Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Mad Rush

About halfway through the build I got a crazy idea that I could finish the project AND do the Texas 200.  There is a saying that the homebuilt aircraft guys have when you ask them when their projects will be finished, "80% and 80% more to go!"  When I was halfway I thought I was at the the 80% point.

To make the Texas 200 I went into overdrive to finish the boat in the six weeks leading up to the launch
.  Pretty much everything was put on hold including blog post to accomplish my goal.  One week before the Texas 200 I launched Candy-O.

It was a great day!  The winds were a bit light and a rainstorm was brewing out in the Corpus Christi Bay but it was incredible to hear the sounds of water slapping the hull.  Up to this point the only sound the boat made was that of a random orbital sander.  It sailed like a real boat, not just something put together in the garage.  It felt solid and even with my lack of recent sailing experience felt like what I think a sailboat should feel like.

One week later after only one outing I headed down to South Padre Island to begin my sail up the coast 200 miles for the Texas 200.

It's funny there are so many things that have forced me out of my comfort zone on this build.  One is paint finish.  It came out pretty good in some areas, others still need a bit of work.  Electronics was another of my weak areas.  This is where I exceeded my expectations.  The electronics came out great.  Everything works great and is wired properly.  Cabin lights, GPS with transducer, navigation lights, stereo with powered antenna, master switch, solar panel, USB ports for charging my phone, and a cigarette lighter port for other charging, and a fused switch panel, all worked perfect!  I learned about busbars and proper connections all through youtube videos.  It is amazing the power of the internet.  The rigging went smoothly too.  It is funny how everything makes sense when you have to put it together yourself.  The Texas 200 was just another thing out of my comfort zone I had to do.

For the longest time during the build, I wanted to go with a bright finish on the upper panels.  For weeks I carefully and painstakingly took care of the plywood wood veneer on the upper portions above the rub rails.  Well it just didn't look like what I wanted so on went the Hateris white paint.  The paint scheme pretty much resembles the prototype with the dark blue boot stripe and the white on top.  A lot of pocketships have used this color combination for good reason.  It looks good!  Not real original but it looks similar to the boat I fell in love with in the 2008 or so CLC catalogue.

I did half of the Texas 200 and decided to call it enough and tapped out.  There were some things that I needed to change or I should say add or tweak on Candy-O.  One of the most pressing changes is the need for seat cushions.  Eight hours of sitting on a hard wood/fiberglass cockpit deck in a pair of pants with one of those bathing suit liner things grinding into your skin like a cheese grater gets old.

Another tweak would be a problem I had with the wire supports that go to the top of the mast.  These tighten with turnbuckles that I purchased from West Marine.  When I first installed them they looked to be the perfect length but when I added the 3/4" block at the base of the tabernacle, to get the tension they bottomed out.  The tension was good but not great.  With the problems some of the other builders have had cracking their cabins, I was really concerned.  It is an easy fix at home.

Soloing the Texas 200 is a bit difficult when it comes to doing little things like changing the radio station, getting a drink, landing the boat, you know, important stuff.  The radio will have a remote that can be operated from the cockpit.  A small ice chest will accompany me within arms reach too.

An umbrella or some type of binimi will be considered too.  Man, it was hot!

Before I punted on the bright finish on the uppers.

Would have been easier if I had decided to paint earlier...much easier!

This is one of those extreme pucker times, but all went smoothly.

One of the last jobs!
Raising the main for the first time!

Electronics worked great!

Maiden voyage!

Another from the maiden voyage with Chris, the best J-29 skipper ever!

Made it to the Texas 200 in South Padre.

From the Texas 200.

Shot from Candy-O in the Land Cut- Texas 200.

Dinner on Candy-O while camping in the Land Cut. Yumm!

Nice shot of my Burka.  The sun was intense 

Shot of the fleet.  There were 91 or so in all.  Candy-O is the one on the far left with the dark sail.