Posted by: summerhillbob | July 24, 2012

The Storm of July 2012 at Gregg Neck Boat Yard

Performance cruiser – Formosa 43  Sailboat for sale by owner. Located in the upper Chesapeake Bay.

She is for sale for $79,999.00   One of the last one of these very rare “Ron Holland” designed boats. Fast & safe and capable for “ocean passage conditions”.

 The Formosa 43 may have been designed with the charter

“Meander” Sailing out the Sassafras River

business in mind, but “Meander” was never in the charter trades. She has 3 full & Comfortable “Double Staterooms” along with a crew berth up front and a salon table that can be lowered to accommodate another double berth. Making this sailboat able to sleep 9 people …in Comfort !…Amazing !

Aftermath Of The Storm of July 2012 at Gregg Neck Boat Yard.

Hi Folks, It’s been a few weeks since I was down to visit my Formosa 43 “Meander”. It always get so very hot and humid here on the Chesapeake Bay in the summer.  My wife & I don’t usually like to stay at the dock, we like to sail someplace ( little mini cruises we call them), and hang out on the hook at beautiful anchorages. But just sitting and baking and  sweating with no breeze even in idealic locals, is not fun for me.  I usually stay home in the cooler mountains of PA during the worst of the heat.

I’m sure you all heard about those very bad thunderstorms that swept across the Virginia & Maryland areas  a couple of weeks ago. Killed a bunch of people, It was quite bad. And our friends on the Bermuda trip were just re-entering the Delaware Bay as these storms came pounding on through ( but that’s a tale  for another time.) One of our dock mates, Frank, was on his big West sail as these wall clouds came through. He said the winds got up to around 90 knots out of the west and the stick lightening was as bad as he’d ever experienced. He was smart enough to get into his car to wait the worst of the lightening out, even tried to drive up the hill & back to his home, but couldn’t get out of the boat yard as trees had blown down across the road out . He slept in his car that night. ( he’s a tall guy and he has a small Toyota)…fun…not so much!

Now, Gregg Neck Boat Yard is in a very protected area of the Sassafras River.

Remarkably, one of only a handful of boats knocked off their stands from the storm

In fact, it’s known as a “Hurricane hole”. But apparently things got a bit dicey there.  Scott Westcot the owner called me and said we had sustained some damage to Meander’s rub / toe rail. But the damage was much more traumatic for me when I finally saw it for myself this past weekend.   I think the boat was blown backwards stretching the spring lines enough to get the fender boards out of alignment so they wouldn’t protect  toe rail from the hammering it took as the winds blew-up.

My work is very slow right now,( I’m a builder / contractor in a very depressed area of PA), so I really didn’t have a lot of money to throw at this new problem. But when I got down there our dock mates; Bill & Maryann (from the Bermuda trip) were down and started right in on helping set things right.

The forward section of ripped up toe rail.

(Bill is a retired cabinet maker & does all his own joinery work on his gorgeous Vagabond 42 “Owaso”.)  I know something about fine wood working but Bill is a master craftsman. He showed me the proper way to remove the plugs and how not to force the joints apart. ( since I am a production builder kind of guy, this takes some doing for me to s l o w  the hell d o w n .) We had to remove 3 x 7′ sections of the toe rail – 21 feet in all. We will reuse the center section as it was not damaged, but the other 2 sections were completely destroyed. Bill

The aft section of toe rail… I’d just varnished all this wood !

volunteered to pick up the right sized teak lumber at a lumber yard by where he lives in NJ. He also said he will shape the replacement parts in his home shop, so we can re install them, when I get back down to the boat this coming weekend,  what a great guy !  The repairs to my boat will end up costing much less than the deductible from my boat insurance. So I guess I’m not in so bad a situation as many around the Bay.  It could have been much worse.  I had lots of helping hands from “B” dock here

Linda & Susan ( my lovely wife) getting at the dirt with the vac.

lending a hand and advice. The girls even got out the shop vac to clean up the chips and dirt from the removals. Bill & I will fill and re-glass the top of the bulwarks to seal them up before we install the new rails. As the mahogany strip glassed between the two parts of the joint has degraded  a little over the years from moisture getting in .  This strip was inserted into the hull/deck joint to accept screws from the toe rail.  The under side of  this joint was also glassed properly making the joint a proper one for an ocean sailing yacht.  So, we will be epoxying and sealing the

The cleaned and prepped bulwark ready for the rebuild.

top of this hull to deck joint on the first day, then on the second day we will be grinding this joint smooth. I may address the hull rash from smacking the pilings if time and tide are co-operative.  Then we will install the rails and with a final sanding and plugging- varnish and done ! (Well, with a few more coats of varnish) – done!

Thanks for following along on the adventure of owning and sailing “Meander” on the Chesapeake Bay.

Bob Leiby

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