SAILING LOG FOR APRIL 19, 2003
THE LAUNCH OF KAYNEE, TRITON #30
(OWNED BY JEFF MAHER)
and Sailing Log for 19 April 2003
I first "met" Jeff Maher back in 2000, when he contacted me by
email after reading some of this website. It seems that he had the
opportunity to acquire a Triton in very poor condition, but he had no
experience with boats and restoration and was looking for advice and
the time, I was involved in the depths of Glissando's
restoration; yet I still encouraged Jeff to go for it and accept the
boat. He did, and before long the sadly neglected boat had found a
new home in his backyard. She was in a sorry state, having been
neglected for some time and languishing in a driveway since 1991.
Her decks were soft and rotted; the hull, which had been Awlgripped by
her previous owner, had blistered and peeled; the interior was a
nightmare of dirt, mildew, and rotten wood.
We continued to
correspond as Jeff got to work on his project, and eventually had
opportunity to meet in person several times. Despite his lack of
boating experience, Jeff dove into the project headfirst, and made
extraordinary progress. Ideas flew back and forth with rapidity;
some were sound and good, while others were, frankly, a little out
there. His grand vision for the boat changed and modified over
time, but he always kept his eye on the brass ring at the end.
Though I initially had my questions about whether or not he would ever
see the project to completion, it became clear soon enough that he was
dedicated a hard worker, and that he would definitely finish the boat.
here to see some vintage photos of Kaynee from the 1970s.
That day came on
Saturday, April 19, 2003--about 2-1/2 years after he took delivery of
the boat. There was no way I was going to miss the launching,
after all we'd been through. I felt an attachment to the boat
myself, since I'd spent so much time talking about her with Jeff.
Our mutual friend Nathan Sanborn (Dasein,
#668) also made plans to come down for the launch.
This log sets forth the
events of the day. Enjoy!
Ow, that's an early wakeup call. But with the truck arriving at
Jeff's house in South Dartmouth, MA at 0830, I needed an early start in
order to get there in time. The dogs looked at me like I was
crazy, but dutifully ate their dinner before heading back downstairs to
bed. I made coffee, loaded gear into the truck, and headed off to
meet Nathan at a park and ride about 20 minutes away. He arrived a
few minutes later, and we hopped in his diesel Jetta for the trip down
(let's see...12 MPG in my truck (if I'm lucky) versus an easy 40 MPG in
the diesel? That was an easy choice!).
We arrived at Jeff's house after an uneventful ride down. Jeff was
ready and raring to go. I asked him if he'd slept at all the night
before; he replied that he was OK till about 0300, when it all came
crashing down. Still, he seemed remarkably calm to us, at least on
the surface. A little Valium in the morning Joe, perchance?
"No", answered Jeff, "just despondence".
We took the opportunity to load our gear
aboard Kaynee in the backyard, and loaded Jeff's plywood dinghy
on top of his car for the trip to the waterfront. The paint was
still tacky. Thwarted (no pun intended) by the lack of time before
launch, and the myriad last-minute projects on the boat, Jeff lamented
the lack of a rubrail on the dinghy. With a lick and a promise, he
"secured" the dinghy to a hastily-erected roof rack on his
car, and we settled in to wait for the truck.
Hard to fault the timing; the truck showed up almost exactly on time and
backed in to pick up the boat. No problems here; all went
smoothly. Nathan and I stood on the sidelines and made crude jokes
while I fussed with my dumb video camera, which I had brought along to
"document" the day.
(left) and Nathan look disgusted at the prospect of being
photographed. Or maybe they're just disgusted in general.
Note that from this
point forward, I don't have a clue what time anything happened...so I'll
dispense with the time stamps in the log.
is loaded and now supported entirely by the truck, moments away from
pulling out of the barn for the first time in 2-1/2 years.
and the truck driver loaded the mast onto the padded brackets on the
truck, and secured it tightly in place.
just like that, she was out the drive, heading for the water, leaving
behind a very forlorn-looking barn!
By the time all of us had
figured out our cars, etc., the truck had a pretty good head start, and
it took a while for us to catch up. Nathan and I followed
Jeff. Once we caught up, we realized that a fine videographic
opportunity was passing us by--Jeff's car was blocking the view of the
boat. Nathan tried to capture Jeff's attention by blowing his horn
and waving, hoping that Jeff would get the message and let us pass him
so we could get a clear shot of the boat. Jeff never acknowledged,
or gave any hint that he heard. Minutes later, though, as we drove
along the road paralleling the harbor, our little caravan passed a
female jogger; that caught Jeff's attention, and he nearly drove
his car off the road as he swirled his whole torso around to follow the
scenic local color.
we drove over the Padanaram causeway/bridge, our attention was captured
by a simply gorgeous Concordia 41 yawl floating in the harbor.
Utter perfection! Padanaram is, after all, the home to the current
Concordia boatyard, though of course these stunningly beautiful wooden
class acts haven't been built for decades (and were built overseas to
thereafter, we arrived at the yard and parked, aptly enough, near a
lobster boat named Triton. The truck with Kaynee
atop was already in place near the water, with a huge crane looming
overhead. Yikes--I never liked those cranes with spreader bars to
hold the slings. We worked to remove the mast from the trailer and
then untie Jeff's multiple tiedowns holding the rigging in place.
"Just untie one end, and it'll all pull right out," he
said. Umm...not quite. It took much unraveling to get all
the lines off, but finally the rigging was free.
a bit of effort, the yard guys--with all of us helping--got the slings
set up around the boat, with some of Jeff's wife's towels protecting the
shiny white hull from the evil webbed straps. With no other
choice, the after strap had to lead beneath the false keel...much to all
of our chagrin. Jeff had heavily reinforced this area earlier, but
why tempt fate? But the setup of the slings didn't allow for any
clearing the way, they hoisted the boat off the trailer and high in the
air, seemingly dangling her like a child's mobile from the massive
crane. When the boat was high enough, the crane swung around
towards the water, then began lowering the boat towards the shimmering
surface. As she neared the water, the crane suddenly stalled, the
silence punctuated by an "Oops!" from the cab.
though, the driver restarted the crane, and continued lowering the boat
into the water, with another person guiding the bow with a hastily
secured line. Rather quickly, the boat settled into the water, her
keel caressing the salty brine for the first time in too many
years. With the boat mostly afloat, but still held by the strings,
the operator paused to let Jeff scramble aboard to check for
leaks. In a few moments, his relieved head popped up through the
hatch accompanied by a thumbs up--no leaks. With that, Kaynee
was lowered the rest of the way into the water, and Jeff secured fenders
and docklines to hold her off the pilings.
the boat floating on her own, and tied to the pier, we all worked to get
rid of the crane and spreader rig, dropping the straps into the water
outside the boat. Nathan pondered the thought that the bottom
there must be littered with clevis pins--both from the sling spreader as
well as smaller rigging pins.
Once the spreader rig was
removed, the yard set it on the pavement nearby and disconnected the
crane hoist so they could step the mast. While things seemed slow,
I took a moment to present Jeff with a bottle of christening bubbly in
order to properly anoint the boat. Sitting on the cabin trunk,
Jeff struggled with the overwrap, then strained to get the cork to
pop. Nerves, surely, were preventing his normal steel-like
strength from ripping that cork out, but he finally prevailed, and the
cork slid out with an anemic sigh.
since the mast was already hanging overhead, Jeff poured a dab on the
deck, in the water for Neptune, and then into himself.
Mmm...champagne on an empty stomach at 0900. If this kept up, the
day was going to go downhill fast! Demonstrating the silliness that
was sure to follow, and lacking a lampshade for effect, Nathan decided
that two lenses was simply one too many for his sunglasses, and
proceeded to fumble one of them into the scuppers, nearly going
With that, the mast
arrived, clunking into its slot in the mast step with little
fanfare. In moments, out team of experts had the 'four
corners" secured, though giving Jeff momentary panic for a short
while when he thought his modified rigging had ended up way too
long. Turns out the mast was simply still leaning to one side, and
he had gone ahead and cranked his turnbuckle to the stops, while the
wire remained slack. We straightened that out in short order, and
before long the mast stood on its own, and the crane, mercifully, was
shut down for good. We spent several minutes attaching the lowers
and doing some rough tuning to remove the bends from the mast.
The boat looked great,
and all of us spent a lot of time just looking her over and wandering
the docks for the best photographic angles (OK, that was mostly
me). With the mast secure, Jeff and Nathan pulled the boom out of
the cabin and we attached it, hooked up the topping lift (Jeff, you need
a Garhauer solid vang!) and mainsheet, and then bent on the new
mainsail--yes, Kaynee features new sails that were purchased at some
point by her previous owner while the boat was on the hard, so the sails
had never been used. Nathan lightheartedly whined about the
difficulties involved in installing the battens in their tight new
pockets ("Oh, by the way, have I mentioned that I hate
battens?", he chanted over and over again). We jury rigged an
outhaul system using old line and a series of random blocks and shackles
that Jeff pulled from a seemingly endless supply, all the while singing
the "Mickey Mouse" theme in our heads. But it worked,
after some doing, at least for the time being.
this point, it was nearly noon, and Nathan and I declared it lunch
break. While the two of us relaxed in the cockpit gorging
ourselves on a feast of cheese, baguette, apples, pepperoni, hummus and
beer, Jeff fiddled around on deck attending to various chores, obviously
in an attempt to burn nervous energy--all the while taking swigs of
champagne from the open bottle in the cockpit every time he passed
our lunch ending, as we disgustedly noted that two of us had polished
off a whole block of smoked Gouda, a loaf of bread, stick of pepperoni,
and half a block of cheddar, it was time to get down to brass
tacks and prepare Kaynee for her maiden voyage. Jeff and I
went to get the plywood dinghy off the roof of his car, and launched it
into the harbor off a small dock. Jeff rowed the dink around to
the boat, immediately crashing into the counter when he tried to land,
before performing a feat of gymnastics that would make an Olympian proud
as he hoisted himself through the stern pulpit, all the while
swearing at the fact that he had already banged into his boat and
lamenting that he hadn't installed a rubrail on the dinghy first.
Fortunately, however, no real damage was done, as the marks on the hull
were only the oil paint from the dingy (still tacky), not true scarring.