Saturday, October 1, 2011

Silver Tern Launch Day

Pre-Launch Days

In preparation for the launch, we have worked 7 days a week, 8-10 hours a day for the last 3 weeks (we used to take Sundays off). We are tired, sore and apprehensive. We assume that Silver Tern will float, that the local customs officials will be cooperative with the move to another boatyard, and that she will not get dropped or have her mast broken during the launch. We are also excited, but it is hard to get too excited while sleep-deprived. She does not look that different, but much of the infrastructure is now functioning and she is ready for phase II.

During this time we (mostly Pat) have applied 10 coats of paint to the bottom of Silver Tern. We (mostly Steve) have plumbed, aligned and wired the two Yanmar diesels. We have also installed bilge pumps, anchor windlass, deck hardware and a million other things. We now understand why boats cost so much new, there a just a whole lot of little pieces that have to go together in a very small space.

Launch Day

Our initial launch day was postponed a few days due to a typhoon that passed by north of here and made the seas too rough to work. This gave us a few more days to attend to last minute details. After days (months) of preparation, all was as ready as we could make it. Engines were started, the mast was rigged and much of our gear was stowed inside or lashed onto the deck. Silver Tern was finally launched September 29.

The launch itself took most of the day. It started with two huge cranes, one of which came into the boatshed so that one crane was at each end of the boat. From there, they attached straps around the boat and each picked up one end of the boat allowing a large flatbed truck to back underneath. Blocks were carefully positioned on the bed and she was lowered down onto the blocks. The truck then took the 48’ long and 24’ wide boat along a dirt road to the water. They maneuvered around tight turns, over really rough sections, and through some very narrow spots. At one point all stopped until another large crane could move a huge trailer that had been parked so as to leave only a 23’ wide spot in the road and allow us to pass.

By mid-afternoon she had been picked up off the truck and lowered into the

water alongside a very rough seawall across from a busy shipping dock. We tied her off, organized the gear, and arranged for one

of our boatyard workers to spend

the night on her.

After that, the truck went back to the boatyard and picked up the mast which we set down on the seawall next to the boat.

The next day Tim Mumby (designer of the boat) came down from his boatyard in Carmen and we stepped the mast. All went well until we found out that the pieces for attaching the upper shrouds and forestay (the stuff that holds the mast up)

were the wrong size. So, what should have been a 1 hour job turned into a 3 and a half hour hassle. We have had to jury rig the shrouds until we can get new pieces. For those of you who are familiar with this stuff, all of the lowers are fine, so the mast is stable for now.

In any case, we still had time that day to motor the 16 miles up to Carmen where we beached the boat. We are now waiting for the high tide at one thirty tomorrow morning to pull her up on the beach where she will sit for the next few months.