Monday, February 8, 2016

Dandy's Paparazzi Day

Dave is my guest writer this time...Today was a pretty monumental day for us and our newly launched Abaco Dinghy, DANDY.  The boat is being featured in a national magazine called ''Small Boats Monthly'' and is published by WOODENBOAT MAGAZINE. There was a great photo shoot and sail today, and it was a ''Chamber-of-Commerce'' day here in Hope Town Harbour.  I ran the ''Safari'' as photo/chase boat, with the photographer, and the actual journalist sailed ''Dandy'', his first foray in Abaco Dinghy sailing, and incidentally an item on his bucket list. 

We all had a blast and ''Dandy'' certainly kicked up her heels and wowed the onlookers.  The pure number of images taken were staggering and I have no idea how they cull through them all to make their selections. Of course the HT Lighthouse was in the background of many of the shots, giving a world class feeling to this big day for us. It truly is a dream come true as many of you have followed the journey of this restoration and relocation of this iconic dinghy.  '' Dandy'' lives right here in the marina for all of the visitors to see and photograph. It is really cool to look off our balcony and see all the attention it gets!!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Skipper of the Rage

Dave was skipper of the Abaco Rage on the second day of the Hope Town Cup race series. What an honor and a challenge, all rolled into one. He aced it, and although he stayed back a bit while crossing the very congested start line, they sailed well, had to jibe the sails three times, and everyone had a good time. There were quiet a few new crew members on board and they had a memorable experience (no one fell off or got hurt, and there were no gear failures). Plus the regular crew members like Barry, Gus, and Bobby made Skipper Dave look good at the helm by being so efficient at their 'jobs'.

Hopefully this only American skipper will have the opportunity to do it all over again some time in the future.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

First Race For Dandy

It was a bit gloomy today, but the wind was perfect for the Abaco Dinghy races held on the Sea of Abaco, just outside Hope Town Harbour. Dave and his friend Goldwin had a blast, and actually came in second in the first race of the three race series. However, at the start of the first race, they stopped in their tracks and had a rough time getting going again, so they came in last. They came in third in the third race, but after the handicaps were totaled, Dandy only came in 5th out of 6 boats. Dave was still very pleased with how the boat sails and he was exceptionally glad he didn't get wet, like he does when racing Sunfish. He said it is a lot more comfortable than racing Sunfish also. Below are a few photos from today...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Maiden Voyage

Many thanks to everyone who has been involved in our Abaco Dinghy project! Tomorrow Dandy races for the first time.

"What a long strange trip it's been!"

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ready To Sail

Today was supposed to be another windy and gloomy day, but we woke to total calm and sunny skies. What a perfect opportunity to get Dandy ready to sail. First step was putting the racing numbers on the sail. I bet some of you recognize the number from Dave's motorcycle racing days! Hopefully it will bring him good luck.

Then Jim came over to help step the mast...only to find out that it didn't fit! 

Out came the saber saw to make the hole it sits in bigger, but thankfully Dave noticed first that it didn't need much more room, and he sanded down all the layers of paint on the mast itself, which worked perfect.

Much more rigging had to be done and it took most of the day to do it...a lot of which was trial and error. By the time we had finished, the wind was blowing like crazy, so no first sail today. She is sitting pretty and ready to go though!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ready to Rig

Dandy has been brought over to our marina and has a high priority spot just outside the marina store's entrance. She draws a lot of attention and everyone who goes by ogles at this locally built and restored boat.

She looks wonderful, and the only water in her is rain water from above and no saltwater from below. With all the rain we have been having, Dave has been having to use our high volume electric pump to pump out all the Abaco Dinghies.

Now all we need is better weather and less wind to rig her mast, boom, sails, rudder, and tiller that are sitting on the dock next to the boat. Then it will be time to sail this dinghy that hasn't been out in many many years.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sailing Is Hard Work

Sometimes there are good results, like the Abaco Rage winning the latest Hope Town Sailing Club Race (that's Dave in the outback hat handling the the jib sheets)...

Other times it is frustrating, as seen in the video link of Dave being caught on the race committee boat's anchor line (thanks Catherine!), while Sunfish racing. Click HERE for the video. Either way, Dave loves a challenge.