Launch 2004
This page was last updated on 13 May 2004.

Getting ready for launch this year was almost an anticlimax.  Having the boat comfortably at hand inside the shop all winter changed the annual springtime ritual to such an extent that I found myself searching for things to do on the boat, simply because I had nothing that really needed to be done.

About three weeks before my scheduled launch date, I began my final spring preparations by removing the plastic dust cover that had been over the boat since late January.  I hadn't really been on board since completing my flurry of projects last fall and during the first part of the winter, so it felt good to be back.  With the cover off, I could take care of the minor items on my pre-launch list.  There was really very little to do, but I had a few small projects to take care of, as well as paint the bottom, test run the engine, and several other tasks.

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I was ready well before the launch date, but managed to stretch several projects out to keep my occupied.  A couple days before launch, after doing some preparatory rigging on the ground, I (with the help of Nathan) hoisted the mast back up on deck, where I attached the jumpers and spreaders and made final rigging adjustments.  With that done, I gave the decks and hull a much anticipated soapy bath (aaaaahhhhh...) and settled down to wait one more agonizing, loose-endy day before launching.  It didn't help (or maybe it did...) that the two days leading up to the launch were perfect and summerlike, with 80 degree temperatures and what seemed to be glorious sailing breezes.  I was ready!

pickup1.jpg (37819 bytes)Both Nathan and I had scheduled our launches on the same day, by design, and Steve Morse was due at the house by 0630 on the 13th to pick us up.  True to form, he showed up at about 0615, and began by picking up Nathan's Dasein.  While I waited for his return, I spent some time moving Dasein's jackstands and some general cleanup.  Steve was back shortly before 0700, and soon had Glissando loaded on the trailer.

leavebarn.jpg (66849 bytes)The 3.5 mile trip to the launch ramp at the Royal River was uneventful, except for when Steve cut the corner turning into one street a little close, causing the trailer wheels to ride up on the curb and tilt (and then jolt) the trailer and boat--yikes!!  But all was well, and shortly thereafter the boat was once again afloat at the town landing dock.  All looked good, though I noticed the stuffing box was leaking steadily and would need adjustment.  

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mastgoingup.jpg (72856 bytes)For now, though, it was OK, and I spent a few rushed minutes standing up the radar tower and attaching the Windex and new masthead wind instrument cups before departing and heading the short distance down the river to the boatyard.  As it happened, they were just finishing up with Dasein's mast, so I didn't even have to dock and went right into the Travelift slip.  Nathan took a few pictures during the mast stepping, which was uneventful.  Still, it was a relief to have the mast up, as stepping (and unstepping) is my least favorite part of the launch/haul process each season.  That's me kneeling on the foredeck attaching the headstay.

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After about 30 minutes tied up to a nearby dock, during which time I installed the boom and dodger and tidied things up a bit, I was ready to take the trip down the river and around to my mooring in Falmouth.  Despite an onerous forecast calling for pesky northeast winds, clouds, and showers, the sun had already broken through, and the wind , which had gusted strongly early in the morning, had already moderated.  Dasein and Glissando departed in tandem at about 0835, picking our way through the myriad buoys marking the narrow Royal River channel. I had been warned that at least one of the buoys was misplaced, so I took care to watch the depth.  The last red nun before the end of the channel was indeed far off where it should have been; honoring it on the correct side would have placed me in the mud.  I passed on the wrong side of it, yet in the proper channel, and Dasein followed suite, no doubt wondering why I was cutting the buoy.

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The wind continued to die as I proceeded around to the mooring (about a 9 mile trip from the boatyard), and the sun strengthened, so soon it was a warm and pleasant morning.  I had the current with me for an easy trip at about 6.2 knots over ground the whole way, and at just after 1000 I had picked up my mooring in Falmouth.  Almost immediately, the wind began to pick up from the east (amazingly, this was predicted accurately by the NOAA forecast), and within a space of about 5 minutes, the day went from nearly flat calm to a bristling 20 knot (cold!) easterly, changing the character of the day significantly. This put a damper on a few of the projects I had hoped to take care of at the mooring, most importantly adjusting the rake of the mast and the headstay turnbuckle beneath the roller furling unit.  Earlier, before launch, I had disassembled the furler drum for access to the turnbuckle within, and now, with the mast stepped, I needed to do my adjusting and reassemble the drum before I could install the genoa.  But that wasn't to happen today, so I worked on several other projects throughout the day before finally departing at about 1600.

Glissando all set to go on her mooring:  5/14/04More on the mast adjustment and new wind instruments later.

Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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