Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Launching the boat and a Sea trial

We finally launched our boat after a year of renovation and repairs.  The day started early (for us) because there were still a few things to prepare for.  All the floor boards and cubby-holes that cover thru-hulls were exposed to allow quick inspection.  We also gathered the tools for our rudder installation (we removed the rudder about a week ago to allow us to replace the lower Teflon bushing/bearing).  While we were there (and after inspection), the aluminum housing also had to be replaced.  The plan is to pick up the boat, and while the guys put a layer of paint on the very bottom of the keels, we will be busy re-installing the rudder.  And hopefully we can get it done before they are needing to get us to the water - they don't like tying up a huge lift like this for very long.

On her way back to the ocean

Shiny new rudder housing

Ready to begin the descent 

The rudder only took about 30 minutes and then we let the paint dry for another 30 minutes before heading off.  The launch went great with no real excitement - we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.  With Chris and Joyce from s/v Saltrun on board, we headed out for our first ever sea-trial.  After Chris got us out of the launching area and headed out to sea, everybody from s/v Catchin' Rays took turns at the helm and getting a feel for the boat. The winds were calm and the sun was bright - just a spectacular day to launch - timing is everything. 

Chris and Joyce arrive to help us with the sea-trial & docking
Tami getting some guidance from Chris

Here I am doing my Captain Ron impression 

Justin acting like its another day at the office

Brandon drives the boat like his Chrysler Crossfire



After a couple of hours, we headed back to port and our new home in the marina.  Justin had the helm and Chris had his back.  Although everything went well, docking a 17,000 lb. boat is a little trickier than expected - you can't man-handle them very well.  We settled into our new home and tried to get everything back in order. 
The motley Crew

The first problem on the new list of repairs are that both mixing elbows on each engine leak due to a small hole although the starboard is much worse than the port (new stainless steel ones are already on order.)  The second problem is the circulation pump on the a/c system leaks at a broken fitting - easy repair, but part two of this issue is that we can't figure out how to even power up the system.  The only other hiccup was that our boat kept tripping the floating dock's breaker - they say that the floating dock has a very sensitive GFI, and for some reason our boat kept tripping it.  So we had to move to another spot by ourselves - thankfully, it was a straight shot to our new location because we had to do it by ourselves.  

Sittin' at the dock of the bay
But all in all, it was a pretty successful day - now we just have to start tackling all the new things on our to-do list.


  1. It is great having you guys in the water, now we both have to go sailing and try to figure that part out! Nice post.
    Chris and Joyce
    SV Saltrun

    1. Thanks Chris, its good to be in the water....and thanks for taking time out of your day to come and help us. I know you have stuff to do on your boat, so we really appreciate the sacrifice to put that on hold for us.

  2. Congratulations guys! I know it has been a long road of work to get to this point. Must feel fantastic to have her in the water now.

    If you are tripping a dock breaker, you may want to consider getting a marine electrician to look over the electrical. Being plugged in at the dock can increase galvanic corrosion issues, particularly if things are not properly isolated. Definitely keep an eye on your zincs, and if they appear to be dissolving quickly you may want to look further into the electrical system.

    And don't worry about maneuvering the boat, a little practice and you'll be amazed at how agile they are for such a large platform. When I was in Hammock Beach I hired an instructor for a half day and we did nothing but maneuver around the marina, approaching every slip in the place. I know I still have lots to learn, but I feel far more comfortable about maneuvering in tighter spaces.

    Again, congratulations!


    1. Thanks Mike, yes, we are looking for an electrician to come look at the boat, but with the holidays here, we're going to have to wait until Monday to start calling - hopefully, it doesn't take too long to isolate the problem and that its an easy fix - but that maybe wishful thinking.

      We know handling the boat in tight spaces will come, but its just a little more intimidating than learning to drive - everywhere you look, there are all these expensive boats that you have to come real close to in order to get where you want to go - and my boat doesn't seem to have a brake pedal!!

  3. Congratulations on such a big milestone. It would be such a great feeling to have "Catchin Rays" in the water after all your hard work. The boat is looking soooo good.

  4. Thanks Duff we really appreciate the kind words.....and yes, it is a great feeling.