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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.