.m. the following morning. So they let us "hang in the slings" of the big travel-lift crane overnight. They are a busy yard, but they could accommodate our last-out first-in request, as long as we were seaworthy right after sunrise.

I am starting to realized that very little goes as planned in the boating business. When we launched Shibumi at 7 the next morning our new depth sounder started leaking thru the hull. Back up on the travel-lift we went... we stayed in the boatyard, now out of the slings and up on jack-stands for another 24 hours. This time we ensured the through-hull fittings were solid.

We returned to the Isle of Venice, one day after we had orignally planned. From there, Myles Whitt was able to complete the installation of the new Brookes and Gatehouse Autopilot.

I took my old autopilot to Sailorman for him to sell on consignment. He said it was so old that no one wanted an autopilot that had tubes in it's electronics anymore. But he did give me a tee-shirt for the spare parts.


ISLE OF VENICE, FL MARCH 11TH When we were returned from the boatyard I decided to stop at the Las Olas Marina to pump-out our holding tanks. The approach to the face-dock was an easy one. No other boat was along that dock, so a straight-in approach into the wind looked like a "piece of cake". WRONG.

I read the wind correctly, it was on Shibumi's bow. It was the current that I misread. A brisk current coming from the direction of the Port Everglades Inlet was on our stern, pushing us along. My approach to the dock was much quicker than I anticipated.

When Jill tossed the dockline ashore, what I wanted to be an aft-spring line that would stop our forward progress, worked with the current and pulled our stern away from the dock.

It was a mid-ship line. The gate next to the cleat that the line was attached to was opened, in anticipation of Jill stepping ashore to secure the rest of the lines. The open gate cable caught the line. The weight of Shibumi (40,000lbs) coupled with the swift current put a stiff strain on the line inspite of the protest of our 63hp diesel. The strain bent the gate stanchion like it was an empty beer can.

We had to cut the line to salvage the situation. The talley: one bent stanchion, a cracked navigation light (when the bow brushed a dockside pillar), a slightly shorter dockline, and a badly bruised ego. We had dinner at Jade Palace Chinese Resturant that night to sooth our wounded spirits.

Shibumi was not ready to go to sea with a bent gate stanchion. That stanchion was part of our life-lines. So, we weren't going to leave Ft. Lauderdale until we repaired the gate and our navigation light.

The nav light was easy... well $17.00 easy after a trip to West Marine.

The stanchion was another story. It was bolted through the deck for stability. That bolt was behind a cabinet in the main salon. Enter Steve Silverman. Steve is also a CSY owner and is very knowledgeable about the maintaince of these vessels. He contacted Boris, a master Marine carpenter, who provided access to the bolt. Then replaced the cabinet when I was through.

To fix the bent stanchion I contacted Howard Wells of Wells Marine. If you have been following our saga you may remember Howard as the individual who is building a radar arch for Shibumi's stern. A thirty-minute rental car ride north to Pompano Beach and a pleasant afternoon and lunch with Howard was all it took to get our stanchion replaced...

Life is good... especially when you meet the right people.

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