Below: When we first met “Lolly Jo” (a 26′ Contessa), her name was “Sterling”. For several years, she had been biding her time in a field of golden rod on a farm in Ontario, waiting for a good home. After several months of looking at many boats, we chose her.
Below: The challenge would be to transport her to Montreal. My husband, Paul, managed to find someone in the area to haul the boat out the field, repair the trailer, and haul the boat to our club. It arrived in late October. The sailing season was over, so we prepared her to bed down for the winter.
Below: During the long winter, Paul organized and planned, preparing a strategy to get LJ in the water by Launch Day in early May.
Below: As soon as the most of the snow had melted and there was little chance there would be any more, the tarp came off and the work began. Though quite chilly at times, we worked on the boat, as well as had contractors working on larger projects. Here you can see the windows had been pried off, replaced with tape and plastic, while we prepared the new ones to go in.
Below: Re-naming the boat was a HUGE debate. We had found out the previous owner had planned to name it “Lolly Joe”. I fell in love with the name, but Paul had reservations, not wanting to usurp the previous owners idea, I think. In the end, he relented, and “Lolly Jo” (sans the “e”) won out. I think it suits her well.
Below: This past Monday, after all our hard work, Lolly Jo was hauled down to the crane. She looks so much smaller from a distance.
Below: Lolly Jo was put into the sling and lowered into the water. While she was still in the sling (though in the water) our contractor checked it for leaks. It turned out she was taking on water, so she was pulled out and taken back to the shop. They worked on her that evening and, on Tuesday, she was put into the water. This time there was no water in the hull. She wouldn’t sink! Hurray!
Below: With no mast on the boat yet (and the motor still needing to be repaired), she was towed over to a temporary slip. She looks so pretty!
Below: A few hours later, we had family and friend come down to help put the mast on. We paddled Lolly Jo back over to the crane for this job, and then paddled her back to the slip once the mast was on. I have no photos of her with the mast as it was late and dark by the time we got her back over there.
There’s still much work to do (the engine, the sails, etc.), but she should soon be sailing!