Launch Day We are IN the Water

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…Island Spirit heads for the water…

It has been 12 days of living out of the car, hotel rooms and a time share condo. Today the Hinckley Yard launched our boat! These transitions from land to water are always exciting and always full of action. This launch was most unusual because once we hit the water, there was no place for us to go, no dock for us to move into, as all were full. That meant we had to have the boat ready to live on right away at anchor.

Radeen sending bags up to the Deck

This meant hauling all our bags, food, propane, dinghy gas, and various items up from the car, up the 8 foot stern ladder and onto the deck! Some of this loading we did using ropes. Radeen would tie the lifting canvas bags to the rope I tossed down to her and then I would pull it up to the deck, We have never had to do this before! Imagine, all your food, clothes and travel gear is in your car, on the ground. The boat deck in a parking lot is 8 feet off the ground. Now, move everything onboard! WHAT? You see, normally you launch a boat and then move it into a slip and then pull your car nearby and load it all into a dock cart and you wheelbarrow it down to dock and walk it onto the boat. Not this time! One minute after the boat was launched, we boarded the bow in the haul out slip, started the engine, backed out, spun around and drove off. We ran 8 miles west, around the town of Stuart, and dropped the anchor in the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. We watched the sunset, had a great dinner onboard and we should sleep well tonight!

Living out of the car for 12 days, a challenge

Tomorrow, we need to get the dinghy off the deck, add the 15hp outboard, add the 6 gallon fuel tank and fire it up so we can get back to shore. That will be Tue. Then Wed we move to the service dock at Apex Marine where Mack Sails will be working on our mast, installing the new 4G digital radar antenna and new B&G anemometer. We hope to have this electronics package up and running soon for testing. But first, let’s make this boat livable….

Hear are some photos.

Getting propane, we need coffee in the AM

Here is the process of how a boat is launched.
(That is, a boat that cannot be towed with a car or truck)
This service is included with the storage fee.

The travel lift arrives, notice it is U shaped at the top.

The travel lift backs over and around the boat

The lift operators run lifting straps under the boat
These slings are then pinned together with a very large bar

The lifting straps are tightened and then pick up the boat

Once lifted, the jack stands are removed

The left over bottom paint is used to touch up where the boat was resting on blocks

The travel lift operator drives the lift with the boat to the water

They keep the boat only a foot off the ground
so if the hydraulics fail then it does not fall too far, but damage would still be bad
This boat weighs in at about 18,000 lbs

Radeen looks back as Island Spirit slowly heads to the water

There she is, hanging over the water, and then will be lowered down
We climbed on over the bow

YEAR #6 Selfie, we love this cruising life and cannot believe it has been 5 years!

Our first sunset at anchor, cool and breezy….perfect!

Sunset off the stern of Island Spirit on anchor, Stuart, Florida

Our first job in the morning will be to get the dinghy off the deck and rigged and running. Then we will have transportation to get to shore. Wednesday, our new 4G radar will be installed. Exciting times, Refit #3. Thank you for sailing along.

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0 Replies to “Launch Day We are IN the Water”

  1. Congratulations on being back in the water. Job well done. I can only imaging how difficult it was hoisting all the clothes and groceries up in the boat.

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