Friday, December 21, 2012

Launching of the Rage

The past several days have seen a flurry of activity at Lighthouse Marina and Boatyard, preparing the Abaco Rage to be put back in the water. Dave, Jim, and Will worked a whole day on repairing the mast step, reinforcing it with an aluminum plate and fiberglass work. This is where the mast sits on the keel.

The area that they have to work in is so small. Here is Jim under the deck sistering the sheer clamp.

They also had to put a bushing in the rudder gudgeon.

Yesterday was launch day and the Rage was picked up with straps attached to the forklift.

Then it was placed in the water in the travel lift well.

Next came the hard part of raising the 60 ft. mast. Normally the freight boat would do this with its crane, but today it was unavailable due to the amount of supplies being delivered (I've never seen it that full...Christmas rush time). Instead, the mast was tied to the forklift and lifted into place.

 It took a bit of maneuvering to get it in the right spot.

Meanwhile Dave held the headstay towards the stern, so that the mast couldn't fall forward.

Then it was time to sort out all the lines, stays, and shrouds.

The headstay ended up getting fouled around the top of the mast, so Rich tried lassoing it from up on the forklift.
Unfortunately that didn't work, so Dave had to once again go up in a bosun's chair and straighten it all out. It took several hours to rig everything, all the while, the bilge pump was going on every few minutes. The crew said that it takes about a week for the wood to swell up after being on dry land all summer.

What a great experience it was, watching the whole launch process. Even the boatyard manager exclaimed about how launching and rigging the Rage is like no other sailboat that he's dealt with before.

Now it proudly floats on its mooring in the harbor, ready to start racing in the Hope Town Sailing Club's winter regattas.

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