The Wednesday night race series starts in mid March so we are in the last two weeks of our time in the yard. It’s kind of hard to believe its been almost 3 months since we pulled up and destroyed our solar panel at the beginning of December, but time isn’t stopping and neither are we.

Theoretically we only have one more weekend on the hard so there is somewhat of a rush to get done as much as possible. FINALLY on Saturday we re-installed the port side caprail and genoa track. This was an interesting procedure we’ve been thinking about for 6 months or more. We decided not to reuse the old holes and instead close them up with epoxy on the caprails and 5200 on the hull to deck joint.
Bare caprail
We moved the track up one inch, redrilled the holes and tapped them into the wood and the fiberglass. For those that don’t know it’s a MONARCH pain in the arse to get to the backside of the bolts. The Westsail community and Bud Taplin in particular thinks it’s fine to tap all of the 25 bolts and call it good, so that’s what we did.

We attempted to make a Go Pro video but installation frustrations left little usable footage and we stopped caring after a while.
Dani with the caprails

The process is pretty straightforward and much easier with two people. You lay up the caprails with the genoa track on top, drill for the hole, tap the hole, screw in a machine screw (5/16th in this case) then move to the next hole, slowly bending the track from the forward edge into the center of the caprail.
Dani and Tate working on the caprails

Drilling
Drilling holes in the caprail

Tapping
Taping the caprail holes

We did this for all the holes, removed everything, cleaned the area, countersunk the joint and the top of the caprail then screwed it all back together again using butyl tape under the caprail, under the genoa track and under the screw heads. We debated using caulk but figured we’d give the butyl a try since it would be under compression and fill the countersink. If it didn’t work we could “easily” redo it another time. Tate tested two screws with different butyl arrangements and both seemed to work well.
Butyl taping holes
Butyl taping the genoa track
Screw with butyl

And there you have, about 4 hours later and at last a sunburn from this god forsaken winter we re-installed the track. The only thing left to do was water test it…
Finished caprail

That brings us to today. Rain rolled in on the City, dampening Mardi Gras but NOT the inside of our boat. Nope, the area under the caprails was bone dry, Hooray! We consider the venture a success although the screws will need tightening when it warms up quite a bit and the buytl softens.

During our rain day Tate was at last able to reinforce the weak floor under the salon table which allows me to bring back our table and some sanity to the boat once again. It’s just one more thing that helps me feel like our boat is moving out of the construction phase into the “cruising phase”. He also made us race legal by wiring the tricolor and anchor lights and put the port side teak slats back up as well as added insulation to the Formica underboard. I made some new canvas stuff that I’ll show you later and there isn’t that much left to do to be ready to splash.

Since this list excites me so much, here it is. Things that need to be done to race: Change cutlass bearing, install prop shaft and propellor, make a few rigging pieces that will finish the rig, install staysail tracks. That’s it. It truly feels like we are on our way to start cruising and I can’t express how excited this makes me. I may shed a tear the next time I see a sunset while sailing on Sundowner.