Saturday, July 25, 2009

Launch day and sea trials.. episode #1

A lot of work goes into launch day. last minute details and safety equipment go load aboard. Secure the trailer, check and re check. The new motor ready for its first ride. Secured. I just need some gas!
Out of the driveway and to the gas station for gas and a check.
I was warned about Johns boats, that they tend to draw a crowd... I was delayed a bit by well wishers and folk catching a peak of this unusual looking boat. My favorite an now standard response to "Where did you get that!" I respond... "My basement" "NO WAY" ... "way"
With all rigging set up and checked we backed her in the water for first time... plug in boat check.
The trailer was hardly in the water when the boat practically leapt into the salty green. Anxious I see are we.
A quick check of the center board pin arrangement for leaks and then all the gear and tools were loaded aboard. This after all was a work day not a "pleasure day" Only expendable crew were allowed on board :) I kid of course.
I had some difficulty with the motor but it was found to be in the storage that oil got into the cylinder top end. A quick removal of the plug, a few pulls and replace again and were in business.
This caption should read ... "Someone got a spare plug wrench?"
I look at my shoes... I know I'm going to get them wet... I just know it.
I have yet to take delivery of my furler system so I had to jury rig my jib. Not the best set up mind you. I noticed a couple of other things which I need to fix to make dockside set up faster as well.
My wife.... Who has endured 11 months of me toiling in the basement. I owe her so much, It will take a lifetime to repay. But you know what.... It was worth it!
You know how much water Pikake draws?... I could practically step aboard from where I stood.
In the water. No leaks yet. OK, now lets load her up. Myself, My father in law Austin who's helped with some of my tasks and as excited as me to see her launched. My long time friend since practically birth Travor Miller and his son Sebastian. A nice load. They all kept a eye out for potential problems. The motor was kept down and idling just in case of trouble once sails were up.
Centerboard down, rudder down, lets start with something safe, motor to top of harbor and raise mainsail, then go from there.
Small waves, and chop, but quickly as on cue, the wind picked up to a gusty 18 knot with 10-15 knot sustained winds. These boats were just out past us, their leaned out a bit. It was an offshore breeze so though the wind was high the shop was small and it did die down again after.
As I said, it died down after. With some small hick-ups to the gaff the mainsail got raised and tested then the jib was raised. Perhaps it was the load of men aboard or the design but she stayed upright pretty much the whole test.
The gaff pitch needs some work I noted, I'll fix that. I really like the fact that while sitting in the cockpit you seem very secure, I wondered what it would be like. Now I know. Still a bit surreal that we sailed today.
Notice something missing in below picture? ... no?
I'll let you in on it.... Left side of the picture... no? OK compare left side to right side of picture....
OK I'll tell you...
While cruising back across the harbor at a good clip I might add we tacked onto a broad reach. We were on that for a minute or so when a snap and everyone looked skyward! Mast still there, but the port side shroud had snapped! Without a pause I told Trav to take the tiller, I rushed forward to take down the mainsail and as I moved forward I told Austin to take down the jib. within second all sails were down. OK check for damage... other that the busted swaggless fitting at top everything was fine! The mast stayed up with only a forward stay and a side stay, under full sail... I've never thought it possible until today. the mast should have toppled into the ocean like a tree but no. I can only attribute it to the strength of the mast and the stainless steel mast tabernacle bolted firmly to the deck. No damage to speak of. Nobody panicked. It after all was a trial for such things. Everyone performed well during the unexpected problem. Great work guys! We sat there for a moment discussing it, then I said, we have lots of gas, let just motor out the bay a bit for a cruise. And we did. very nice in a sea I might add.
Don't they all looked stressed out aftward a near demasting? Everyone agreed, no big deal. Short but adventurous.
Back at dock side she slipped on the trailer with same ease... I did get my shoes wet, I knew it.

Thanks guys for making the day fun.

Maxwell Pattens Tiller was magnificent on the boat and I'm ashamed to say I have no picture yet. Sorry. But I will, it's worth a story in its self.

p.s. There's no more building. after 11 months its done. But there's adjustments to be made, and half a summer left of sailing. I have already planned for some projects for the winter in my now seemingly massive work shop. After the pathfinder build nothing is too big now. I now have to catch up on some fishing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Launch day/ sea trials ... Saturday July 25th 2009

It certainly seems that way.
A couple of tweaks and installations and the boat is ready to push off the trailer. The floating part we'll work on. Once in the water I have to test a few things before the test pilots jump in for a run. The Centerboard pivot pin area mostly needs attention for possible leaks. And check the running gear and shackles to make sure everything is tight.
Sun up I'll be getting prepared. the crew will be around not long after. My guess buy how long it has taken to get the other things ready, I should be ready to get her wet by noon.
No big ceremony, no fanfare. I thought about it and I just can't bring myself to "kick up a stink" over launching my boat. what can I say, I'm an introvert.

Til tomorrow.....

pre launch details

More details.
Up early today with a small arts and crafts project. Gaff jaws needed leathers so I attached it with brass furniture nails. It worked nicely.
The rest of the day was spent rigging the almost 600ft of various sized rope into a gaffed rigged sloop. A great deal of knots, and re knotting. trying out something then adjusting and trying again. Luckily Weather was on our side. Overcast with absolutely no wind... a very uncommon thing around here.
This is one of my swagless turnbuckles up close. they work very nicely and all you need is small or nimble fingers to place the jaws properly.
My jib sheet is held by my cam cleats. The boom needed many fittings to accomidate my reefing system and my lazy jacks.
My plastic jib hanks were too small so I'll pick up some better ones tomorrow.
Later in the day we attempted to fit the centerboard in place. But it came apparent that the trailers cross beam wouldn't let us. What to do....
We strapped er down, and trucked er in over the road to our work shop and lifted it with the crane. That made things easier and much safer.
One long day, I think the centerboard fitting was more work than moving the boat from the house.
Time: 8 hr

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Odds 'n' ends

I didn't forget I have blog duties to attend to. I got a little carried away with basement cleanup and getting the many parts installed on the boat. I also got to visit Maxwell Patten and pick up my Tiller and my name tag for the boat. No tiller shot until later... It's going to look pretty awsome on the finished rudder assembly. The horn cleats were all bolted on with adhesive.
The hatches were installed mostly by Travor who's as picky as me. Also bolted with 3M 5200 adhesive. Austin was helper getting all the nuts and bolts plus the drills etc.
Bit by bit parts get added.
Jam cleats and deck blocks installed. Motor mount, and gudgeon's mounted.
Bowsprit had all the hardware bolted in place before being installed on the front. Very nice.
The cable has to be attached to the bowsprit yet.
The mast tabernacle that I designed and finished in stainless steel. Deck rigging to each side for halyards.

All hatches installed. And floor drains from front floor to cockpit.
Main sheet block moun in place. The large hatches are 16"x18"
Time: 14 hours over several days

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Moving day arrives

For those people who came to see the project and doubted and chuckled at the notion, whether I could get the boat out of the basement.... "I fart in your general direction" :0
Friday evening we set to work and quickly dismantled my staircase. The shop door and surrounding framing was removed at the same time I set up a jack post and steel support beam just for safety sake. It all only took about an Hour or so to complete.
The tolerances were tight and it even included me removing the 2" foam insulation in the area of the turn.
I used the locations at Frame #3 and frame #5 to make a reversed frame that would become the cradle for the boat. cutouts for the plank laps and gunwales were added so the hull carried the loads. Most of the mass is in the bottom of the boat so I had the sled runners under that area. Teflon strips which will later be used on the keel were screwed to the underside of these sled runners. This shot was taken before it was finished.
Saturday morning around 9:30 we picked up where we left off the evening before. finishing the sled and putting the boat down into its new shipping cradle. Friends from near and far came to help and help they did. More on that later.
Carpet was stapled to the frame to cushion the hull from scratching and straps to bind the boat to the sled. Black plastic strips borrowed were laid on the flood to have the sled slide on. Very slippery stuff.
Let the move begin!
Plenty of room.
Just a few feet at a time, A very controlled move.
Everyone did their part in moving this. I had no concerns with what was going on ,on the other end of the boat.

My move buddy Nathan (on the right) gave me advice on proper lifting technique and job safety.

One hole passed through. It was to me the trickiest.
Is that proper safety foot ware? Gladiator sandals Bill, really now, what were you thinking.
Second porthole, a new 42" door. I figured 1/2" clearance on either side.

Pop through the door. No problems.
It of course rained for the first time in many weeks. So I set up a 20 ft X 20 ft tarp roof. Note how my house thew up on my lawn. most of the basements contents are now outside in the rain.

We slid the boat down the driveway to where the trailer was parked. The upper part was too steep to attempt a roll over.
We ran slings under to pieces of 2x4's so we all could lift the boat.
In a few minutes we had the nose on the trailer.
And then it was there. I had to make adjustments to the trailer wench.
Nice party tent.
And there you go. Complete. What did you do Saturday?
"Oh nothing much, just moved a 17ft sailboat out of my basement and onto a trailer."
Travor Miller........Chief load lifter and idea man
Irving Pelley..........2nd load lifter and scaffold
Bill Foote................3rd load lifter safety advisor and main credited idea man
Maxwell Patten.....4th load lifter, clean-up and tent maintenance.
Nathan Patten.......Site foreman, Juice drinker, and personal assistant to me. (Max's son)
Sebastian Miller....Camera man, cradle/sled contractor. (Travor's son)
My sincerest thanks for these men who showed up to help on this wet day. We got a critical job done with plenty of time to spare. (enough to have a chicken Picnic and watch part of a Pixar movie. It was in Nathans contract)
I had lots of fun and the guys did too. I have very sarcastic and fun making friends. Lord help the person who ties a "granny knot" with someone looking.
Though it was a key moment in the project and some doubted its results, it was a stress free day for me anyway and many laughs.
Me and my family Thank you all.
Time: 6 hours