Our boat is surviving winter, we’re not

We spent the morning on the boat getting some measurements and making sure our boat’s winterization was working.

It’s that nasty time of year that I believe most sailors in Ontario dread. The boat is all wrapped up for the season and the Toronto Boat show has come and gone. Now the planning starts for the spring, but it’s still too cold and miserable to do anything on the boat. We fill our spare time in front of the fireplace watching sailboat vlogs trying to imagine we are having our own adventure on our boat in a warm location.

Winter check-in

We decided to drive to the marina and check in on our boat. Our checklist was fairly simple:

  • Clear snow
  • Check for leaks
  • Measure lines on mast
  • Measure striping on sides of hull
  • Measure names
  • Measure companionway hatches
  • Measure plexiglass sliding doors on cabinets
  • Measure plexiglass wall in bathroom
  • Measure for a new stainless bar for our galley
  • Bring the boom home

When we arrived, we were pleased to see that our cover is holding up well. I don’t think they are cheap, but I think they are well worth the money.
We believe ours was made by Island Canvas. We struggled with our past boat with tarps that turned paper thin and ripped into a shredded mess. And then paid more for white plastic shrink wrap that held nicely but we didn’t like all the plastic waste in the spring time.

Our neighbour’s Trojan 36 powerboat didn’t look so good. An expensive lesson.

I found our canvas wasn’t perfect, after I took the above picture I noticed a tear had started where the canvas was resting on top of the nav pod. The cover had reinforced this area with a zodiac like material but the thread had given away and the reinforcement patch was sitting on the ground.

You can see a similar reinforcement patch above one of our winches. We also noticed that the vertical bar, with the yellow tape, had a slight bend in it. We don’t recall if that was there before.

And here is the current location of our boom that we are planning to take home.

Inside, the boat was surviving well, we found about an inch of ice slush had built up in our bilge. The chemical dehumidifiers were doing their job and looked like they were pretty much end of life, but we didn’t bother to replace. Overall we were happy that we didn’t find any signs of leaks.

Time to measure

We are replacing the worn striping from the sides of our hulls and also changing the name of the boat so we had to take some measurements.

If you are looking for a replacement CS34 logo, we found Holland Marine Products has reproduced them for $40 CAD. We are getting solid 3″ navy blue striping and two CS34 logos in white to try and replicate the original look. Although we decided on a single stripe rather than the factory double.

Also wanted to replace the fuzzy weather stripping on our companionway door so quickly measured that. Also planning on restoring the teak next to it.

That’s pretty much the end of our productivity. The next steps ended in failure.

Our failures

The reinforcement patch that had fallen off our canvas should have been an important clue. The threads are at end of life. This became more evident when we tried to close one of the zippers. As we closed, the stitches popped out on one side. I didn’t realize that canvas can outlast the thread. So we are going to have to look at getting all the stitches re-done sometime before next fall.

I’m planning on servicing the internal shuttles in our boom at the same time we are replacing the lines. So the plan was to bring the boom home. We hit three blockers:

  1. First obvious mistake, there’s no way it would fit inside our vehicle! So plan B was to strap it to the roof.
  2. We had to release more of the canvas cover to get at the boom, but now we are worried that the threads in the canvas will not hold after removing and attempting to reattach.
  3. We had to pull it over the side of the boat. But that side of the boat was solid ice. We tried stabilizing our ladder but there was no traction and would have probably ended up with me on the ground.

So the boom is still on the boat. Will wait until after we remove the canvas.

We moved on to the mast. We had to double check the line lengths. This is where we honestly wimped out. It was cold and windy and there’s no protection around the masts. We started unwrapping but our hands, even with gloves, quickly became less responsive and we started fumbling. Eventually we just decided to measure the length to each opening on the mast and called it a day.

Summary

Even though it was a cold and miserable day we felt warm and happy sitting in the cockpit of our boat, relieved to see the boat surviving winter better than us. Later that day we left disappointed that we didn’t get everything done that we hoped to, but we also left with fresh dreams for the summer.

2 thoughts on “Our boat is surviving winter, we’re not

  1. Rolf Jedemann says:

    Hey there, Congratulations on your new boat! Just last fall we just purchased our 1990 CS 34. Your posts are awesome and quiet amusing as it appears we are following along many of the same findings. Take care and keep up the great work.

    Reply
    1. ssgrimm says:

      Hi Rolf, thanks for the comment! Lots to figure out, but we love our boat. Will have some new posts up in a few months about our next projects: Replacement Lines (including pulling apart the boom) and renaming the boat. Can’t wait until Summer!

      Reply

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