Bacon Sails and the Myth of the Previous Owner

One weekend this past April, Ryan and I drove up to Annapolis for the Spring Sailboat show and to check out Bacon Sails. It is not (unfortunaly) an innovative use of pork, but a purveyor of used nautical bits and pieces, a sort of upscale sailboat junkyard. Uptown appointments with a downtown price, if you will. We were in the market for a composting toilet and a new anchor, and ended up finding so much more…

Upon checking out, the irascible older gentlemen manning the register asked what kind of boat we had.

“It’s a Pearson Ariel” I said, “kind of a smaller version of a Triton.”

“Oh I know” said the man, with perhaps a faraway glint in his eyes. “I used to own one. Great little boat. The guy who had it before me took it all the way to Bermuda.”

At this my mind took off…the guy whom we bought our Ariel from said the previous owner had taken it to Bermuda…

I asked the salesman what the hull number was, and as it turns out he owned an Ariel built in ’63, (as opposed to ’67) so not the same boat, but a similar story about a supposed offshore trip to Bermuda. I wonder if a brave soul took one of these small boats on such a trip and somehow word of his/her exploits entered into the collective unconscious of Ariel owners. “Old Peg Leg GafferMcYardarm and the Rollicking Sail to Bermuda.” Or maybe it was a useful sales pitch that somehow caught on. Or maybe these aren’t sea-stories at all, perhaps numerous folks have indeed taken an Ariel to Bermuda.

I believe that competent sailors taking these well-found little boats are capable of safely completing voyages large or small. I’d like to think that this particular little boat has been around the block a time or two, and that these past two years have been simply a pause between the adventures of the past, and the adventures yet to come. Even if it’s just out the creek and down the river…


Primed and Ready

Hello, Ryan here! I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written to you, dear readers.

A couple weekends ago, the weather gods smiled upon us, and we decided it was time to paint the deck. I had been particularly looking forward to this project. Call me shallow, but I tend to like the projects that yield very apparent results. The deck looked pretty terrible after Chris faired it (though he did a great job):

On the Friday before that weekend, Chris and I did our homework on drying/sanding/recoating times for the primer coats (of which we decided we needed two) and top coats, and we realized that the project would actually have to span two weekends. I got pretty upset… I had in my head that we were going to be done done done with the deck and that it would be lovely and shiny and new and FINISHED.  I may have even cried a little. And not for the first time that weekend.

But alas, we figured out that we’d have to do two primer coats that weekend and then beg the weather gods to smile upon us yet again on another weekend to get the two top coats done. And that’s asking a lot of the weather gods.

Chris had to go to work early on Saturday morning. His alarm went off at 6, and mine went off at 6:15. He went to work, and I went out to the boat to try to get a bunch of prep done.

The thing about painting is this: Prep takes a ton of time. You have to sand (in this case hand sand) the area in question, then clean up with acetone to remove all traces of dust, pollen, dirt, etc. Then, you have to tape off anything you don’t want to paint (in the case of the deck, this means all the hardware, the edges, and the wood). For some reason, I thought I was going to be able to finish all this prep before Chris got to the boatyard after work. Ha! Let me say again: Ha!

When I got to the boat, the deck was wet with dew. The surrounding trees had rained pollen and seeds all over. As I began to work, I realized there was no way that I was going to finish by the time Chris got there. And I began to panic. And then there were some more tears. And a frantic to phone call to Chris demanding that he stop and get more rags at the hardware store on his way.

Chris pulled up and assured me that all would be well, and that I’d gotten enough done. He’s always so calm. What he doesn’t understand is that I feel so much pressure to do a perfect job when I’m helping at the boat, because I know how much he cares about it.

After we finished prepping, we started rolling on the primer, and I couldn’t believe how good it already looked! We got the first coat done in a decent amount of time.

We were then faced with a dilemma. We could try to wait a while and then paint an entire second coat on that day (even though it was already late-ish in the day) and hope that the dew overnight wouldn’t be too bad, or we could wait until Sunday to paint the second coat, which would mean we would have to hand-sand the entire deck again. I could have kissed my husband when he said he wanted to be done for the day (we were both hot, sweaty, tired, and a little burnt out). And then I did.

We hopped over to Merroir, a lovely restaurant on the water across the creek from the marina, and had oysters and drinks. The thing about these huge, day-long or weekend-long boat projects is that you have to reward yourself afterwards for your hard work.

Some friends invited us over that day as well, and we spent a lovely rest of the evening with them at their house on the water.

Chris decided to blow off some steam by taking a shot of whiskey and then flinging himself into the cold water… in his skivvies. 

Then, we drove home, passed out, and slept in until 8 AM (luxurious for us these days).

We drove out to the boatyard and then did everything again. Prep went much faster with both of us there and with the taping all already done from the day before.

The second coat looked even more amazing.

When we got home, I was completely exhausted, bruised, covered in paint and sweat, and very happy with our work.

Respirator Face!