Launching Wild Horses (finally)!
22 hours of sanding the boat bottom to get rid of old anti-fouling
10 hours of painting to add the new anti-fouling
7 hours to wax the hull (and tidy up a few gelcoat scratches…oops!)
4 hours to remove, clean and re-attach the stern rub rail
2 hours to test and summarize the boat systems
It all adds up to two tired but happy sailors who are more than ready to launch Wild Horses. And, of course, one beautiful boat! We have a launch date set for the afternoon of June 16. Exciting!
We actually have to book a set time to launch Wild Horses because she needs to be lifted with a heavy capacity hoist (she is over 11,000 kgs!!!) and moved about 100 metres from the winter storage area to the water. At most marinas they use a “travel lift” for this type of work and Iroquois Marine Services is no different. On Tuesday afternoon, the boat hoisting crew will gingerly move the travel lift over top Wild Horses and attach two nylon lifting slings under her hull at designated spots near the bow and the stern of the boat. These spots are designated by the boat engineers and marked on the boat’s hull. This is critical. If this work isn’t done correctly (1) the boat could slip out of slings when moved and crash to the ground, likely resulting in costly damage OR (2) the boat’s hull could get pinched, likely resulting in costly damage. All I see is $$$$$.
Once the boat gets to the water, it is then slowly and carefully lowered into the “well”. This is a carved- out section of the harbour strictly for launching boats. It is basically a rectangular steel box, ¼ above water and ¾ below water, with one open end. Boats are lowered into the closed-end, the lifting slings are then removed and the boat is manually (with dock lines) moved forward out of the open section of the rectangle. The challenge for Wild Horses is that this “well” is only 14.5 feet wide. Since Wild Horses has a massive beam (the widest part of a sailboat) at 14.1 feet, this leaves only about 2 inches of play on either side of the boat before our beautifully waxed hull scratches against the steel encasing of the well.
There is a lot of breath being held during the launching process!
As always, we will be a little sad to say goodbye to the boatyard. Weird but true. People tend to think of boats and boating as only fun when they are in the water but this isn’t entirely true. Over the last month of working in the boatyard we have had great chats (2 metres away of course!) with owners of the neighbouring boats, most of whom we only ever see in the boatyard as they do their boating in other waters or from other clubs/marinas. It is a fantastic community. Our pup Ocean also has full days in the boatyard, playing with whatever dogs are around. This year it was Gibbs, Diesel, and Mocha. She even met a boat chicken named Hey-Hey. Never a dull moment in a boatyard!
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Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.