Amerikaner in Västerås

Before I get into today's boat project, I've got to explain the very peculiar custom here in Sweden of 'Amerikaner.' Not people. Cars. American Cars, the older the better. In the summertime here on sunny days you'll see people out 'cruising' - and they call it that here, adopting out English word - furry dice hanging from the mirrors and everything.

The 'Power Big Meet,' self-described as the 'Biggest 'N Baddest American Car Show on the Planet!' is taking place as I type, in Västerås, the city where Arcturus is hauled out, and where I've been commuting to daily since arriving in Sweden. Apparently it's true - over 20,000 cars will be on display this weekend, all of them American. 

Even better yet? From the website...

This years theme is Davy Crocket – King of the Wild Frontier. License plates are given out as cars pass the gates and they are free! 3000 plates on Friday and 3000 on Saturday. First come… Big Meet Licens plate theme is TEXAS!

Texas and Davy Crocket. What do the Swedes think of us Americans!? (Though I must admit, our collective impression of Sweden might be a little off...)

I think it's awesome.  So I took a bunch of photos today as I walked from the train station to the boat, one 'Amerikaner' after another cruising down the street. I didn't stay for the festivities tonight, but I caught a glimpse of a semi tractor trailer hauling around a flat-bed with a full band onboard, playing music as they rolled down the street. It was probably country. Appropriate too that this event is held over 4th of July. U-S-A!!! Scroll down or click here to see the full gallery.

Boat work. Arcturus  was moved inside the 'varmhallen' yesterday (the indoor storage), the last day before Tommy, the yard manager, went on a two-week vacation. Props to Tommy for meeting our very American demands in the boatyard this past week - removing the propellor, lifting the old engine out and the new one in, and now moving the boat, all before his vacation, which was much deserved by this point. Swedes, with everything, but particularly with boating, have a very do-it-yourself mindset, one we discovered last year when bringing the boat over from Scotland.

"How does the Falsterbo Canal work?" asked Mia at a marina outside Malmö.   

"It works." said the guy. 

Uh-huh. What we didn't understand at the time, was that despite the chart showing a couple of locks on the canal, they'd since been removed - you simply drive the boat through now, nothing to worry about. Hence the, 'it works' remark. 

When it came time to remove the rig last year, we discovered a DIY manual crane on the dockside bulkhead. Not locked. Working fine. So we took the mast down ourselves. Never did that before. But it worked. 

Problem this time, is that we simply don't have the proper materials to get what we needed done. No prop puller. No crane for the engine. No travelift, that's for sure (by the way, the lift that Gullberg's uses is awesome. I wrote about this before, but it's a small 10-ton lift, operated by remote control. Tommy does it all himself, and just drives the lift around the yard by remote control. It's almost comical to watch).  

Long story short, the boat is now inside, and we can get some proper work done. I put the second coat of grey bilge paint in the cockpit lockers and under the engine beds. Last one will go on tomorrow before Micah comes from the USA on Sunday. We paid his ticket in exchange for him helping us a bit installing the new Beta. We're going to have fun with it.