Tuesday, 7 January 2014

In the water

Gabrielle at soft launch, RHKYC, 7th January 2014
UPDATE (17 Jan): At Koko's request I wrote an article on the build, for the February issue of the Club magazine, Ahoy!  Published 28th January.  Article on page 22).
Well, we finally got around to popping Gabrielle* in the water -- I'm calling it a "soft launch" -- after some months of dawdling, Christmas, New Year and all that.  And trying to work out a small issue with getting the boom on -- having to try to find a new gooseneck, so far unsuccessfully, as the second-hand booms and masts (ex Lasers) which were supposed to be at our Club's Middle Island boatyard seem to have been cleared out. So now we -- as in Noel and the Boatyard -- will manufacture one. [UPDATE, 7 March]: boom now fitted; sails and boat cover being made next week]

      *[Gabrielle is Xena's sidekick in the cult classic series "Xena, Warrior Princess"]
Some photos from yesterday, at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Causeway Bay:
Sam, our neighbour in Discovery Bay.  We bumped into each other on the
ferry over to town and he decided to come along to the soft launch.
Here he is next to our "other boat", the lovely Xena, in fine condition
thanks to Noel's ministrations after a day out on the water last Sunday.

The 50-tonne crane finds this little lift a doddle....
Note nice new paint job, thanks to Noel.  Sanding.... sanding....sanding...

.... and gently into the water.

Noel next to Gabrielle, as she lies nice and even - I was
worried that due to my amateur build that she'd lean one
way or the other, but she seems to lie dead straight.
On quick look the waterline seems to be about right, but
to check that would mean some more careful measurements.
Here I am next to her. That lean is just bobbing...!

Noel and Ah Luk from the Boatyard.
On the original of this photo, you can make out the waterline (DWL) marked on the rudder,
sitting just above the waterline, which means she's riding a touch high in the water.
But that's what I would expect, as I made her -- not entirely deliberately --
a touch beamier than in the plans (don't ask...).

A pretty sight from behind.  But she does gain beauty
with contemplation from a distance.  I wouldn't want
a proper boat-builder to have too close a look!
(Should we paint on the transom: "Our other boat
is an X-yacht"? [kidding...])

Lying straight, by the pontoon at the Royal HK Yacht Club
LATER: Eagle-eyed builders of the Somes Sound will note that the mast is not the classic wooden one. That's because, by the time I'd finished building the hull, wife Jing had got a bit touchy with our house and garden being a boatyard, and wanted them back again.... and also, to be frank, that I'd rather run out of patience myself as well.  And... in the meantime, we'd been kindly offered a free second-hand mast from a Laser, courtesy our Yacht Club.  And... there's nothing wrong with having aluminium aloft: lighter than wood, it will make the boat stiffer.  Thanks to Roger and Simon at the RHKYC for the mast.  Now, just to sort out the boom issue...