We've finalized on a location for the boat. In the St. Croix Valley, in Afton, Minnesota, we secured a park and launch space at the Windmill Marina. This will be a little bit further than some parts of Minnetonka for us, but I can leave the boat on the trailer, mast up, and ready to sail. We can be sailing quicker at this location, despite the longer mileage, since we won't have to spend time rigging the mast and sails. We can store the boat there during the Winter, as well. A park and launch space is considerably less cost than a slip directly in the water. And it's a nice location with lots of places to sail up and down the river, near Lake Pepin.
We are planning a number of sailing trips this Summer. The first one will be the second weekend in June on Lake Pepin, with the Northern Lights Sailing Club. I plan to take the Friday off of that week, and sail the boat from Afton to Lake City, about 43 miles, and one lock. I'm hoping to make the trip down the river in about 10 hours. Being that I'll have more than 10 hours of daylight, unlike the trip from Pepin to Mobile, as well as warmer temperatures, it should be easier. Then we plan to sail Saturday and Sunday that weekend on Lake Pepin, then load the boat on the trailer, and bring it back to Afton.
We got a dinghy from West Marine when they had a close out sale at their Bloomington location. It can roll up and be stored on board, or towed behind the boat, and even put a small motor on it if we wanted. Jane has declared it her boat, and is working on names for it. It should be useful for getting to shore when we anchor out, or can even take it to some of the local lakes here in town, and do some fishing.
|Jane looks right at home in her dinghy, in the living room.|
I've been working on A couple of things on the boat. I came across an inexpensive roller furling that was still new in the box, and found a place that would modify my existing sail very inexpensively. If I had to go out and purchase everything, it would have been thousands of dollars, instead of hundreds. The roller furling will make sailing a lot easier for everyone, and one of the last things I wanted to do, so I am able to single-handedly sail the boat. Before we decided on putting the boat at the Windmill Marina, I had built a trailer extension for easier launching of the boat. It allowed for 7 more feet. My guess is we won't need that because of the ramp available at the marina, but it may be useful at other locations. I've started my final punch list. Even though there's nearly 30 items on the list, most of them are small, and will take very little time to complete. I just need a couple of days above 32 degrees to wrap everything up, not the predicted snow and cold that will hit in the next couple of days.
One of the other things I was able to complete was replacing the decals and striping on the deck. It really cleans up the boat, in its look and feel.