It’s been a long week. We’ve been back “on the hard” making repairs to the front bottom of our keel. Are we sure that is where we were leaking? In a word, no. We’re not sure of anything. We found cracks in the bottom front of our keel that MAY have been leaking. Ron borrowed a grinder and we discovered old repairs. Obviously, this poor old girl suffered a hard grounding before our time with her.
We joke that we should have bought stock in Water Weld putty. We bought out Home Depot’s stock last week (they are restocked this weekend). After applying several tubes of Water Weld to every visible crack (and other areas that appeared suspicious), we’ve spent the latter part of this week building the area back up that Ron ground away and we’ve been fiberglassing. I’m learning more than I ever wanted to know about boat repair!
Joe, the guy who owns the boatyard, knows boats. He worked for Tartan, back when Tartan built good solid boats. One morning, when both Ron and I were feeling particularly discouraged, I asked that Joe come take a look at the keel and tell us what he thought. His response? “You guys, this is such a little thing–really. Slap some bottom paint on her and just go sailing for the winter!” He’s assured us that even if we continue to leak, it’s not near enough to sink us. We’re choosing to trust him. (Plus, he’s promised to come rescue us in the middle of the night if we do, indeed, begin sinking.)
And so, early next week will be the moment of truth. We will launch once again and will be checking our bilge every hour the first day or two, and I will be listening for our bilge pump. Stay tuned!