The Messy Middle (in Beaufort, SC)

Whitehall Park, Beaufort, SC

I read something once about the good stuff being in the messy middle of the story. That the middle is where the learning, the struggles, the juicy bits really come to life.

Gotta say, living through the messy middle ain’t that much fun though 🙂

We’ve gone full-tilt into this deck repair / deck painting / headliner (ha!) project, and it feels a little like a groundhog day of sanding, fairing, sanding, painting, sanding, dodging thunderstorms, painting, dodging toddlers… etc

Painting the cabintop of a Sabre 42 CB sailboat with hatches removed in Alexseal

(Including redoing all of the little hatches on the cabintop… doesn’t seem too bad until you realize how multiplying every step by SIX really adds up fast!)

6 little hatches from our Sabre 42 CB

Squeezing in bits of time for fun (Hunting Island – the amazing state park that’s nearby – has opened again, so that’s been great), for toddler-wrangling and life stuff is a constant challenge, but one we continue to try to pursue…

We have managed to establish a mostly-daily family walk each morning, before the humidity is a total wet blanket and before the first meetings of the day drag us apart.

And we’re just continuing to imagine the myriad of ways this year might turn out.

Never mind turning our attention to what exactly it is we’re hoping to do with this lovely Brio II boat, other than quarantine and drill test holes in her deck core 🙂 (The knowledgeable amongst you can now offer, “more projects, of course!”)

A blank canvas is a beautiful thing, if just a little overwhelming.


The Messy Middle (in Beaufort, SC) — 4 Comments

  1. Hi Leah, Jon and crew. I have watched along as you sailed, worked and lived on the original Brio for the past six years. That is the time I have owned Hull #2 of the Nor’west 33 line. I am struggling with the rudder and know that you removed yours. I have a question about the shaft. When I removed the shoe the bottom of the shaft stayed in the shoe and was completely separated from the body of the shaft. It was a piece of stainless that may have been welded to the shaft; perhaps a previous repair. As far as you could tell was the shaft on your rudder a continuous piece of steel (or bronze)? I am apologizing in advance for asking about your experiences with the first Brio but I have not been in contact with other owners and do not have contact info.. I know you are absorbed in the Brio II Update and appreciate any feedback on this question. Hull #2 has been moved to Lake Ontario from Florida. Best to all. Jim Marron

    • Hi Jim! Great to hear from you – we still love the Nor’Wests, so no apology needed. This post from March 2013 probably has the best details and pics of our rudder design:

      One thing we noticed was that our rudder construction actually didn’t match the drawings we have of the boat. The upper piece of shaft only ran into the rudder a little ways — it’s not a continuous piece to the bottom. Are you experiencing play in your rudder? Or another issue? Happy to offer any learnings we might have — it wasn’t fun figuring it all out along the way haha!

    • Forgot to add – while the top shaft only went into the rudder a few inches, the bottom of the rudder had a fiberglass rod pintle riding in a plastic bushing inside the bronze shoe. You can see it in some of the March 2013 Pics 🙂

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