Ready to Launch?
07 October 2012
Sunday, October 7, 2012
It never fails to surprise me how much work getting the boat ready to launch is…but we think we are there.
Thursday was a big day as the crane arrived at 9am and shortly thereafter the team rolled our mast into position. Clearly these guys know what they are doing because in very short order a line was secured around the mast top (now how is that going to come off?) hooked to the crane and up she went. Between the riggers, the electricians and the boss there were 8 people on the boat, and everything was re-secured, tested and put back with a minimum of fuss. We just stayed out of their way!.. 5 minutes after the mast was stepped and the shrouds secured the rigger was in the chair and being hoisted to the top (ah ha! He’s the guy!). line comes off, crane drives away. It was a pretty cool experience to watch and by 10:30am everything was done. Of course about 5 minutes after that I opened up the Navigation table and discovered the reflective tape we wanted to put on the masthead. That would have been SOOO much easier to do when she was on the ground…and putting silicone on the mast track! Darn it! Serves me right for getting so cocky about putting up the flag halyard.
Next step bottom painting…I ended up using nearly all of the 3 gallons of paint that we bought in St Martin for just the first coat and needed to buy 2 more to complete the second coat on Friday. After spending 2 hours just getting the 1st coat on, I have decided that I will NEVER do this again. I mean, really, it is 90 degrees, humid, very little breeze, and I am dressed in a babushka to protect my hair, Safety goggles & mask to cover my face, my Dad’s heavy cotton engine training jacket that falls to my knees, two pair of latex gloves, (cause I ALWAYS put a hole in the first one) and kneepads. And I am trying to spread an even layer of thick, black metal enhanced paint on the rounded bottom of the boat using a roller brush and extender stick. What was I thinking? And just when I was finishing up the last 6 feet inside the starboard hull and keel I managed to break the arm of the paint roller – I am so done with this. Oh wait…I get to do it again tomorrow!
Day two of the painting went MUCH better than Day one…apparently the second coat is a little easier – or I was less tired, but while it still took 2 hours to do, I was in much better shape when I finished and I have to say…she looks pretty good. Jim finished the hulls and we got the Jib hanked on and the mainsail lazy bag. Turbulence also reworked our lazybag so we can’t actually hoist it up properly just now as we need new lines run. It looks a little sloppy just laying over the boom, but, well, what can you do.
On Saturday we managed to get the mainsail put on which is now a much easier job since we figured out that we only need to take out the one Big screw in the back of the batten pockets to put the sail stiffeners in. We used to make this MUCH harder by taking off all kinds of hardware and then trying to wrestle it back on without taking out the big screw all while our great big mainsail is lying all over the deck.
Then on to the next big job…hauling the dingy engine out of the cockpit and fitting it on the dingy. So Jim has to move this sucker – with me pretending to help - from under the cockpit table, down three steps to the ladder then I steady it as he climbs on to the ladder and with one arm carries all 90 lbs down to the ground. Then climb back up, drop the dink, back down to the ground and fit the engine on it, and then climb back on board and haul it all back in place. He does this while I stand at the bottom of the swim platform and ‘steady’ the dingy...in case it swings. This task signals the end of our energy for the day…well, til we get back to the AC, anyway.
After running a few errands in the car we spend the rest of Saturday recovering the port aft berth cushions, which look really good if I do say so myself! And as you can see from the pictures, the aft berth is way larger than the double bed we are currently sharing!
As you can see, in order to launch on time we had a list everyday of goals we needed to meet, and so far we have achieved them all…
Today’s list includes getting the engines started, getting the anchor fitted, taking the foil off the windows, and washing the top layer of dirt off the boat. We got them all done, and only ran into one problem which was a leak that over the course of the rainy summer let gallons of water trickle into the port engine compartment. Jim pumped it out and we’ll have to work on tracing the leak in the next few weeks, but for now – we seem to be ready for tomorrow!