Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Launch day...

Good day all round on Tuesday as "Papillon" went back in the water with the least amount of fuss that I've ever had from her...

Rod the Mod came down to give me a hand with the mast - as you know I dropped it a couple of weeks ago so that my bro-in-law J, and I could easily check the electrics, and to take pressure off the side stays so that Jellybean Phil and I could do the GRP repairs to the join between deck and hull...

....with the arrival on the scene of the A frame this had been considerably easier than previous... this gave me the idea to do this years launch slightly more differently than on previous occasions, this time instead of towing her up the road to launch into Chichester Harbour from the public slipway in front of The Ship Inn pub, I'd do what the rest of the guys do and take a far more leisurely launch from the clubs own slipway into Langstone Harbour, with the mast down I could then go under the Hayling bridge to Chichester Harbour...

..and so it was - club has a much better slipway, quiet (the public one is in a car park which gets busy at pub opening time), no having to take your life in your hands on the main road to get to the pub slip, and I could take advantage of a later tide...

...Rod and I rigged the A frame before we went in the water, we then launched (took 15 minutes I think - just about time for half a cup of tea). Rod rowed the tender round, while I motored under the bridge - it was a close run thing by the way - with the A frame up there was practically no clearance at all due to the height of the tide, and she scraped the bottom of the bridge twice. Not a worry though as the frame was about a foot higher than the end of my mast in the crutch hanging over the back which was far more important...

...safely over the other side I then moved an interloper off my mooring (someone had been sent there in error so I had to move them to the correct mooring), and Rod and I slipped the mast up in what must have been the most relaxed and easy way I've come across... lessons....
  1. I used the mainsheet which only gives 4:1, but is plenty for a mast of my size (approx. 22')
  2. the mainsheet wasn't long enough but I put in an extra piece of line from the end of the sheet to the top of the frame to make up the difference - that way the mainsheet will always be long enough...
  3. I used the jib halyard as the lifting rope - I was in two minds as to whether I should have used the forestay itself (which has a roller furling foil on it - I guess I'm still in two minds
  4. When I lifted the last the foil ended up being inside the arc of the frame and required a bit of juggling to get it out so that I could swing it round the front of the frame for attaching... if I use the jib sheet again then I need to remember to lay the foil outside of the frame
  5. I used a spring clip luggage strap to put enough tension on the jib sheet to keep the mast up, while I disconnected the A frame and reconnected the jib forestay, I don't have winches so this is a tried and tested method for me...
  6. Put the furler on back to front again.. happily I spotted it this time!

...and that was largely it - we made an offering to Neptune followed by an offering to the boat, and then the two thirsty crew finished off the bottle!

Only downside of the whole day is that the fix I did to the side of the tender is not water-tight and leaked... looks like I need to put another coat of epoxy on, or find something I can do a bodge with so that I can focus on enjoying the boat!

...and here she is - where she's supposed to be again - looking forward to the new season immensely...



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