I'm long overdue to update this thread for any of you remaining interested….
The main thing to report is that Seaview
's big shakedown cruise in Carmel (exactly two weekends before the annual SC Main Event there some of you attended earlier this month) was pretty dismal. Certainly a bust: a terrible starboard list unfixable at the site; insufficient propulsive power to stand up to the fountain-induced Carmel chop; serious hull cracks plus some additional cosmetic damage; outright refusal to dive; accidentally torn-out wiring thanks to my inexperience with the delicate nature of stern-first WTC installation (and a broken-off aft superstructure magnet for the same reason); unexplained rudder slop; bent linkage affecting sail plane performance…and more, actually, all requiring repair and/or replacement, even some redesign. And much of it puzzling too, since we all watched the boat performing so well in Steve's pool video posted earlier in this thread.
Part of this overall failure was simply the discovery that the giant military-grade carry case I'd acquired to transport the boat by air turned out not
to be impervious to airline mishandling. The first leg of the trip brought a major dent and trashed two of its four latches, and things just got worse from there. For this happy experience I enjoyed the privilege of paying hundreds of extra dollars in mandatory baggage fees—amounting to nothing less than skyway robbery! I mean, at 81 pounds, I certainly expected the case and its contents to incur additional costs…but really!
Had I known in advance of this forthcoming fleecing, I wouldn't have brought the boat along in the first place. It was my own fault however—totally—for not making thorough inquiries ahead of time.
Happily, the boat herself was not trashed by said transport, though I did worry about those failed latches ultimately depositing her in pretty pieces all over the cross-country airways. However, I'm convinced the mishandling did indeed contribute to the three hull stress fractures (two being pretty significant cracks) later discovered and now under repair. Regardless, I've really learned the hard way my that my baby is simply too big, heavy and delicate to travel by air. From now on, getting her around will be only via the highways…a difficult lesson, surely, but exactly the sort of information I sought by making this experimental trip in the first place. All good data—just heartbreaking, back-to-the-drawing-board data, that's all.
Though admittedly a very poor showing overall, this shakedown trip was not a total loss. Far and away the highlight of my time at Carmel was simply meeting up with Kerry Addington and Pete Piekarski. Addington was successfully surface-testing and trimming his giant 80" four-window Seaview
, while from what I could see, Pete brought along his entire fleet, all looking gorgeous and running flawlessly…while I watched with great frustration from the sidelines, trying to cater to a cantankerous and uncooperative new boat. Ah well, as they say, if it were easy, everyone would be into this hobby, right?
So now work begins on a major Seaview
refit, with my new goal being to have her repaired, re-trimmed and running again in time for Shakedown Cruise No. 2 at the annual SanFran Fall Fun Run (October 1-2). There's so much to redo and retest, however, I've no guarantee I'll make it. But I'll post some photos of my efforts along the way, starting with these few below. Enjoy.
Here's the big case, all boat-packed before the trip.
Here's my uncooperative new boat, pouting at pondside. We didn't speak for days after this "coming out" party fiasco.
Kerry and Pete with me in Carmel, two weekends before the Regatta.
Kerry trims his big Seaview
Back home again, on the worktable as the Refit begins. Note cracks visible in the shot immediately below and the final two photos.
Sure writing is easy: just sit staring at a blank page until the drops of blood start forming on your forehead.