Category Archives: Ariel CD36

It’s a Wrap

Once again the season has ended all too soon. Ariel came out of the water Monday, October 14, and she’s now resting on her cradle, a long, cold winter ahead of her. May it pass quickly!

I’d originally scheduled haulout for Friday, but there was a chance my dad could come up for one last sail, so I pushed the date back. I’m glad I did. We loaded the family on the boat Saturday and had a pleasant sail, despite gray skies, drizzle, and the chance of thunderstorms.

IMG_1436Crew for the day included cousins Ryan and Kari, my mom’s good friend Larch, my boys, and mom and dad.

We enjoyed a leisurely sail in about 8kts of wind and counted our blessings that the day – although not perfect – was at least nice enough to get on the water one last time.

We pulled Ariel into her slip in a light rain, snugged her up, and said goodbye, thinking we’d had the last sail of the season.

Well, Sunday dawned bright, breezy, clear and crisp – and in the words of John Masefield, “the call of the running tide is wild call and a clear call that may not be denied.” My dad and I headed back out on the lake for THE last sail of the season. And what a sail!

Ariel cleared the channel and charged into a boisterous Lake Michigan under single-reeefed main and jib with WNW winds blowing a fresh 18kts. As we sailed farther offshore, the waves got bigger and the wind gusted into the 20s. Ariel, ever graceful, took both wind and waves in stride, steaming along at hull speed. What a day!


Reluctantly, we pointed Ariel’s bow toward shore so we could get her ready for haul out the next morning. Even so, we covered more than 20nm. Beyond that, both of us had the last sail we’d been hoping for. Back in the slip we stripped Ariel’s sails and thanked her for another wonderful season.

Sails stripped and ready for haul out.

Sails stripped and ready for haul out.

Love sailing with this guy!

Good times with my dad!


Let the Summer Sailing Begin!

Ariel launched May 3, and we’ve already completed most of our month-long summer cruise (and all of that before the first official day of summer!). That’s got to be some kind of record for us.

Spring commissioning included the usual items: polishing and waxing the topsides, painting the bottom, bending on sails, etc. Nothing too big to report there. I got an early start and took advantage of some nice spring days to knock off the jobs. Ariel’s hull looked better than ever this year. I used Finesse-It polish, then followed that with 3M Ultra Performance Paste Wax and a clean buffing pad. Boy, does she shine!



Four new batteries during a trial fit. I later put all four in a row and cleaned up the wiring.

Perhaps the only significant task this season was installation of a new house bank, consisting of four 6-volts, and a Blue Seas ACR (Automatic Charging Relay). The new batteries give us 460 amp hours and the ACR automatically combines the house and starting banks when there’s a charging source and separates them when there’s not. Last season we had to use the battery selector switch to manually combine the two banks for charging. This system is much more convenient. So far the new house bank is giving us loads of spare power. Only once have we discharged to 50% of capacity.

I also wanted to get our new sailing dinghy, a Trinka 10, cleaned up and ready for the season. Earlier I’d fiberglassed the mast step to the hull to fix a break from the end of last season (the first time we sailed her). I also stripped layers of blue ablative off the bottom and reapplied VC-17, the same paint we use on Ariel. I’d hoped to compound and wax, but I ran out of time. Even so, she was ready for the water.


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We’re currently tied up in Manistee at the Municipal Marina ($50.00/night…ouch!) with wifi and showers. We’ll depart for Arcadia before too long.

Spring Commissioning

Spring is well underway here in Michigan. Of course, that means one day it’s in the low sixties and it’s 32 the next. Such are the joys of a midwest spring.

We’re aiming for an early launch this season – May 3, in fact – so I’ve been knocking off the pre-launch to-do’s. I serviced the seacocks a week or so ago and pulled the water heater out of the starboard cockpit locker to make room for an updated battery bank. The bottom is painted and the topsides ready for a polish. Once that’s done, she’s ready to splash.

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