Launch Day and no incidents, where's the fun in that - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-20-2013 Thread Starter
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Launch Day and no incidents, where's the fun in that

Having gone through a few Launch Days and the inevitable oh crap moments I found yesterday to be refreshing and almost boring. I arrived at the marina around 8:30 and installed new graphics I had made over the winter, they went on easily and right where I wanted them, surely this bode ill will for the rest of the day.

Having never had a boat with a roller furling before I asked the previous owner if he would help me install it when I purchased the boat, he showed up at 9:00 as promised and 30 minutes later both the roller and the main were up, wait a minute something bad has to happen.

He had a wiring short in the mast of his boat, a Columbia 26, I had agreed to help with. We spent an hour at the gin pole lifting the mast about 6 inches, chasing down the wires and repaired the problem. We got mast back in place and rigging tuned and set about to installing his roller and main, roughly an hour later we were ready to check engines.

I've always had two stroke outboards on my boats before and to be honest bated the mixing and priming and tinkering with them so I was almost in shock when the 4 stroke motor (with less than 10 hours on it) that came with the boat fired up on first pull and idled at lowest setting on the throttle. Now I was really getting nervous, the only left to do was launch and put her in the slip.

My new (by now) best friend (previous owner) decided we should launch my boat first, he would drive my truck while I put the boat in and I would do the same for him. It tooks us about 15 minutes to get to the ramp, back down to the water, fire the motor and launch her. As I was watching him drive my truck up the ramp and backing my boat to turn around (who says we sailors can't do two things at one time) I thought "oh man, everything has gone too good."

After 15 minutes of motoring I was ready to head into my slip and try my hand at being the daily laughing stock and latest tale of woe of being a dock knocker. My slip is in the center of 5 double fingered docks and third spot from shore so needless to say there were plenty of prying eyes as I came in and put her in place on the first try without touching anything.

Once tied off I realized I didn't have my keys to lock her up, but my smilimg best friend for life (previous owner) reached into his pocket and said "I wasn't going to leave them in your truck ."

By now I was dreading launching his boat but it was too late to do anything but go for it, 30 minutes later he was in his slip, tied off and smiling as big as I was, surely this must be a record, two boats rigged, launched and slipped with no mishaps.

I can't wait for next weekend for that first sail, oh yes and here are the pictures.
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-20-2013
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Re: Launch Day and no incidents, where's the fun in that

Congratulations! Enjoy the good times while they last!

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-20-2013
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Re: Launch Day and no incidents, where's the fun in that

A good day...
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-20-2013
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My Launch was a LITTLE different

  • Arrived at boat at 10 AM - Scheduled time of Launch 3:30PM
  • Yard guys want to get home early, so they ask if they can put us in early.
  • We scramble a bit, but get ready in an hour
  • Boat gets put in water.
  • I motor out of slings to finger slip
  • As I pull into slip at a crawl, wind gust blows my stern into boat next to us. Use all my might to keep us from touching
  • In slip and everything is going well.
  • Wife comes from front of boat and asks if we normally have water in the forward compartment where the three thru-hull/seacocks are.
  • Investigate and find one thru-hull is slowly weeping water (teaspoon every 5 minutes)
  • Consult with yard guys and they think it may swell and stop.
  • Hour later, still weeping, so we elect to pull it.
  • Hand $330 to yard for haul/relaunch
  • Yard guys say we are next and wants us to drive boat back to slings.
  • Tide is going out, wind is picking up and pretty decent side current
  • Wife drives, I push off and we back out of slip and then start to get blown into docked boats before we can get enough speed to turn boat
  • After some extreme near misses, and me basically using every ounce of strength to keep us from crashing into the other boats, we are now making our way back to slings.
  • Crawling into slings, huge gust of wind blows us away from slings and into tidal mud creek.
  • I asking frantically for the yard guys to give us a hand with their skiff. They just tell us to back it up and just drive it in.
  • They finally get a clue that we are in a jam and running out of navigable water and space.
  • Finally they latch on to use, before we get further blown into the tidal creek, become grounded with no means of turning around.
  • Yard guy maneuvers us into slings and boat is hauled.

Worst launch experience in my 7 years of boat ownership.

If you liked my advice/response, give me some rep points. If you didn't......well what do you expect, it was free.

Last edited by DrB; 05-20-2013 at 12:40 PM.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-20-2013
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Re: Launch Day and no incidents, where's the fun in that

I should be splashing in a couple of weeks. I hope mine goes half as smooth

Art Haberland

In the end all that matters is how fully you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things that did not belong to you -Buddha


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