2. Fitting Out and Tuning Up

After the launch of STARSHINE Doug obtained a berth in Alameda on the Oakland Estuary. He sold his house and moved his family aboard the boat. There was still much work to be accomplished to complete the construction of STARSHINE. He had decided on a ketch rig and that rig was almost as much work as the basic hull. I don’t remember the exact sequence of events, but at some point he quit his job with Matson and obtained financial backing from his father.

One event that does stick in my mind is the stepping of the sixty-foot main mast. Most people would have hired a crane for this job, but Doug had figured out how to do it using the winches of the boat and the main boom to create a fairlead and leverage. It was a unique demonstration of ingenuity and daring. The mast was tipped vertical and lowered down on to its step while a number of friends and family manned temporary stays to prevent disaster.

Eventually, the rig all came together and after that it was a matter of working out the bugs and learning to handle whole thing. Here is how she looked underway:

Under Sail

Under Sail

(click on image for larger view)

Under Power

Under Power

Tuning up consisted of a year spent racing STARSHINE on San Francisco Bay. There were also a number of coastal trips. Our two families took one trip up the coast to Drakes Bay. Here are a couple of photos from that trip:

Me and Doug in the GAMBELLA's dingy at Drake's Bay

Me and Doug in the GAMBELLA's dingy at Drake's Bay

Left to Right: Daughters Dee Dee (mine) and Heather (Doug's) me, Doug and Lynne

Left to Right: Daughters, Dee Dee (mine) and Heather (Doug's), me, Doug and Lynne

Toward the end of 1976 Doug was feeling confident about sailing STARSHINE and began to make plans for a really BIG adventure the following year.That will be the subject of my next post.

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Saturday, March 13th, 2010 STARSHINE

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