Launch day is always a bit fraught for the wooden boat owner. Will it float is the question, and for how long?
Tupperware boat owners of course know nothing of this; it’s drop in, drive off for them, assuming of course they closed the sea cocks.
This year was especially worrying with the newly replaced stuffing box being the prime cause of angst, not only had it been difficult to fix in place with access tricky with the engine in place but the stern tube had to be shortened to match the new stern bearing. An excess of Sikaflex seems to have done the trick but it will be a while before I feel confident that all is well.
My mind was distracted from this problem when the hoist driver and his mate chose an unusual way out of a blocked exit, if you can’t go round go over was their chosen method. It looked pretty alarming to see Crunluath take to the air to fly over a small powerboat but she flew with ease and not a scratch anywhere thanks to some fancy pilotage. Well flown Ian and John!
A few small weeps from the planks taking up and all was well, by the time I left the pump was only operating once an hour. If you have a wooden boat and don’t have a bilge monitor, get one, you’ll sleep easier!
A voice calling from a nearby boat as I made my way to my pontoon led to a delightful meeting with the son of a former owner of Crunluath. Gordon’s family owned her for 18 years competing in events around the Clyde and west coast of Scotland, coming on board again he was pleased to recognise many original parts and identify his old bunk! It was great to have this link with my boat’s past, it makes the cold winter days of work and the lost nights of sleep all seem worth while. I promised to keep her until we can celebrate her 50th year, hope I make it as well as the boat.
“On board the boat, it’s not sinking” I emailed to my offspring. “How’s it going”, hailed Gordon the following morning. “It’s not sinking”, I replied.
Flying, floating, not sinking. That’ll do me for the moment.
ps: A few days after writing this piece I noticed the name of the boat over which Crunluath is flying….Flying Boat!