Crunch Time



I sat at the desk in my motel room reviewing my presentation one last time. In the background, my personal fight song was playing to help pump me up for the most important hour in my life. I have spent my whole life dreaming of working in the space industry and now, here I was, in a hotel in Cocoa Beach getting ready to walk into my final interview with one of the biggest names in commercial spaceflight. It had taken two years and countless tries to get here and I was ready. This was my one shot. I walked out of the interview an hour later and called Cheryl to tell her the good news. “We are moving to Florida!”.


***Crunch Time***

In the aircraft world the last two pages of your work order is the worst. It contains all of the stuff that has been shuffled off, forgotten about, or just plain ignored until time is up and you are forced to deal with it. It’s a one to two day S#$@ show I call crunch time, something I’m sure is the same in other industries as well. That mad rush to tie up all the loose ends before the deadline. With the move coming up we had three months left in Georgia with a ton of work to do on the house to get it ready to sell. This was the kick in the pants I needed to set a date. I figured one month would do it. A tight schedule for sure, but a doable one. First off was the name board.

Name board

I had originally planned on calling the pathfinder “Idle Hands” after the name of the blog but over the years that has morphed into the name of my shop. So after much debate we decided on Freya, the Viking goddess of sex and war.  I carved the plate out of a piece of cherry wood leftover from an earlier project.

Name board 2

Sorting out the nameboard was the last of the woodworking tasks so now it was time to varnish.

To prep for varnish, the shop was swept, dusted, vacuumed, and mopped and then the longest part of the whole build was started. I used 6 coats of Total Boat Lust on the fiberglassed areas and 10 on the bare wood. With the AC on in the shop and a dehumidifier running I was able to get everything done in just a little over two weeks of daily varnishing. While I would never want a boat with a lot of varnish I did find I enjoyed the process. Call me a glutton for punishment. I was able to work about three pieces at a time on the varnishing racks and, as each piece came off, the hardware was installed and the whole thing went into the done pile.

All of the contact points between the various sticks received a protective coating of oar leather.

Gaff leather 1

Mizzen leather

The engine was de-preserved and went through its first break in run. After that into the boat she went. There has been some questions about how much the engine will interfere with the tiller but I think there is plenty of room. I have found out since then the asymmetrical thrust that comes from mounting the engine off of the center line is a much bigger problem than the short amount of throw you lose with the engine in the well.

The final step was rigging the sails. It had been a three week whirlwind of boat work but my to-do list was down to three items. Rig the sails, place her on the trailer, and launch. It was a few days before launch and there wasn’t a wisp of a breeze. The perfect day to hoist the sails. Gaff rigs look really cool but man, there is a lot of ropes and pulleys involved. It took several hours to get it sorted out and hard mounted and by then the breeze had started to pick up. As the wind hit the sails I heard the familiar snivel and pop of the sails catching the breeze. All three came alive and shifted with the gentle wind and Freya moved under her own power for the first time. Four and a half years in the making, three days till launch.  Freya was done.




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