Friday, December 4, 2009

Flying Dutchman/Dane or big boys and their toys!

It really has been quite an inspiring and exciting fall, many new irons have been put in the fire, not only for me but also for my life partner Soren.
Danger lurks every where - or depending on how you define Danger, it could also just be adequate to use the word adventure =-)
One day Soren went in to look at boats on Kijiji - yes, Kijiji and he came back from behind his screen quite starry eyed and very eager.
I started doing a few breathing exercises, this was too much excitement for me.

On Thanksgiving weekend in October we drove up to visit with our son and then continued for about another 2 hours north east of Truro, On the coast close to Canso we found the civic number we were looking for, drove in and started to investigate and admire the beautiful Nordica 20 sailboat which Soren had an urgent need to get acquainted with.

One week later this contraption appeared in our driveway and I snug a 'first arrival at the house' photo from a bedroom window.
We weren't exactly buying the trailer as well, so the boat had to be lifted off the trailer and the cradle had to be moved to a safe place where the boat could overwinter without being too much in the wind. It weighs 3.500 lbs I think or thereabouts so it was not an option to call the neighbours in the area to ask for help for 'lift off'.
However Soren knows his phone book so he found a place where you can rent 'cranes' for 'little' lifting jobs like this.

At 2pm the enormous crane truck drove into our suddenly very tiny door yard!
I was standing at the top of the staircase to my studio, looking down onto and able to walk onto the top of this very sturdy piece of machinery which was going to do the hoisting, huffing and puffing of getting the Nordica 20 unloaded and placed in her spot.

It is kind of a case of big boys big toys and little boys little toys - and that I say because .... whilst showing off the catamaran which Soren had built some years ago to the now ex-owner of the Nordica 20, the men had found the old scooter which our son spent a summer or two on many years ago, 'racing' up over the fields and around the house, again and again and again.

The son of the ex-owner of the Nordica 20 was exactly the age where having one of those scooters means a whole lot and so....... since their weight bearing capacity had gone up considerably after the unloading of the boat ...... the scooter was strapped to the back of the pickup truck and everyone was happy as clams!
I wonder if the young man has gotten the oil out of his hands or hair yet from taking it apart and learning about its ins and outs.
Taking apart engines to get to know them is of utmost importance!

And now for playing with the engines - the crane was getting organized and buttons were being pushed!

Anticipation is rising and which one to pull on first - hm - the fact is, the boat had to be strapped in before any buttons could be touched and this happened with the help of a ladder and some mighty large chains covered in heavy fabric. Lots of agility and seriousness for the matter at hand was displayed.

Slowly the creature started doing something quite unnatural for her - really, she is a boat but suddenly she was flying - perhaps not at warp speed but she hung there, off the cradle mid air, and I am so happy we didn't ask the neighbours to come help us lift her off =-)

She is now covered with a big strong winter tent, metal loops embracing her shape and allowing for visitations without being impeded by weather conditions. Safe and 'warm' she awaits the coming of early summer when she will have another adventure with a hoisting crane and a trailer and my husband....... is visiting often and planning and scheming about where the sailing needs to take place next summer!


  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of Nordica. If you haven't already joined the Nordica discussion group I urge you to do so. Just go to the page at:

  2. Your blog and pics certainly conveyed a wonderful sense of excitement about your adventure. HOWEVER, while viewing the last mouth was agape...and I very slowly scrolled down the page with the mouse...afraid that there would be another picture displaying a horrendous tragedy. Please, please, do not repeat the same sling position arrangement the next time the boat is lifted. I have owned several sailboats over a span of more than 30 years, and many experiences with the launching and haul out process. The unsolicited advice I would offer is that the aft sling should be under the heel (aft end) of the keel. And, VERY importantly, there should be low-stretch lines (with no slack) connecting the slings on both the port and starboard sides. The purpose is to prevent the slings from spreading apart when the weight of the boat is transferred to the slings. This is especially important due to the unusual leading edge upward slope of the keel. I have actually seen the slings start to incrementally slip when having my Nordica hauled out of the water (because the boat yard workers had not correctly tightened the connecting lines.) Consequently, I now insist on attaching the connecting lines myself rather than letting the boat yard workers do it. There are other concerns with using the propeller aperture for the aft sling, but no need to make people's eyes glaze over by providing an explanation. If done very carefully, you could get away with using the aperture to very carefully to lift the aft end of the keel up 2 inches in order to then gently lower it on to a 2x4 board. Then the sling could be properly reattached underneath the heel of the keel. Anyway, the boat you have purchased is an excellent design, very seaworthy...but the correct positioning of the lift slings is essential to prevent damage to the vessel or serious injury/death to the people involved in the operation. I would also endorse the comment from another poster who encouraged you to join the Nordica (Yahoo)group. That's an excellent source of information, photos, group sharing. Good luck with your great little boat that has the feel of a much larger craft. Just don't scare me anymore with such pictures! Ha!