Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Right side up

I live in a close-knit neighborhood. It's like something out of Leave It to Beaver. Six of my neighbors came to the turning. On the day of the turning my daughter, Natalie, her two children, my daughter's friend and her two children were also visiting and they helped as well. In spite of the short notice, three members of the Western Oregon Messabouts (Coots) -- Jim Ballou from Portland, Jack Brown from Depoe Bay and John Kohnen, from Eugene and author of The Mother of All Maritime Links and builder of the Atkin Co. Web site -- came to the boat turning. I'm really glad they did. They were all a big help and a lot of fun. John has helped with many boat turnings and he quickly suggested the best way to do it.

Earlier in the day I rigged up a block hung from one of the rafters in my garage. It was above the middle of the boat and I had a sling around the boat so I could take the weight of the boat on the sling and spin it in place. I thought it might work but John knew better. He said we should take it out, turn it over and take it back in. That was the proven method.

I was glad John came for a couple of other reasons too: he took some wonderful photos and he brought a sail from his Valgerda for me to look at. John posted his photos to the Atkin Co. Web site and you can see them here: John purchased his Valgerda a few years ago. It had an inboard engine installed in it. He said if she was to ever sail again she would need a larger sail so the old one, which was well made and in good shape, was for sale. I told him I wanted it and we later agreed on a price.

The actual turning didn't take long. We hauled the boat out onto the mattresses in the driveway and turned it over. I unscrewed the rest of the building form, pulled it out of the way and set up the saw horses. Then we lifted the boat back into the garage. The sling did come in handy by keeping the boat upright on the saw horses until a few days later when I had time to screw supports onto the saw horses and level up the boat.

Four adults could have done the whole turning easily, but it was nice to have all the help. It also made for a party atmosphere, which I appreciated as well. By happy chance, my neighbors, the Dollars, had a couple of old mattresses in their garage. They graciously loaned them for the turning to keep Ravn's black finish from getting scratched. Natalie recorded the event on video and with a still camera. Her friend went for pizza. The four kids ran around and generally got in the way. It was a great day!

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