Launch Day

Early one morning, just as the sun was rising’ – well 7am on a Sunday feels that way.

I put the dinghy in the water ready, put out the mooring lines and fenders on Capella ready. Ensure all the seacocks are shut (apart from the engine) and that the paddle wheel for the speedo is in place, so no 2” home in the bottom. We’re ready to launch.
There are 5 boats to go in and one to come out. and me being one of the largest will be last to go in, though the draft is similar amongst all the boats launch that day so could do them in any order. First 3 go in fine, I go off to help the one coming out – ‘Puffin’ has a misbehaving feathering prop so has no drive. Another owner will use his inflatable with an outboard to tow the beautiful but stricken yacht to the carrier, which is currently putting the 4th boat ‘Catherine S’ in the water. Once the carrier is steady in the water, we set off assuming it will be empty by the time we get there. It’s not a simple task for the inexperienced, but we work it out without causing any damage and head gently for the carrier. Unfortunately it’s not empty, ‘Catherine S’s outboard won’t start. They manage hail a passing member in a tender and he tows ‘Catherine S’ to the pontoon to sort her engine out. Next it’s time to get ‘Puffin’ in to the carrier, backwards as she has to go on a trailer. It took a couple of attempts to get her in what we thought was the right position. It wasn’t quit and we had a lot of faff trying to get her to sit right on the trailer so the owner could tow her out of the way of the launch ramp.


Capella in the carrier ready to launch

Capella’s turn
You would think if you put boats in a line using carrier you could take one out of that line again using the same carrier. Appears not there was a 1” too little space to get it in to lift Capella. So we had to pick a Zimmer and move her before we could get the carrier in. Everything then goes OK and Capella is afloat, now to start the engine – great it fires in to life, but all is not well. There is no cooling water coming out – bugger. It’s just a short hop the waiting pontoon and there is the odd drip, perhaps it will sort itself out?

I spend half the afternoon trying to find a solution, after all it had pumped water ashore, though I did have to prime it – it couldn’t self-prime like it apparently should. The intake was clear (I could blow bubbles out the bottom of the boat). Eventually had to admit defeat for the day and left her there.

She is only supposed to be there for 4 tides, but it will be longer.