14 July 2010

History - Part 3 - S/V Houqua

The Spring of 2002
- still living in the Rockland apartment

In an episode of luck, (good / bad who knows what would have happened if we choose the other adventure) we found ourselves in the possession of a Sailstar Corsair in the Spring of 2002. We had her hauled to the boatyard SS was working at, and set about making her seaworthy.

Sailstar built boats from 1962-1971, at which time it was acquired by Pearson and became part of Bristol. Bristol continued to build the 24' sloop under the name Bristol 24.

Houqua is the dinette model, shown in the bottom schematic, with a double berth / table on the port side and counter with ice box and sink on the starboard.
The deck was wet around each stantion base and at the bow, so we recored and re-glassed large portions of the deck. The keel/ hull had cracked where water penetrated the space between the concrete keel and the fiberglass hull. I removed and re-glassed a large section of the starboard hull below the waterline, and installed and fared in a drain plug to prevent a reoccurrence. We also removed the sole and re-glassed over the keel to prevent water infiltration. When we reinstalled the sole we lowered it about an inch increasing the headroom so my 5'9'' frame could stand erect. We removed the carpet wall covering and repainted the interior. We also painted the hull and applied non-skid to the deck. Finally we repainted the original name to the transom. (Alas 2002 predates our purchase of a digital camera, so we don't have any photos of the work undertaken.)

Houqua is a famous ship name, first used on a clipper ship in the 1840s it honored the Chinese tea merchant, Houqua. After researching the name we decided to keep it, although wondering if it wasn't a bit much for our Sailstar to live up to. To keep with the caffeinated theme we named our tender Green Tea, and attempted to write the name in Chinese as well as English. Though a Japanese friend later informed us it was missing an important brush stroke.

A friend's Chinese Crested models atop Green Tea. The name is upside down because we were living in the Rockland apartment so the tender spend most of it's life upside down, atop SS's car.
We had many marvelous trips aboard Houqua. We traveled from Thomaston as far North as Somes Sound during the Summer months, only missing one very short and rainy Summer between 2002 and 2009. She treated us well, earning new sails, a roller furler and a new tender along the way. She remains in our driveway eagerly awaiting her next trip out.

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