Step one after the protracted process of transferring ownership was to get her out of Florida in hurricane season. A few months of burning the candle at both ends got her to the point where it was a reasonable gamble to take her off shore 1500 miles as a shake down cruise. An intrepid crew of friends assembled on short notice when a weather window presented itself and we were able to break free of the Southern July swelter. We made it Martha’s Vineyard 11 days later and happy to put the daily task of stitching blown out sails behind us. A little over a week after our landfall Hurricane Irma made a mess of the Keys. Saudade almost certainly would have been knocked over onto the concrete and become a major rebuild project. We were extremely pleased with our timing. After a summer and fall of thanking my lucky stars, I hauled Saudade out with my old friends at Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway and got to work. The deepest part of the hull had been tied together with iron floors which all needed to be replaced. The main cabin was disassembled, water tanks hoisted clear and whole mess attacked. A few months later keel bolts had been removed for inspection and replaced, new floors and all new frame ends were in throughout the main cabin, the cockpit was torn apart and put back together to accommodate a new steering gear and back stay chainplates, blocking and new stainless steel webbing were installed. A week of extremely rushed sanding and painting and she slid back into the water May 2, 2018 with a new lease on life.
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