Thursday, October 21, 2010

LAUNCH - Phase one "Get her in the water already"

OK... there's no way around it, everyone is nervous on launch day and it's been exactly one year since we first launched Odessa. The sight of your hard work dangling precariously from an old crane is enough to churn your stomach. We arrived early in the morning, spent the next hour waiting for Harry (the crane driver) to arrive... he was limping badly which wasn't a good sign. The next hour was spent watching the yard guys standing around the crane scratching their heads about the very large pool of oil spilling out of the crane engine... our confidence was waining.

But the sun broke through the morning clouds and the action began. Firstly, the yard guys have done this a thousand times, so trust them... even if it looks like their heading for disaster. Brief with the crane driver and crew before the lift begins and let them know when you want to do checks, like making sure the through hulls on the boat are open and not leaking, when you're going to run the engine etc. If you need anyone onboard to handle lines and which way you want to head off the dock.

We are also going for plan B on the running gear, propeller etc. The first time we just cleaned everything and painted metal primer and bottom paint on the skeg and shaft... "barnacles know no limits" and we had to scrape every 4 weeks to keep the prop clean. You can paint it with "prop speed" a resin that many power boaters use, but this time we're trying an old time method... polish the prop and shaft, wax them and then run greasy hands over them to create another barrier... so, we'll see how it works this time. I'll also be jumping over the side tomorrow morning to put a black plastic bag around the prop... this is apparently foolproof as long as you remember to remove it before heading out.

It's funny how a boat that looks so big when it's on land, can look so small when she's plopped into the water. Everything worked out well and we motored around to the other side of the dock about 100ft away. This will be our home for a couple of weeks while we finish rigging the mast... then it's back around again and repeat the process with the old crane, which will drop in the refinished mast with new rig.

Trying to look confident and relaxed is tough sometimes.

Do they know that she can't go flat against the dock wall because it's too shallow?

Oh... they do know what they're doing.

We're rigged with Dynex Dux for everything and unfortunately just found out that we had a roller furling that was not rebuildable. The final solution was to take the Genoa roller furling which is a profurl 45 and cut it down to replace the jib (working foresail) furler and have a new larger furler made for the genoa. It's a big hit to our budget, so the water maker will have to wait for a while (sorry Doreen). There's no shortage of projects, so hopefully "a while" will be long enough to earn the funds and focus on the right water maker solution... it's complicated and we first need to define our water usage in the real world. Ah, but at least we can forget about it for now and think about spreaders and turnbuckles.

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