ORION was officially launched for the 2018 season this past Saturday, and today I took her for her first sail.
I recently received word that Henry Bossett, champion racer and expert sailmaker, has retired from North Sails after a whopping 42 years. Besides all the many different sails he has made over the years, Henry produced dozens upon dozens of Mariner racing and cruising sails, many of which literally helped propel racers to first-place finishes at our National Championships. He is a true gentleman and always built the highest-quality sails.
Henry has made a couple suits of sails for ORION over the years, and he recently re-cut the mainsail to my liking, shortening the luff a bit and moving some of the reef points. Despite having many orders to fulfill, he was always very communicative and eager to get things exactly right. Thanks Henry, for all your work, and congratulations on your retirement.
Will Gilmore (#2632 DRAGONFLY) posted something on the Mariner Class Association's forums that I just had to share. He made new hatchboards for his Mariner, but he went a giant step further by creating designs burned into the wood. My only recommendation is to go to the forums and check out what he has done and his process. He's hoping to make a little business out of it, and I can tell you one thing - I may just be his next customer.
Check out his design of a Mariner over a compass rose:
What do you think? Would you want a custom hatchboard with your own design?
ORION weathered the effects from Tropical Storm Jose on her mooring just fine, but it did get a little dicey the second night in as the wind topped out at nearly forty miles per hour and remained windy for four days. She stayed put, though, and I'll be visiting her soon just to see if the mooring moved at all and how the pennant looks. Her sailing days for the season are already numbered, however, and I've already started to look at days that would be best for taking her out of the water. This has been an extremely short season, but I hope to sneak in a few more afternoons before finally putting her to bed for the winter.
Here's a picture taken of ORION dancing around on her mooring line:
Yesterday, I spent some time preparing ORION for Tropical Storm Jose, although today, Jose's threat has greatly - and thankfully - diminished. Obviously, in the event of a significant hurricane or tropical storm, I would have hauled her out of the water, but it looked like we were going to get a glancing blow at best. So, I did the next best thing, which was to make her as secure as possible on her mooring. These are the things I did:
- Wrap the mainsail tightly with line (I could have taken the main off, but elected not to)
- Secure the furling line to a cleat so wind can't whip the line out of its cam cleat
- Ship the rudder and store in the cabin to reduce windage
- Secure the boom using a line attached to both quarter cleats so it won't sway back and forth
- Tie down the forward hatch inside the cabin so the wind can't rip it off
- Attach an extra line from the bow eye to the mooring chain as a backup should the pennant chafe through
- Make sure seacocks were open and unclogged of debris
- Tie off halyards to the shrouds so they won't smack on the mast
- Make sure cabin portlights were closed securely
- Double-check that the motor's air vent is fully closed and fuel intake is off
- Make sure everything is out of the cockpit and nothing can blow off
That's about it! The whole procedure took less than an hour, and I feel confident ORION will be safe on her mooring - providing the mooring is secure, of course, which I believe (and hope) it is!
Dan Voorhees, of Tuckerton, New Jersey, just finished a fantastic restoration of his mid-style Mariner, #1476. He has kept in touch with me throughout his restoration, and it's great to see another Mariner given a new lease on life. Check out these before and after pictures:
I put my bid in to organize the 2018 Mariner Class Association Rendezvous once again, and I recently received word from President Eric Lesniak that I've been granted permission to do so! While I have some ideas already cooking about 2018, nothing will be set in stone for a while. So, the questions is: do we head west again? Or go east? If you have thoughts, write a comment below!