|One of the three or four R-class boats clustered at our club. It's like going into a parking lot filled with Toyotas and Nissans and finding a cluster of immaculate Duesenbergs.|
|This is Fire Escape, a Regal 4260 powerboat belonging to a fireman (clever, no?) and which is, at 10,000 kilos (22,000 pounds) in the same weight class as the 15,000 kilo Alchemy in terms of manhandling.|
|Eh, they went with sticky letters instead of my suggestion...|
I know that many of our membership are getting up in years (or have died and the boat goes to surviving kin), and that delegating these tasks to less-experienced friends or relatives rarely is as comprehensive a process as the boat's owner customarily performs. One of the courtesies the safety boats perform is to confirm that a freshly started boat motor is exhibiting "throughput" of the necessary cooling water along with the exhaust gases. In my safety boat, we noticed an old C&C which wasn't gushing at all. The single helmsman (not the owner), who we assumed was doing a favour, went below to check the seacock, and emerged, rather quickly for his own years, to announce that the boat was taking on water! A call for a tow was made. As it turned out, and as some of you will have guessed, the seawater intake had not been closed and had not been clamped back on to the motor, and the man tasked with taking the boat from launch to dock didn't know (or couldn't reach) the seacock to either fix it or just to stop the sinking. All was rapidly fixed, but it argues that if you can't, for whatever reason, recommission your boat, you'd best make a meticulous list of "must-dos" for the well-intentioned to do it for you.
After all the boats (almost three-fifths) had been launched into the Western Gap, the action shifted with the cranes to our basin, where safety boats are not used as there are ladders and far shorter distances at hand.
|Alchemy has no waxed gelcoat to preserve, and so no clever gelcoat nappies are used as is the case on Fire Escape.|
|Those cables are bigger than they seem because that boom is so long the whole thing is far away, Dougal.|
|At the extreme right can be seen a "pusher stick", meant to keep the boat being launched off the seawall if it is swaying. Little wind yesterday meant that wasn't a big deal.|
|There are also "sling marks" on the top rail, but they are usually only proximate, as Alchemy's full keel means she doesn't have to land on the same spot in order to be safely upright.|
|The lines leading from the fairleads are called "control lines" and are used to "steer" the boat once aloft.|
|Ideally, the aft sling should be forward of this point (especially given the couple of hundred pounds of line and anchors I stowed in the forepeak this spring), but you can only do so much.|
|Alchemy's mass and general bulk and metal tend to lead to more urgent shouts of "everyone stand back!" It's prejudice, I tell you!|
|That forward sling would be happier about 30 cm. aft, but you can't have it all. Where would you put it?|
I'm not sure why the bottom paint looks a touch patchier this year. It's not like we stinted on it. Perhaps the chilliness of the application opportunities? We'll see if the growth is an issue in the fall.
|And perhaps we will decrud or replace those nasty fenders which customarily lurk on the outboard side of the docked vessel.|
|Love is a many-splendoured sling.|
|I for one enjoy owning a boat that inspires others to invoke their gods.|
|Nearly there...they call it "splashing", but it's more gentle if done right.|
The engine started instantly, the prop turned eagerly and the shifter shifted when pulled and pushed. I think I heard about a quarter-second of squeal from the shaft, but all seems otherwise to spec. You make your own luck through work, it's said, and I believe it these days.
|The rarely seen Mrs. Alchemy, who doesn't care for being photographed yanking on a spring line. Or photographed, period, really.|
Back at dock, there were still a number of jobs: fetching the nesting dinghy, loading my bike trailer with cradle pads and ladder (yes, it's a feat of strength), and arranging the lines to accommodate our new slip neighbours, a young couple named Doug and Nicole who have just bought an imposing Mainship 390, a trawler big enough to be a northerly windbreak for us and for which we'll have to rig springs to keep our bowsprit out of their swim platform. Valiente launches next week, with I hope will be as little drama as Launch 2015.