October 23, 2013.
We finally managed to break away after 18 months in Annapolis. The big reason we opted to stay in Annapolis for the winter was to give the Veranda a facelift. I guess a facelift is a bad analogy, it was more like a multiple organ transplant.
The refit included the installation of a new engine and the removal of the God forsaken Fischer Panda generator. The engine room was completely stripped down to the bare walls so new soundproofing, engine bed and lighting could be installed. The mast was pulled from the boat and painted. Then I rewired it with all new lighting and a new radar before being restepped. We even went for a new Schaefer Roller Furler. I moved the location of the raw water strainer, the dual Racor fuel filters, the fresh water pump and its manifold and I installed a proper monster of a bilge pump. There was also a new oven, a new head, new chain, a new windlass and chaps for the dinghy.
We completely changed the arrangement of our nav instruments in the cockpit. We eliminated 3 separate nav pods by upgrading the chartplotter to a more modern unit that could interface with the rest of the equipment as one central display. Then we decided to go with a Maretron wind instrument. Its a bit pricey but has no moving parts and gives you barometric pressure, air temperature as well as wind speed and direction. I'm sure it does some other crap but I just haven't got a handle on all the new toys yet. The new Airmar transducer supplies depth and water temperature. The new digital radar and all the other toys display their info on the new Garmin chartplotter.
One of the biggest changes was a new mainsail. That upgrade almost killed me and its the only thing we didn't do ourselves. I dropped the old sail off at the sailmakers in January and left a 33% deposit and asked to pick the new sail up in June or July, no rush. Imagine my surprise when I walked in in 6 months later and the sail hadn't even been started. I got a sob story about lawsuits and an aborted take over. I did get an assurance that the sail would be done without fail by September first. I've done business with him before and recommended this guy to others so like an asshole I believed him.
I walked over to the loft in the first week of September and the place was pretty much empty. There was a guy sitting there and he introduced himself as Scott Gibbs of Evolution Sails. I explained why I was there and he said “Oh no, not another one”. It seems that the former owner of the sailoft had taken more than a few deposits and failed to produce those sails. Evolution Sails had bought his business and was now embroiled in a huge legal battle with the former owner.
I was like, “that sucks but where does that leave me?” Because it is all about me, ask my wife. He assured me that Evolution Sails would stand behind the previous owners promises. They honored the price and the deposit that the previous owner had kept for himself, showed up the next day to measure the boat and promised a new sail in 2 weeks.
It did take a bit longer than that but to be fair I wasn't the only customer to blindside him at the time. They came and installed the new sail but thats when I found out that they don't actually make the stack packs but farm them out. The problem was that there was a backlog of 5 to 6 weeks in getting a new stack pack. That would have run us into November and you know how we feel about the cold.
I'm not sure what she said but on Friday Christy called him up and must have pitched a bit of a bitch. On the following Tuesday morning Scott Simmons for the Cambridge Canvas and Coverloft showed up to measure the boat. He called me that afternoon at work and told me he'd be by the next day for a dry fit but needed some fittings installed on the mast.
When I got home that night Christy hoisted me up the mast and I installed the fittings for the Lazy Jacks even though I thought it was probably a waste of time. Color me surprised, no shocked, when I got home on Wednesday evening and the new bag was done and installed. A new stack pack measured, fabricated and installed, 2 days.
As far as I'm concerned Scott Gibbs from Evolution Sails stepped into a mess of a situation and saved the day for us on the Veranda. And as for Scott Simmons of the Cambridge Canvas and Coverloft, he only performed an f'ing miracle. Kudos.