Cedar Key Small Boat Gathering - 2013
I have read about the Cedar Key Messabout for several years
and it seemed appealing. I've been to several different
woodenboat shows in the South e.g. Madisonville and Biloxi
but this seemed different. This year things lined up and I
made my decision to go. These three pages talk about the
preparation and the trip itself.
Getting the boat ready
The boat had sat unused in the carport for a few years for a
variety of reasons. At one point last year I read in the
paper about someone asking if there was an ordinance in
Huntsville against people keeping boats in their yard.
They said there were boats that hadn't moved for years.
There was no direct reference to mine but I was wondering...
To wit: blog.al.com - questions about boats
I have read about Cedar Key for several years. This year
I made a determination that I was going to find a way to go
and take "No Strings Attached" no matter what.
First I had to get the boat ready. I'm really glad I started
a month before because there was more to do than I first envisioned.
First the rims on the trailer were rusting to the point that they
were questionable. Also the tires were almost 10 years old. It
was a no brainer to decide that the time was ripe to replace the
tires and rims. I went to The Boat House in Athens and ordered
new rims with tires mounted on them. They arrived and two days
later I went back there to pick them up.
Next on the list were the trailer lights. I had put LED lights
on several years ago because they were touted as lasting 100,000
hours. Did they work? Nnnnnooooo. I futzed with them a bit
without success. Next trip to Walmart to get a new light kit.
These were also LED. They are an improvement over the incandescent
variety and a bit more expensive but they do not last the 100,000
hours commonly touted for LEDs. Expect these to last 4-5 years.
I installed the rear lights. Then a trip to Madison RV to replace
the defective truck connector.
Meanwhile I had to order a new safety flare kit. The existing
one was expired and smelled like cat urine. Note: I have found
stray cats lounging in the boat on occasion. The flare kit is
required safety equipment for sailing in the ocean. I ordered a new
one at a major chandlery chain. During the ordering I fat fingered
the billing address so that the country was "Afghanistan" instead of
United States. I did not catch this until the next day. I picked up
the phone and called to correct it. I checked my email account for an
email from the chandler saying that they shipped the items. After a
few days when it did not appear I called again to check the status.
They had it on what they called "international hold". But they
couldn't explain what that meant. Then a couple of days later
I still didn't see the email that it shipped. This order had clearly
strayed off the normal process of order, ship, receive. I saw a looming
risk of it not arroving in time. I faced the prospect of a detour to
Mobile or nearby to purchase a flare kit. This would add a day to the
So I called back and raised a bit of a stink. I indicated that I was
frustrated with the way this was going. I also explained that normally
they provide good service and that this was not personally directed to
the person I was speaking to. Next day the shipping email
appeared. Most importantly a few days later the safety flares showed
up on my doorstep. Sometimes things stall and need a kick to get
With the trailer ready I turned to the boat. The plan was to
clean, sand, varnish and paint. I got her cleaned up quickly
since I had done that a year ago. While sanding I noticed paint
lifting up on the stem. I chipped it off and found rotten wood.
I started digging. I kept digging. The wood cut like warm
butter. The next several pictures show the extent of rot.
Note: this is basically what I posted on Facebook.
It's frustrating to find this but I have to fix it before
I did this cut to see how far the rot really went.
I cut away one side to make room for the template.
This leaves room to fit the template and make it match the curve.
Here the template is fitted. It is actually the first of 4 pieces of
yellow pine to be cut. This was the best wood I could get hold of quickly
and appears to be strong. With enough epoxy, paint and care it should
hold up indefinitely.
4 pieces surface planed and glued up.
The remainder of the rotted stem is removed and the area cleaned up.
The rotted remains all picked up ready to throw out. The stem was
pretty far gone to come apart this easily. Trying to sail like this
would have flopped embarrassingly.
The new stem piece dressed up, drilled and attached. I used a pair
of 1/2" bolts to attach it firmly.
Everything is glued up.
I had to apply epoxy and extra wood to correct some fairing issues,
The rain was an ever present threat to my work schedule.
I got primer on and painted Monday night. So by Tuesday the repair
was complete. The paint was dry by Wednesday - one day to spare.
After charging the batteries, provisioning and fixing other
items on the punch list we were ready to hit the road.