|Here is a photo of Ivy enjoying some crackers and cartoon in her new home.|
Here is how the story goes. We scheduled to launch September 15th, but just a few days before the launch I discovered some nasty issues with our stuffing box. It is an odd Scandinavian stuffing box manufactured by West Mekan. It is a very good system, just not exactly well known here, so it was hard to find info or diagrams of the thing. This PDF from the West Mekan site was about all I had to go on. The oil based box was leaking the oil out and down the sterntube. That obviously means it won't hold water on the outside and thus our launch was delayed. A few days of digging around and I figured out which seal was installed incorrectly (oops). After a lot of panic and cursing we were able to reschedule for October 5th (a cheaper day in boating world anyhow, so maybe the delay was a good thing).
|Cleared for takeoff|
|Loading on the trailer|
|OVERSIZE LOAD: yeah, no kidding.|
I have to say that most of this boat wouldn't have been possible without the overwhelming support and help from my friend Dave Nelson. Dave is the guy (along with his other half Christine) who bought the Fitzcarraldo from us a few years ago. Not only did he loan the Fitz back to us so that we'd have a home until Creeky could launch, but he came down to help with various large projects throughout the summer. His boat knowledge has been super helpful and we are both entirely grateful for his help. That said, Dave was on his way down to help oversee and add moral support to the launching ceremonies. He met us at the yard and he drove chase car while I led the caravan over to Marina Bay in North Quincy where the launch was scheduled for roughly noon. Along the way, he managed to get a few good shots of the boat going down the road.
Jenny and Ivy were already at Marina Bay awaiting our arrival. We got lucky with Ivy and she fell asleep in her stroller just as the boat arrived, so Jenny was able to take pictures without too much baby distraction. A screamy kiddo could have added tenfold to the already high nerve levels. We were both very thankful for a sleepy Ivy. Anyhow, words can't describe the nerves, the excitement, the stress, the worry... this boat is all we have. All the money we've ever been able to save in the world, and it is our home and we were about to chuck the thing into the ocean to hope it floats...... If this process were to fail, we'd probably scrap it or sell it for a minimum and move on with our lives in a different direction. There is no boatbuilding fund left, we couldn't afford to keep it another season on the hard, this was an all or nothing effort. So here's how that went:
|Passed out just in time for the big event.|
|In the slings: 15 tons exactly.|
|Our neighbors who drove Jenny over stayed to watch.|
|The Marina Bay crew offered to touch up some bottom paint.|
|Quadruple inspections all around.|
It seems like there are some pictures missing here in the middle because the actual launch process is all video. Our internet has been sketchy so it hasn't uploaded. I'll place the video here when we get it.
|Still in the slings but we are below decks checking every hull penetration.|
|Dave and I, still inspecting, but it all looks good. Gave Jenny the thumbs up right about here.|
|After a short tow tow, our first arrival at a dock!|
|Me, trying not to look like I am about to puke from nervousness.|
|Creeky against the grey foggy Boston sky.|
|Time for the Ceremony, SeaGlass riesling, perfect.|
|We each had a glass and poured one over the side for Creeky.|
|Wakey wakey, look at your new home!|
|Ivy immediately takes the helm, but little does she know it isn't hooked up.|
There is more to the story as there were minor issues and some nervous moments, but all is well. She seems to float pretty darn straight, though a bit high in the bow. I still have no ground tackle aboard, which is 400+ pounds all told. The ground tackle combined with the rig, which is forward of center, should just about even things out. I'll likely have to raise the waterline a couple inches next time she's out of the water, but that's no big deal. At least it's straight and I think that's pretty good considering the lack of drawings or designs I had to go on. She keeps the water out, and she keeps us dry and warm. That's what counts.
In the meantime, we towed Creeky over to our trusty old Constitution Marina where we will again be spending the winter, and perhaps even next summer. This gives us some time to breathe and some time to relax. We can install the engine and step the rig on our own time. From here on out, things look good.
|And as i type this, Ivy is comfy in Creeky, watching Charlotte's Web.|