Part 8 - Daylight for "Pikake"

By Perry Burton - Holyrood, Newfoundland - Canada


Part 1 - One of Those
Part 2 - This Small Space
Part 3 - So Where's This Boat of Yours?
Part 4 - Planking Nightmares

Part 5 - It's All Downhill from Here
Part 6 - The Routine
Part 7 - Lil magic trick
Part 8 - Daylight for "Pikake"

The boat was outside and I was not in trouble for nearly wrecking the basement. I still had much to do. I had to Install boxes of hatches, fittings and nearly 600ft of various sized rope.
Mast step

Over the next week, I installed everything from hatches to the many blocks to lift the sails.
Gaff jaws

The gaff jaws got some leather tacked in place and all the standing rigging was finished.
Ready for rigging

Luckily, I raised the sails and ran the running rigging on a windless day so I could leave it and try different things. The Hatches took a while to install with all those screws.

There are a million things I had to do to complete the boat and that included multiple trips to the local marine store for shackles and odds-n-ends at the last minute.
Multitude of shackles

My furler system had not arrived, so I just used hanks for the jib on launch day.

With good weather in the forecast, I never went the way of launch ceremonies and all that hoopla. I arranged for a couple of people who helped in the build to come along for the first sea trial.
Out the drive for the first time

I hastily placed the name on the back only minutes before leaving the drive way.
“Pikake” Is Hawaiian for a flower called Jasmine.

“Pikake” Is Hawaiian for a flower called Jasmine. Jasmine, my daughter, would hear none of having her name on the boat, so I had to find a way around this. She thought it was clever and she did not object.

We piled in the car and headed for the local marina.
To the launch

As with other Pathfinder launches, people gathered to ask about it.
“Where did you get it?” My now standard response, “my basement”.

“Where did you get it?” My now standard response, “my basement”. I guided the trailer back into the water and she floated off in little water. I hopped aboard to check the centerboard case pins for leaks. All was well. After some tightening of the shrouds, we were aboard and off. All four of us went out for her first trial.
All aboard and off

The wind was gusty, but with all of our soggy bottoms aboard, Pikake hardly healed.
She hardly healed

Some tests were done and I made notes on things to adjust, but this happens when you build from scratch and you like things certain ways. I did get a little nasty surprise when my port side stay let go, but the mast never came down (thanks stainless steel tabernacle). The sails were quickly taken down and we motored in. The Fault was mine and not the fitting. I noted during installation that the jaws in this little compression fitting were not lined up evenly.
Compression fitting

I let it pass - big mistake. It was rectified easily and all the others were checked and tightened. More sailing followed in the next days and it became clear early on that the Pathfinder is a very stable sailing platform. Her windward abilities are certainly comparable to my previous factory sloops and the retractable centerboard does make a big difference running down wind. I’m new to this whole raising/lowering of the centerboard racket. I used to put it down and leave it down. I can’t help but mention that John Welsford did his homework when he designed the Pathfinder. She is not only an elegant looking craft, but she has real sailing abilities and, yes, she’s a dry boat.

In all , its been eleven months and about 500 hours since I began this journey to build a boat to call my own. With kind words from family friends and even strangers, its been worth every moment. I have a very understanding wife and she knew how long I’ve wanted to do this (since we dated some twenty years ago). I can’t thank her enough for the opportunity.
I’m sailing now with that constant grin that many other boat builders have - sheer joy!

I’m sailing now with that constant grin that many other boat builders have - sheer joy!.
Pretty as the picture

I have not had that feeling when I sailed any of my other boats, except my first boat, which my Dad and me built.
Thanks Chuck and Sandra for letting me share my little story.

Thanks Chuck and Sandra for letting me share my little story.
Under sail

Thank you John Welsford for a well designed boat.
Thank you John Welsford for a well designed boat.



Pathfinder plans are available at Duckworks.

If anyone is curious to see, I made a blog of my build for friends who were away and could not partake first hand.



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