The boat we just bought has a top priority list of things that need to be done on her, and managing these projects from far away isn’t easy. It’s made much easier though working with people who have become our friends from the last many many years of living in the Bay Area.

We have 2 large projects going right now…

You may have noticed our boat does not have a dodger on it. We get to have a dodger built for her exactly the way we want the dodger built. When we were last in the Bay Area, we stood at the oversized wheel, and measured for height and viewing pleasure… which is great, because many dodgers either cut through your line of sight, or one of us can look successfully under it, but the other can’t. This dodger is perfect for both of us. That should be installed in early October, and will make the boat infinitely more pleasurable to sail.

The second large project is the furling boom system. These furling booms are to make sailing easier, and along with the furling boom usually comes an electric winch. The system we have on this boat is a Shaeffer, and it’s fine and works. We just don’t like it; it’s more parts that could go wrong. The boom also is attached to a rigid strut, and not a proper boom vang, so the idea of “blowing the vang” isn’t an option. David is a main trimmer and a racer, and he really didn’t like the limited capabilities of this system.

Replacing this boom is a challenge, because you have to get a new boom (usually have one made) and a new main sail (usually have one made), and all the parts that go on the main and the boom. I think you are starting to get the point here – this is an expensive problem.

Our friend Jim on the east coast bought a Sabre 402 within a week of us buying ours. I “met” Jim on the Sabre owner’s list online, and had told him about our boom replacement situation. The boat he bought has an in-boom furling system on it too, and he knew we were planning on doing the replacement. So, when he discovered his boat came with the original Hall boom and the original main sail, he grabbed both of them for us. We bought both from him at a huge Sabre-friend discount, then the challenge was getting them to the west coast.

The boom itself is close to 18′ and about 85 pounds. And it was in Connecticut. I called in a friend favor from Raychel, and she picked the boom up, took it home, packaged it all up for shipping, and took it to a boatyard nearby. Our amazing broker called her amazing boat trucker, and he stuck it on the side of a boat he was bringing to Anacortes Washington. I found a guy who picked it up the Saturday after it arrived in Anacortes and trucked it to Bay Marine in Point Richmond, the place where we’re having the boom replacement done.

Working for a sailmaker himself, Jim was able to inspect our new/old main and get it shipped to Quantum in Point Richmond, where it’s being very slightly worked on (the sail itself was in fantastic shape). All in all, we spent around $1k total to get the parts for the new system, including shipping. Bonus points include being able to resell the system that’s on there for more than we paid for the replacements, plus our boat will be happier because we’re putting her back the way she’s supposed to be.

Sometimes it takes a village to get boat projects accomplished!

The boom swap project is well underway, thanks to Facebook Messenger, Rolfe and Chris at Bay Marine, Ryan at Rogue Rigging, Will at Quantum and Hippie James. Thankful for knowing all the players. I wouldn’t have any clue where to start doing this project here in Port Townsend.