SKYE is going to stay in the yard a while (being a wooden boat, not any longer than necessary), due to some issues with the bottom paint. In spite of only being a bit less than a year since the previous application, the paint is chipped off and peeling up in a few places — either from poor surface preparation back then, or… who knows what. Needs fixing before hopping back in the pool, and anyway, it’s a good place to begin bringing the maintenance up to par.
SKYE arrived safely and undamaged in Olympia on Sunday after her 1200 mile road trip. At the moment, she is still sitting on the trailer, awaiting the yard opening for business on Tuesday. (And to put in a good word for Associated Boat Transport — they did an excellent job, at a very reasonable price. They’re familiar with wooden boats, and know how to carry them properly. I can highly recommend them.)
Yesterday I climbed aboard and transferred all the rigging I had removed from the mast to my van, to take home where I have room under cover to unroll and work on it. A 44 foot long greenhouse, by the way, is an excellent place to work on rigging. I started off treating some surface rust, mainly on the lower portions of the jibstay and the stays’l stay.
Also have some slushing to do. Rigging “slush” is what you put on parceled and served rigging on a regular basis to help protect the service from the elements. Although formulas vary, the stuff I’m using is a mixture of equal parts boiled linseed oil and turpentine, plus 10-15% pine tar, plus a glob of black paint. SKYE’s standing rigging was a bit overdue for a slushing:
SKYE has an interesting history with galley stoves. First equipped with a Dickinson Adriatic diesel stove, later owners took out the diesel and put in a propane stove. Then, still later owners swapped the propane for another diesel (a Dickinson Pacific), and the folks from whom I purchased SKYE removed the diesel and converted back to propane.
So, who am I to part with tradition? Yup, I’ll be converting back to a diesel galley stove, a used Dickinson Adriatic I found on Craigslist, a bit dusty, but in good condition and apparently never actually cooked in, for a very reasonable price. (Hi Ethan, and thanks!)
Although I appreciate the convenience of propane — instant on, instant off — a diesel stove not only cooks very well, but provides cabin heat, much needed around these parts a good chunk of the year. There’s the explosion issue too, of course, and although I’m not crediting propane with more hazard than it deserves, I’m sure I’ll feel a just a might bit better for not having it on board. Plus, SKYE has this nifty 20 gallon diesel tank built in just forward of the galley bulkhead which will once again be put to good use.
The stove I’ll be removing, an approximately one year old Dickinson Caribbean 2-burner stove with oven, will of course be put up for sale. It will include two 5-gallon aluminum propane tanks, and two very well built teak deck boxes specially designed to hold the two tanks securely. I’m not sure when, exactly, I’ll get around to removing the old and installing the new, but I’ll post here, and probably on Craigslist, when the Caribbean is available, in case anyone might be interested.
As I wait (and wait) for the truck to pick up SKYE (now scheduled for Feb. 11th), I thought I should make an “about” post which presents a bit more info about this unique vessel…
SKYE was designed by Lyle Hess, and is a full-keel, heavy displacement (relatively speaking) boat with a cutter rig. She is 31′ 8″ on deck, about 39′ 6″ overall, with a 29′ waterline and 10′ 8″ beam. She draws five and a half feet or so, and has a design displacement of 16,425 lbs. Ballast is about 5800 lbs.
SKYE was masterfully built by William and Elaine Eppick over a period of eight years, and launched in 1988. She is strip planked with Port Orford Cedar, 1-1/4″ thick, and has steam-bent white oak frames. The mast is Douglas Fir, square in section, with galvanized wire rigging, parceled and served. She has an ice box, foot-pump water pressure, simple electrical system, rudder steering with a windvane, a compass, VHF and a depth sounder. A very solid, simple, reliable, maintainable, low-stress boat. SKYE is of course named for the Isle of Skye, which is off the West coast of Scotland.
SKYE spent many years sailing the Pacific Northwest, and with her most recent owner (prior to myself ), she sailed from San Diego to Hawaii and back. I am the fifth owner, after the Eppicks, and purchased SKYE last November (2012).
In 1990, SKYE won the “New Classic” award from the Classic Boat Festival in Victoria, B.C.
SKYE attended the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival in the 1990s and also in 2004.
And here are a couple photos of the interior:
I’ll be adding more details about SKYE as I go along. For example, in that last image of the forecabin desk, the chair is an authentic soda-fountain chair from the 1920s or 30s, found by Bill & Elaine Eppick in an antique shop and rescued from its unappreciated existence.
SKYE is still in San Diego, currently awaiting being hauled out and loaded on a truck for the hopefully smooth ride up here to Olympia, WA. The truck has been unavoidably delayed, however, and won’t be able to pick up SKYE until the 4th or 5th of February, a week later than predicted.
I just returned from San Diego, where I spent a few days removing everything that was higher than the cabin top (except the mast, of course, which I left to the Shelter Island Boatyard and their crane.) Everything worked out well, with no unsolvable problems taking things apart. Lots of cotter pins to remove, though. Lots. I’m glad most of them were bronze rather than stainless steel, bronze being much easier to bend.
I’ll be restoring the home port text to “Port Townsend” since SKYE will be back in Puget Sound, at least for a while. Seems more appropriate than MA.