The continuation of the pictorial documentation of building our 30ft gaff cutter,
a MARK SMAALDERS design.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Launch of the Girl from Montana!

Off to Port Townsend after 6 1/2 years!
Beckon successfully left Montana 8/25/15 on her overnight trip to the coast.
Jim from Stellar Boat Transport sent me a few pics from the road...
Over the mountains and through the wild fire smoke....
Not a worry in the world...
Richard followed in his truck and caught up with her on the road...
the windshield is VERY dirty....
He was impressed with Beckon weaving down the twisty road of Hwy 12....
And that is Beckon checking out Mt Rainier.....! 
She finally made it to the entrance to the Port of Port Townsend Boatyard.
Right on time!
And one last wide turn...
Yahoo....!!!! and a new phase starts....
The guys with the hoist were great....
A little easier than the crane...I think they have done this a few times.
After they hoist her, they move her over to her set up tarp in the yard....
right against the fence, next to the main road through Port Townsend.....
not quite like floating in her own private anchorage, but it is getting closer....
Richard was in the yard by himself for several days.
Jane had several more days of work, then would drive over,
with a final stop at Fisheries for anchor chain and other bulky heavy items.... 
Richard had to figured out a way to re-set the bowsprit by himself! 
There was something to do with sliding out and pivoting on ladders...
and note that all this is all taking place over a slope and a barbed wire fence!

Jane showed up for her "vacation" in the boatyard.....
no water, no power, and a steep tall ladder to get into the boat.....yikes!
But very glad to see Richard and Beckon....
Hummmm....looks like lots work on setting up the interior, too.
He must have been waiting for his domestic half to show up! 
Richard picked out his new workshop....
Not even wiring is easy in the boatyard...!
We determined the butterfly hatch is very dry,
and the rain drops are beautiful on the glass....we had some cool days and driving rain...
And Richard really did place a coin under the mast for tradition, and his wife.... 
I found a 2009 penny, for the year he started her....he recessed and epoxied it in place.
I was hoping the mast would miraculously get stepped prior to my arrival...
Placing a keel stepped mast is definitely man work....not a pastime for a poor wife!
Where are the mast fairies when you need them?
Olympic Crane is right there in the yard,
and swung by with his boom truck on the appointed day...
Gus, from Olympic, decided to strap on a little lower than we were used to....
but we thought we had it all packaged up and organized.
We put the windex, antenna, and all the lighting on the day prior...no desire to climb the mast....
Jane is not quite sure how this whole thing works.....
having only been the photographer during the stepping in Montana..
our boatyard neighbor took over the photography for me....
oh well, I guess no more excuses!
Richard decided to leave all the halyards in place on the mast.....
and they all look the same and are bulky....!  
Here it comes....clear the lifelines....
and watch the windex and electronics on the mast head...
Ok...this looks easy, but since it is not very vertical, it is TOUGH!
Try not to rip everything off and get it in the hole in the cabin top!
It shouldn't be this hard....and we need to get it straight front to back...
 Not so sure about the grab site...how are we supposed to muscle it around?
And now I am responsible for relaying commands from Richard,
down below, to Gus on the truck...
He is pretty patient...
What is he saying down there?
Oh....STOP??....too far to get wires threaded thru the sole?
 What are you saying? Too much road noise, and a nearby sander....
I can't hear...OK....up 2"...
Cut off the protective wrap...
And we have docking!
Richard quickly tied some supports and placed the shims around the mast...
Jane organized all the halyards and blocks...while Richard found his new splicing workshop.
On the bow overlooking the traffic...
She is looking better with her spars and rigging back on....
Jane even put her name decals on..... 
I am happy with the font I picked for her name....Just traditional enough....
She is ready for launch in the am.
OK!....sounds it sounds easy.....
but launching a boat is a VERY BIG DEAL!
On Sept 4, 2015, friends and family started to arrive....my Mom and Dad, and friends,
Will and Verle....bearing gifts and treating us like royalty!
 
We are honored by all the people that made such an effort to be there for us on our big day....
the whole crew from Orcas Island,
and even our original sailing instructor came down from Lummi Island,
 with her wonderful husband Jim....
Remember, Mary, it's all your fault!
If Jane had hated the week long sailing trip with her, Beckon never would have been built....
I have decided that when things get really scary and horrible out there, I will yell "thanks Mary!"
 
And here comes the travel lift...
They just sneak it right in.... 
Mark and the Orcas crew make it from the ferry in time! 
Yes....that's Steve of lead for keel fame! And Nutmeg's caretaker, Mike..  
Beckon's designer Mark getting his bearings....
I'm thinking he is interested in the success of this launch...
OK, let's talk strap placement....
That should work....
 Let's do it....
Under the straps go...
And gently tighten....
Richard starting to look a little nervous...
But approving...
The guys are really great about protecting the boats...cardboard on the topsides. 
Alright, lets get on with this!
And he is a happy guy these days!
Richard throws a little extra bottom paint on.... 
And she is off and running....
She is making her way from her yard spot, down toward the water front..
Around the corner toward the travel lift pier....
This procession continues all day long....boats in and out....about 10-15 per day...
No chance to get to her bow with a bottle of champagne.....thus saving me from having to make a christening speech....
 The wheels of the hoist go out along the piers and she is slowly lowered down....
Richard and Mark hop on when she gets to this level, so that they can assess for leaks....
the hoist operators are very gentle and patient, especially during an initial launch....
 Slowly lowering....
Her toes are wet....
And she is sitting pretty!
She even looks straight on her waterline.....
 
Alright..... Mark is relieved....but Richard is still down below, checking for water..... 
Just as the guys were ready to release the straps, Richard lifted one last board.....OOPS....water gushing in....!!!
Back up please!....let's tighten that thru hole...! 
There is the culprit.....the engine raw water intake....I know, she has no engine,
but she IS plumbed and ready for one....
Alright.....time for meet and greet and photo ops....
Steve meets Jane's parents.
Discussing pauses in progress.... 
And a few photo ops for Beckon's details....
So much bright work!
And classic rigging....
Lots of boat jewelry....
And luckily Jane took the time to try and get the lines shipshape....
Wicked nice mast boot!
And even her beautiful portlights....
and traditional lashings....
Will and Verle bring Jane some beautiful roses.....
Mary and Jim look on...
Queen for a day....!!! 
Anyone have some wrenches? Guess the thru hull needs tightening....
Love a man with wrenches.....and he brought them to the party....premonition?
Hummmm....
Alright....lets tighten that thru hull and mop up the mess.....
still leaking? Just not as fast.....
Well....it needs bedding with compound....I guess....Pull her out....
The operators graciously moved her to the side and let left her in the sling...
the guys were able to easily bed the thru hull with out difficulty....
Richard now remembers not bedding the thru hull when he put it on three years ago.....at the time he was thinking that he wanted to put bottom paint under the strainer....then he totally forgot. That was a long time ago!
An easy fix, but we needed to wait for the pier again....
they pulled another boat in the meantime....
Time for smiles and photo ops, while waiting for the next try....
So glad my parents made it!
My mom was a sunfish sailor from way back as a kid in Newport Beach...
OK....she gets her chance again....
I really don't think those are rabbit ears he is making behind Mark... 
Checking all the bilge areas...
And we are "Clear"....no further moisture....!  
 The straps are dropped, and the fenders down....
Mary takes the bow line to held guide her out....
 The hoist operators get REALLY long boat hooks out to prevent mishaps... 
Especially as she is engineless....
Helps to have lots of boat people help....
 Even the wild life comes to admire the new launch....
And the parents are relaxing....
Getting into the "Boat Zen"....
Time to move her away from dock at launch pier....
over to long dock out of the way, awaiting tow to her slip....
Not sure how Steve gets to ride while we all pull....
But he looks like he is doing a great job of supervising.....
Right into place...
Another tie up.... 
 
Is it all secure?
Smiles....
Richard is trying to clean up any wet mess prior to Jane going below....
Maybe she won't notice that her new galley towel was used to mop the bilge....
 
Time for some visiting....
And accepting the praises of passerbys... 
The arrival of our tow crew....
Being engineless is tough!
Hook her up.....
get those lines secured.... 
And lets see how she floats!
Out on the water at last!
And here is our line handling crew, at our slip....awaiting our arrival.

And time for the champagne!

Nice lines......
So nice to see her in the water!
Sitting beautifully on her designed water line!
Great job guys! You should both be proud!
 
 
A couple days later, beckon got a longer tow down to Point Hudson Marina, site of the Wooden Boat Festival.
It felt great to out on the water.....
A beautiful day for a tow.....
And again she is secure....
Such a beautiful venue for the festival....

The marina goes from maybe 45 boats in slips to about 150 boats tucked into every nook and cranny....
Here is the view from Beckon's porch....lots of fanfare and of course, beautiful wooden boats of every shape, size and age....
Our favorite part is all the friends we have made over the years...and sharing time together....
Boat people are a special breed....and this year we added Bart (Mark's brother from the bay area) and Mark's lovely friend Christine to the mix....
Unfortunately, Christine was mostly the photographer
and I can't find pictures of her in my batches....
 
She got lots of great pics....like this one of Richard "playing host"....
in other words, sucking down the chips and dip in front of Bart.....
there were about 4 pics of the same! Some training will be involved....
 
We also managed to rehook up with DeeDee and Dean of beautiful Unda...
and now they are local! Look forward to seeing them in the spring.......
 
Here is Beckon tucked in among her neighbors at the festival....
rubbing shoulders with royalty..
 
On Sunday all the boats leave the harbor and go for a sail around.....some leave for home at that time, others return for another night in harbor.
Dave Lesser graciously asked us to crew for him on his beautiful boat, since his wife was gone.....
What a beautiful, powerful rig.....she is gorgeous with every attention to detail.....
And of course Richard wanted a pic of him at the helm....
Dave doesn't look too nervous.......
 
 
Back at the port, we hosted our first party on board Beckon....
It included Orcas friends, North Carolina friends, and local Port Townsend friends.....
and yes, Cecil is shooting tequila!
No one minds being tight and cozy....such great friends.....
Janet and Cecil's launch of their Smaalders design should be soon in North Carolina... 
And as we are enjoying tequila, Mark and Christine are readying Haida
for the trip in the am....
they did manage to come on over, too. 


Always time for friends and beautiful boats.....
The next episode will be completing the rigging and receiving Beckon's sails.....
 
Thanks to everyone that has made this dream possible and so enjoyable....
 

6 comments:

  1. Hello Richard and Jane, Thankyou for posting your blog, I think its amazing! Well done with you project too ! I am a cabinetmaker living in the UK and have a great desire for a wooden boat, to possibly build one like yours, maybe a bit smaller. Can I ask you a few questions please, perhaps through my email..... neilcworthy@yahoo.co.uk

    Regards
    Neil

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  2. Inspirational! Just came across the blog and really enjoyed it. Can't wait to hear about you sailing her! Dan Houston (dan@classicsailor.com)

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  3. Quite an adventure, and so inspirational at a time when I need as much inspiration as I can get: I'm a few weeks into my build.

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  4. Hello Richard. I have thoroughly enjoyed following your progress; an absolutely stunning work of art! I have re-built an Ingrid 38, though not nearly to the same level of workmanship, and am in the process of fitting her with rails. Your use of red brass is striking, and I'd like to ask you a few questions. I can be reached at allen.rees@ahs.ca.

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  5. Hi Jane!

    Lorene forwarded this link, and I am in awe of your accomplishment! What a fulfilling journey and success. So good to see that creative and fun loving young grammar school girl still living life to the fullest! I must say that I am not surprised! Maybe we'll see you at the 40-year reunion? Would be so fun! Patti "Smith" McClurg

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  6. Really enjoyed your boat adventure. Stumbled on this while looking for photos of oxidized lead which was used as an ancient pigment in illuminated manuscripts.

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