Pandora’s going in soon, I promise. Honest! It’s been so long since Pandora’s been in the water, it’s hard to believe that she will ever be underway again.  However, the end of her time on the hard is nearing an end. Really!!! Trust me on this.  You know how they say that “life gets in the way”?  Well, it did.  However, things are getting back to normal again and it’s time to go sailing.   Yipee!!! I am happy to report that Pandora’s about ready to launch with only a few more last minute items to attend to.  The yard is finishing up on the engine and I have applied the barrier coat and put on the bottom paint.  Doesn’t she look great?I also refurbished the warp cutter on the propeller.  This nifty device, a Spurs cutter, is designed to rotate with the prop and cut any lines that might entangle the prop shaft.  It has come in handy in the past, I can assure you.   It wouldn’t be much fun to go for a swim to free the prop, especially at night.  Yuck!  It looks like it works and it does. Another view shows the business end of the cutter pretty well.   Best to keep your fingers away from these babies when they are spinning around.  The cutter to the left is kept stationary by the blue block on the cutlass bearing while the one on the right rotates with the propeller.  Very powerful and quite effective. Finally, the infamous rudder bearings.  The three black sleeves are the bearings and they will support the rudder shaft in the stern of the boat.  The center one, with the silver stripe on the top, has a “lip seal”, a rubber seal that will keep water out of the boat and yet still let the rudder move as needed.  It’s a pretty neat design. The aluminum disk is the steering quadrant. Cables run around it and up to the wheel.  As you can imagine, this gives huge leverage to the wheel in keeping Pandora on course.  Also, the bronze lever is for the auto pilot.  Beefy as well.    All and all, a powerful combination to keep Pandora pointed in the right direction.    That’s assuming that I can get her back into the water.  I was delayed in getting the rudder back in as I messed up the measurements, that have to be within thousands of an inch, on the upper bearing so I had to reorder a new one.  However, in the grand scheme of things, not a major issue and besides, I had other things in my life that were slowing things up anyway.   The new bearing should be at the boatyard now so I hope to fit it and prepare for putting the rudder back into the boat on Wednesday or Thursday.   Fingers crossed that everything will fit.  So far, so good. As soon as Pandora is back in the water, perhaps by the end of the week, we hope to head out to Block Island and onto Newport.  I can’t wait.

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