Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kudos, New Stuff, and Where You Can Get Deals

I know I haven't finished the saga of the 2007 vacation, leaving all who care biting their nails to the quick. I will complete the trilogy without a doubt. Before that happens I have some stuff to pass along.

I've moved Pelican from the City Island Yacht Club to its winter slip at Avalon at Stamford Harbor Marina. During a visit by my sister and brother-in-law from England for a family reunion, I got a call from my friend Herb. I'd been looking for a winter slip and the prices for the marinas I know of were totally off the wall.

Herb indicated he'd been talking to one of the people at Harbor House who'd heard about Avalon and their unbelievable rate of $850.00 for the winter plus $300 for electricity (or $50 per month). Contrast that to Harbor House at $50/foot plus $10 per day for electricity - on a 42 foot boat, or Yacht Haven at $60/ft plus metered electricity.

I was leaning towards Yacht Haven because they metered the electricity - if I use $300 per month, fine, I'll pay for it, but if I don't, why should I? That's just stupid. And Harbor House has meters, they're just incapable of reading them.

Anyway, I met with the managers of Avalon, Jacqui and Rick, who are the nicest people you could imagine. Jacqui actually runs the marina and Rick manages the Sailing Specialties brokerage in Stamford. They live aboard their own boat.

So, of course, I signed the contract - $1200 for the winter in water with electricity! Very nice.

Jacqui and Rick have the right idea about marinas and charges. Kudos to them!

Now on to some really good sites:

First, a lot of my deck hardware like fills and so forth are aluminum with plastic caps. They look terrible, and the caps are pretty well destroyed from UV exposure. I decided to look into replacing them. I found Marine Parts Depot who supply a large assortment of really nice stainless steel hardware. They're currently having a sale and here's the coupon number to use if you are going to purchase anything: MPD002. I don't know for how long it's good for, but it's for an additional 15% off already incredible prices.

I ordered deck hold downs ($19 each), two mast steps ($18 each), and four deck fills ($17 each). They're beautiful and perhaps 20% the cost from anywhere else.

I mounted the mast steps on the mizzen so I could reach the sail head without stepping on the winches. The deck hold downs are for the cabin sole openings - I plan on going offshore and it's a SOLAS requirement. More on that in another entry.

I've joined the Pearson 424 mailing list, and from them I got the information for a company (actually one man) who makes silicon bronze manufacturer's plates for Pearsons as well as the funky hinges they had custom cast. The company is Bristol Bronze and Roger is a font of information - especially where it comes to using bronze fittings. I suspect that if you needed custom fittings, he'd be the go-to guy for them. I ordered both the plaque and the hinges. What the hell, it's only money!

Pelican's wheel is too small to sit comfortably and steer her. It's 36" diameter and with the dodger, I can't see where I'm going. More to the point I like sitting either on the windward or leeward combing to steer - I wanted a bigger wheel so I could reach it from there. There's more than enough room in the cockpit to put one in, and when I met the owner of hull #1, I saw he had a 48" wheel. Edson wants something like $900 for one. It's still cheaper than modifying the dodger, but it's a lot of money for a shoestring operation.

I found one at Second Wave Marine Consignment and am currently awaiting it's arrival. They are nice, knowledgeable, and helpful. Also, the cost with shipping is less than 1/2 a new one - and wheels that aren't bent or broken don't wear out.

Finally, for today anyway, my friend Laura gave me a copy of her friend's book, "Offshore Sailing" by Bill Seifert. I know he's gotten Laura's boat ready for the Newport- Bermuda races and Marion-Bermuda races, and I agree with just about everything he has to say (anyone who agrees that silicone sealant has no business on a boat is a-ok in my book).

Highly recommended.

I'm hunkered down for the winter where I'll install all the goodies I've purchased. Including my extraordinary deal for a Fairclough cover. Amazing. More on that later.

Since it is that time of year I won't see you on the water, but I will see you in the bar, no doubt!