22 September 2015

Tartan 4000 Newport Boat Show

Captain Bob Damiano

Putting Argon in the Newport International Boat Show

"I know this is a lot to ask since you live on the boat" the email began.  It ended with being asked to let Argon be featured in the Tartan Booth at the 2015 Newport International Boat Show.

How could we say no?

Getting her there

Although the show didn't start until Thu-17-Sept, we were asked to have the boat ready to be positioned by the afternoon of Sunday the 13th.  So I found two hardy sailing buddies and we sailed (and motored) Argon to Newport departing Boston after work on Friday at about 17:00. The crew consisted of my buddy from the old country (Binghamton), Greg and former marina neighbor Dan.  Greg has an O'day 23 in Marion and look - here is is blog.  Dan has just returned from a ten month sailing adventure on his Cape Dory 30.  And yes, he has a blog too.

Dan and Greg
The wind was supposed to be moderate and from the north. This would have been a nice broad reach all the way to the canal.  The wind lied - by about 90 degrees. Mass bay is not a lot of fun in Easterly or Northeasterly winds. This was pretty much ENE the whole time.

As we left the channel between Boston Light and Hull, we were in some very big waves and swells.  I took two Meclizine.  The waves were broadside at first but started to come around to our port quarter.  Ugh.  At this point, even though there was enough wind to sail, we were getting rolled so badly that it was impossible to keep the sails full.  Finally, we motored from about Scituate to the canal. Dan took a nap during all this rolling. I was amazed he didn't end up on the floor (we don't have lee cloths yet).

As much fun as I was having, Linda was about to embark on a week of couch surfing while her house is being sailed to another state. The plan was that Linda would stay around Boston to work and I  would work from the boat in Newport.

We made it through the canal by about midnight and found ourselves in a relatively smooth Buzzards Bay. At one point, there was actually enough breeze (out of the north finally) to sail a little bit.  Ultimately, we ended up motoring most of the way to Newport.  I didn't sleep so much.

We arrived in Newport at about 0600 and dropped the hook in Brenton Cove behind Fort Adams. Then we all took a nice nap. I waited until 0800 to call my contact at Newport Yachting Center and by 10:00, we were pulling into our temporary slip.

After a lovely brunch at Diegos, Greg's wife LeAnne joined us and took our weary crew home. I returned to Argon and became fairly unconscious. Linda joined later that day and we had a nice weekend in Newport.

Putting the Show Together

Whoops - overnight we got up against this ring on the show float. Touch-up kit is coming

Detailing crew making us look good

Tartan flags flying

The Tent

Getting Stuff Done

We were on a mission this year to get Argon ready for Offshore Adventures next year.  This mainly involves setting fire to large piles of cash in exchange for more gear.  The show turned out to be an ideal place to shop for two reasons:  1. show prices - not insignificant discounts on some things and 2. The vendors can walk right over to our boat to consult, measure, ruminate, etc.  By the end of the show, we were significantly more cash-poor and gear-rich. I think that's a good trade-off.


We had a perfectly fine Plastimo 6-person offshore liferaft. We've had it since Fujin. This raft is packed in a Valise (a bag) and sat in our sail locker. It was time to have it serviced so we figured we would bring it to LRSE's booth and let them take it back to the shop. The LRSE guys got a kick out of seeing how long it took me to wrestle it out of the locker. Definitely not the 20 seconds that Offshore racing rules require.

On Sunday (last day of show), we went to LRSE to talk about having the raft re-packed in a canister that could be mounted on the cabin house.  After talking with them, it turned out to be smarter to just go with a new Viking raft that has a Rail-mounted canister.  So we did.  Cha-ching!

The nice thing is that this will open up a ton of room in our sail locker with the side benefit of keeping us a little safer.  The new raft will be easily deployable within a few seconds and it will not take up any room on the boat.

So, we planned on selling our Plastimo un-serviced for a few hundred bucks (.3 boat dollars) and moving on. The only problem with this plan is that LRSE is so efficient, that they had already begun servicing our Plastimo.  So now, we're selling a freshly serviced liferaft!

Our Plastimo raft on the shop floor at LRSE.  For $ale

Solar / Satellite / Sails

We visited Cay Electronics for Flexible Solar panels and a KVH Satellite Voice/Data system.  Argon will be getting a Fleet One Satellite dome from KVH. Matt McKenzie from Cay walked over to Argon with us and took a look. We were able to discuss options for wiring, placement, etc.  Cha-ching!  Cha-ching!

We needed to figure out a way to mount this thing above our Radar antenna.  Well, Edson Marine's booth is right down the aisle from Cay's and we ended up getting help from none other than Will Keene, the President.  Will came out to Argon and did some engineering drawings on a notepad. While there, we also discussed replacing the cheesy Whale manual bilge pump with an Edson High Capacity one.  Edson is one of our very favorite companies to deal with. They have absolutely world-class customer service. It was turning out to be really good to have the boat there. This kind of attention from vendors would never happen otherwise (or would take weeks to schedule).

Tech talk with Bob and Will Keene, Edson President.
edit: And look what just came from Edson
Did I mention that Edson is awesome.  They cooked up an engineering drawing of their proposal for a mount for the KVH Dome.

We will also finally be adding some Solar. We're going with Solbian high-output flexible panels (the sp series).  One flexible panel on the dodger and probably two on the bimini.  This should give us about 110A-H on a sunny day.  And yes... cha-ching!

Storm Sails

Next to the North Sails booth to talk about getting a Storm Jib and Storm Trisail made. This always requires lots of customization. Once again, we had a North rep on Argon, measuring, talking, drawing, and consulting.  Wow (and Cha-ching!)

We were very happy to see so many people boarding Argon and hearing all the nice things being said. We heard over and over something like "all the other boats look the same.  these are really classic". I tend to agree.  Did they trash the boat?  Not at all.  We did find one little bit of trash in one of our cabinets.  Big deal.

Mr. Jackett
One of the cooler aspects of the whole thing is that Tim Jackett himself was manning the booth. He is back with Tartan as COO and chief designer. He designed Argon and he is brilliant.

Us with Tim Jackett

Speaking of Fujin

On Saturday, we actually got a chance to go sailing on Fujin again.  She's now named Starbird and moored in Tiverton, RI.  We've become friends with her new owners and still keep in touch.  We had a lovely low-wind sail in the Sakonnet.

Starbird on her mooring

Bob getting hands dirty

Bob with Melinda (new owner)

Linda and Melinda

Update 24-Sep-2015: Argon Back Home
Argon is finally back in her home slip in Boston. Our broker Bill and his buddy Richard sailed (motored actually) home overnight from Newport.

Stalking them on AIS an hour after they departed

Argon entering our fairway

Bill's Groovy Boots

1 comment:

  1. Bob - you forgot your peanuts. They always prevent seasickness


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