Re-lighting the (Wild)fire

Well, it’s been a while since we’ve posted anything here, but in our defense we’ve had a crazy month+. I (Ryan) came up to Seattle for 10 days, and we started an overhaul on Wildfire. This has included replacing the motor mount from the transom, removing most of the deck hardware from the cabin top, and (UGH) replacing a ton of rotting balsa core from both locations. It’s been a disgusting, messy, and itchy job getting new foam core installed in the middle and a new layer of fiberglass on the inside skin, but we’re making progress. Rob also had a set of beefed-up “Chainplates of Doom” fabricated for the boat, and these have been installed. After nearly two weeks of daily work, however, the fiberglass work is finally done! We still have to seal up a couple of small holes and re-bed some hardware, but we’re mostly ready to start putting it back together. The new chainplates have been installed, and the traditional Olson 30 “Beam of Destiny” and “Jock Straps” have been installed. We’ve also replaced a few worn lines and started to replace some worn standing rigging fittings. Next on the list will be to reinstall the motor mount (which will let us finally work on our pedal drive) and replace the bow hatch with a new-to-Wildfire part.

On to happier things!

We were also officially accepted for this year’s running of the Race to Alaska! Everything we’ve been doing for the past few weeks finally has a proper end goal- Ketchikan or bust. Lastly, and perhaps most excitingly, we’ve secured our primary sponsorship for the race. Fisheries Supply has graciously offered to sponsor our team for the race, which has let us keep our focus on getting the boat sorted out and learning how to sail her properly. You should definitely check them out for all of your recreational and commercial boating needs- they carry a ridiculous amount of boat parts, building and repair materials, clothing, and gear to cover just about every situation. Seriously, I’ve seen the warehouse, and if you think you need it they probably have it.

Rob and Dave will continue to re-assemble the boat with the goal of finally sailing it soon. I’ll be back up in Seattle for another two weekends at the end of April for some intense practice. We’ll need to start final outfitting and provisioning, and we’re counting down the days until we leave for Port Townsend. 

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