END OF SEASON BLUES: One Last Cruise and Prepping to Haul


Oct. 23/2020:   Those there are my two girl cousins–Cali, left, and Laura, right–in the foreground there, who came last week to help me (in the background there) get the mainsail off Lunacy so she can be hauled out and stored for the winter. It was my first time taking the main off this boat, and it was more of a production than I expected.

It’s also my first time storing this boat on the hard for the winter. In the three previous winters we’ve owned her I’ve taken her down to the southeast US or the Caribbean so we can keep on enjoying her. But now that Damn Virus looks to be making a worldwide resurgence and there are many random factors at play, so that doesn’t seem like such a good idea this year.

Before resigning myself and the boat to this fate I did partake of one last solo jaunt down the Maine coast.

After puttering through thick fog first to Jewell Island in Casco Bay, and then again in more fog to Popham Beach, where I sheltered from a southerly gale and visited more friends and family, I sailed in fine weather from Popham to Farnham Cove at the mouth of the Damariscotta River


Broad-reaching past Squirrel Island south of Boothbay Harbor en route to the Damariscotta


An interesting discovery. This dock I found on Farnham Cove, and the impressive looking facility behind it, belong to the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, an independent non-profit research institute that has “reimagined ocean research—fusing the best of scientific inquiry and entrepreneurial ingenuity,” according to their website


After a quiet night in the cove I ascended the river to its head of navigation at the “twin villages” of Newcastle and Damariscotta


And yes, there is still a lot of oyster farming on the river


While upriver I visited my old colleague Nigel Calder, who has been hunkered down at his home in Newcastle for the pandemic. This is Nigel showing off a huge tile panorama created by Terri, his wife, and Pippin, his daughter. That’s son Paul lurking in the background with a mask on


While descending the river again I passed close by this able singlehander out sailing a superb Friendship sloop


I stopped again at Farnham Cove and took some time to ramble around East Boothbay. That huge shed you see in the background used to belong to Hodgdon Yachts, where they cranked out some amazing super-cool super-sized sailing yachts: Comanche, Scheherazade, Antonesia, and Windcrest, to name a few. They sold the facility two years ago to Washburn & Doughty, who builds commercial vessels, primarily tugboats


Scheherazade, now called Asolare, a Bruce King design, 154 feet in length, built in 2003


As part of my ramble I stopped in at the East Boothbay General Store and then circumnavigated Mill Pond in a clockwise direction. To complete this circle I hiked up “Sunrise Road,” seen on the left here in this Google Maps satellite view. This is not a road at all, but a trail that morphs into a private driveway, which, it turned out, belongs to Tim Hodgdon, of Hodgdon Yachts. We had a brief but pleasant conversation. FYI, Tim would really appreciate it if other people did not make the same mistake as me


From Farham Cove I took a short sail around to Lewis Cove, in the northwest corner of Linekin Bay, just behind the town of Boothbay Harbor proper


En route I sailed (again) past the lighthouse on Ram Island, on the south side of Fisherman Island Passage, seen here looking like autumn is indeed coming on


Spotted in Lewis Cove: this “intense” looking performance catamaran with bright wooden hulls


Also spotted: a great spot to haul the dinghy out for a quick scrub in Barrett Park, which overlooks the cove


From Lewis Cove it’s a quick walk into Boothbay, where I entered town on the pedestrian bridge that spans the root of the harbor


On the last full day of my cruise I beat my way from Linekin Bay back to Casco Bay, a rugged bit of sailing it turned out, with winds gusting into the high 20’s after I passed the mouth of the Kennebec River


During one messed-up tack I managed to shred the cover on my starboard jib sheet. Never done that before!


The culprit I reckon was this exposed cotter pin at the base of one shroud. These previously were not an issue when I had a staysail permanently in place. With my new easily removable staysail I’ll need to be sure these are all neatly taped when I relaunch next spring


Looking forward to that, I must say.

This just in from Jeff Stack at Maine Yacht Center, we’ve been discussing raising the waterline this winter… and perhaps adding graphics:

Thoughts anyone???

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8 Responses
  1. Steve Wrye

    Hey Charles, definitely raise waterline it’s way too low.
    Take your halyards off winter is tough on them. If you installed a deck wash pump make sure to drain it. I forgot on our Boreal, yuk disaster.
    Steve and Tracy.

  2. Michael Lambert

    I like the graphic in theory, but idk why so many boats, mine included, have white bootstripes near the waterline. It’s just another thing to maintain, or it turns yellow. I fear your monster will look like a coffee drinker/smoker before long. That makes me think, however, of my current preferred name for our new boreal, pippy(fantastically strong misfit girl). I’ve thought of having the top of her red head and the iconic pigtails just visible above the water. But alas the name is too sacred to my wife and won’t let me use it.

    1. Charles Doane

      Agreed re bootstripes. Cosmetic uselessness. I don’t expect to go with this graphic, though I know one fellow who put something similar on an Allures, well above the waterline. I assume you’re referring to Pippi Longstocking, no??? With an “i” not a “y,” noted the editor. Great name for a boat! Keep working on the wife. I personally thought Tinman would be a good name for an aluminum boat, but daughters Lucy and Una (mostly Lucy) wouldn’t let me swerve away from Lunacy (also the name of the last boat).

  3. Michael Lambert

    Yes, pippi. My mistake. I know, a great name. I have good fallbacks though. One of the fun but “disposable” options was “Can”, as in aluminum can/and remark on her abilities.

  4. Charles,

    As your sailing season comes to a close, ours is finally cool enough to be enjoyable again at mid-day.

    Becky and I have signed on the line for a Boreal 47.2 to be finished in early 2022, so we are now going to read your blog with even more interest than before.

    Question, why should the waterline on both Lunacy and Steve’s boat need to be raised? Lunacy was not loaded up with stuff last time we looked at her.

    Hmmmm. Must be that French water is saltier than ours….


    1. Charles Doane

      Hey Nat! That’s great you ordered a boat. No, Lunacy has never been loaded up with much stuff, but she has persistently grown weed above her waterline aft. This past year it was very bad.

    2. Michael Lambert

      Hi Nat, I too am expecting a 47.2 in early 2022. When did you order it? Are you in the states? What is your plan for delivery? Ours is Scotland, then back here I think via the Caribbean.

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