10-Meter Sloops: Sally & Branta
“What’s the question this month?” I asked the Editor
“Our inbox is still empty, Krabby. I don’t have any questions for you” she replied.
“Really? There are no new questions?! Usually at this time of year, the Commodore is ringing our bell to write about Opening Day,” I recalled.
“I think you should write about getting Sally ready for her 90th year of yachting,” the East Coaster suggested.
“That’s an excellent topic!” agreed the Editor, “90 years of sailing history provides great material - especially when Sally and her last sister, Branta are the only two original hulls left, and they just happen to live at SDYC.
“Well, you know I like to talk about Sally,” I reminisced, justifying the return to my subject of choice.
“Aren’t you forgetting something, Krabby?” asked the Editor, knowingly. “Yes, in fact….
“Drinks are coming, a round of the usual, I take it” interrupted the East Coaster, reading our minds.
“Way back in 1928 a total of 14 10-meter class sloops were built as a one-design class. As the Editor mentioned, it is pretty special that after 90 years, two of these 59’ yachts are still racing under the SDYC burgee, Sally and Branta. It really says something about the quality craftsmanship, when boats survive the test of time and are still out on the water racing 90 years after they were launched.
Both of these yachts have gone through reconstructive surgery and are possibly better than when they were new. After all these years, these boats are still raced hard - not just with the other classics, but in SDYC’s Opening Day Race, the Hot Rum Series, and the little Ensenada race. I’ll bet these boats have seen more hot rum parties than anyone can remember. If these hulls could talk!” I said finishing my brief 10-meter history lesson.
“Speaking of rum parties, here’s your drink. That’s interesting about the history of these two boats at the club.” Said the East Coaster passing us our drinks.
“The big question everyone has been asking lately is: ‘Where’s Sally?’ everyone has noticed that she’s not in her slip. I know she is in the shed, but how much work do you have to do? She was completely re-built in 2012!”
“That was also six hard-sailing years ago. There are no major issues, just routine maintenance. I have to practice what I preach about staying ahead of the maintenance curve. Right now, all of her surfaces are in great shape - so a fresh coat of paint and varnish is a relatively quick and easy job. But if we attempted to stretch it out another year of destructive testing, the scope of work could change to refinishing - which is many times more expensive, and takes longer than simply re-coating.
Being in the shed has the advantage of being able to work at any time without concerns of weather. While the mast is out and on the ground we will carefully inspect the spars and rigging to avoid any future issues. It would be foolish to lose the rig after 90 years because we did not keep the rigging and spars in perfect condition. This goes for all boats - when is come to the mast and anything connected to it: ONLY PERFECT IS CLOSE ENOUGH.” I said taking a well-deserved sip.
“That makes sense, Krabby - one failed wire or fitting can be dangerous on the water, the East Coaster nodded over our project plans.
“Has it really been 6 years? Wow, time flies when you’re drinking rum. I joined the Sally crew right after she was splashed in 2012 - I remember that the skylights weren’t fully attached yet for Opening Day...do you remember when... wait, we probably can’t publish that tale! Our readers will have to catch us dockside to hear the saltier tales from Sally’s decks.
Enough fun, Krabby - you better get back to the yard! Hurry up and get all that maintenance done so we can be out sailing before Opening day. Maybe we can even whip up a special 90th Birthday cocktail in Sally’s honor for Opening day,” the Editor suggested with a sly grin.
“Great idea! We can work on that while Krabby finishes varnishing,” the East Coaster grinned back.