September 15th, 2003


On the Uses of Powerboats

Okay, perhaps I should grudgingly admit that perhaps not all powerboats are useless evil pollution-causing chop-inducing wastes piloted by malicious idiots.

I took my Frosty out for a sail this afternoon (Sunday) on the bay, with the goal of sailing from the southern end of the bay out into Lake Ontario before turning around and sailing back. I got as far as the Bay Bridge (Route 104), and was sailing along nicely on a deep broad reach in about ten knots of wind, with only a light powerboat chop, when my mast suddenly broke. There wasn't a sudden puff or anything; the wind pressure was fairly steady, and I was moving along about as quickly as a Frosty ever does, when the mast abruptly snapped at deck level. *crack* *plop*

I took the sail off the mast and stowed it under the foredeck, and unshipped and stowed the rudder. I was about to start paddling to shore with the daggerboard, towing the spars behind me, when a passing powerboat (with an entirely non-evil couple aboard) spotted me and offered help. The Frosty is small and light enough (LOA: 6', weight: 37 lbs) that it was easy to simply pick her up out of the water and carry her -- sideways -- on board. We planed home at 20 knots, and they even fed me cheese and crackers and iced tea.

Now I need a new mast, which is no big deal -- a Frosty mast consists of a 10' length of closet pole, and closet pole is sold in 10' lengths. And I need to drop by the Orange Box tomorrow anyway to buy plywood for Shrike's deck and a belt sander to fair the epoxy that I applied last night.
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