Grenada Launch Day

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We did it, after 5 days of boat yard work we launched the boat here in Clark’s Court Grenada at 0900! SHE FLOATS, ENGINE STARTED, we did not sink! even after doing this every year since 1991, we still get very nervous doing this. There are so many aspects that could go wrong, and there are many systems that have not been running, we get very nervous until we are floating and docked and secured.

It is so hot, we are soaked every day by 9 am, and during noon to 2 pm you have to take cover and get out of the sun. Here we are, 9am and the boat is picked up. We started at 8am

Launching with a tractor and hydraulic trailer

We have not seen this set up before pulling into here in May. This hydraulic trailer is incredible and our boat at 18,000 lbs is a dinghy for this machine. The driver can make the rig wider, taller, lower, and tilt. It is really interesting to see. 

The lifting trailer backing up to our boat

Move the Jack Stands!

In order to back the trailer under the boat, they need to remove the jack stands. Notice how they re position them at an angle allowing for room for the trailer! This looks so dangerous, we stayed back.

The jack stands are cleared but a few are put back at an angle to hold the boat.

Back up the trailer!

The driver then backs this massive trailer under the yacht while the helpers help with direction. The trailer is in the lowest position right now. Look at how close the frame is to the ground and wheels.

The trailer is backed under the yacht

Raise the Hydraulic rams

The large rams then are raised up taking the load of the yacht but they do nto lift the yacht. First the process is to get these rams up and tight against the yacht. Then all the remaining jack stands can be removed.

The rams are raised and pressed against the yacht

Jack up the trailer

Next the entire trailer is lifted as the frame hydrailic rams press the frame vertically. Notice the frame and the wheels now, the entire yacht and frame are pushed up and the yacht is now lifted off the ground. That is 18,000 lbs mininum and more like 20,000 lbs due to all the extra gear we have loaded onboard. So, 10 tons lifted and off it goese.

The frame of the trailer now is lifted up

There she goes

Island Spirit is headed for the water on a trailer with a tractor. OMG! How crazy is that? We then move the car and follow along with the rig.

Riding the trailer to the water
We are in company with RUTH, the 100 foot tall ship also heading to the water in the 240 ton travel lift,
Very cool photo, Island Spirit with RUTH, 35 foot vs 100 foot
Look at the scale of this mega yacht

Back her down the ramp

This part was interesting as Radeen and I had to climb a ladder to the board the yacht. We then had to ride it down the ramp and into the water. Then when the boat was deep enough we had to check all thru hulls and start the engine and get water flowing and cooling and then, they let us free. We backed away and with 20-25 knots of ENE winds blowing we are feeling the rush. It is always so wild….what if….will drive you crazy.

Backing into the water

Off we go, our first leg

Drive from the ramp to the marina and dock. Get your dock lines ready, hope and pray the engine keeps running, hope and pray the anchor is ready, get your fenders down, get to the dock.

Radeen is getting the lines and fenders ready

Success, leg #1 completed

We did it. Leg one is finished. We launched and moved 200 yards to the dock. Notice that the dinghy needs launched, the staysail needs installed. The jib needs installed, we never do these on the jack stands as that is not safe.  We need to finish these jobs today, which we did, and then check out of here and move over to the town of St. Georges where we will dock at Port St. Lucie where they have electric and water on the dock. No services here.

Island Spirit on the dock, day one Dec 10, 2019
Dinner on the dock over looking the marina with a nearly full moon rising

A celebration Beer

Ahhhhh a cold one to celebrate and dinner with Dean and Kim. Let the good times start. Enough work….

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8 Replies to “Grenada Launch Day”

  1. Fantastic!
    I would never have imagined a Rube Goldberg device like that trailer would actually work…and then moving the stands with nothing holding the boat!!! Wow

    But you’re off….wonderful

  2. I really like the tractor hydraulic lift as opposed to a travel lift.You get to leave your backstay attached so no readjusting standing rigging.Up and in.Done deal

  3. Looks great guys. Enjoy the nice warm weather. We had snow up home last night. Glad everything is done and working. Happy travels. Jim

  4. Yikes! Even my blood pressure was going up reading this! Quite a rig though. Have never seen that so it’s true, you learn something new every day! Happy sailing! Looking forward to your adventure. Loretta and Jim Elliott s/v Plan Sea

  5. You know that I hate you guys :-)). It snowed here in Rock Hall this morning!! They lifted my 27 Wyes Guy the same way down at Herrington Harbor. Very impressive.

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