E.T. Bugaboo Launch Day
by Steven Roberts
The ET Bugaboo was launched in Duxbury Bay
at Powder Point, near our home in Marshfield Massachusetts.
There was a West Northwest wind, blowing from the shore
at 16mph with gusts close to 20mph. This was a little intimidating
for trying out a new small craft (I almost bagged the idea
of sailing and considered just rowing, instead). Since the
water temperature was what you would expect for May, I wore
my wetsuit... just in case.
The ceremony went something like:
RESPONSIVE READING :
Dave: For thousands of years, we
have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us
and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture
and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately
call them "she." To them we toast, and ask to
celebrate the ET Bugaboo.
All: (glass raised) TO THE SAILORS
OF OLD…TO THE ET BUGABOO (sip)
Dave: The moods of the sea are many,
from tranquil to violent. We ask that this ship be given
the strength to carry on. The boards are strong and she
keeps out the pressures of the sea.
All: (glass raised) TO THE SEA...TO
THE SAILORS OF OLD...TO THE SEA (sip)
Dave: Today we come to name this
lady ET Bugaboo, and send her to sea to be cared for,
and to care for the Roberts family. We ask the sailors
of old and the mood of God that is the sea to accept ET
Bugaboo as her name, to help her through her passages,
and allow her to return with her crew safely.
All: (glass raised) TO THE SEA...TO
THE SAILORS BEFORE US...TO THE ET BUGABOO (last long sip)
LISA PERFORMS CHRISTENING
I christen thee, ET Bugaboo. May you and all who
sail in you be blessed with a safe journey. (pour champagne
BRENNA AND MOLLY PLACE BRANCHES OF GREEN
LEAVES ON FORWARD SEAT.
STEVEN SAILS OFF INTO THE HORIZON
I'm sure many just care about one thing... "how did
she perform". Unfortunately, I can't comment accurately
on this based on my 20 minutes of sailing. Had the wind
been a bit more tame or the water temperature less cold
(or if I at least knew that I could successfully perform
a self-rescue and get myself back in the boat if I went
over) then I would have been less timid about presenting
a bit more canvas to the wind and letting her fly. She floated
and I had no problem getting out and back with a few tacks.
You will notice in a couple of the pictures that the bow
is riding a little high. This seems to be the case from
the pictures of Eric Walburgh and Kerry Swart, as well.
I was sitting in the middle of the aft floor. The hull might
be better trimmed for single-handed sailing if one sits
as close to the center thwart as possible, or if some ballast
was put on the forward floor.
Given the conditions, I was not comfortable bringing others
out under sail. So, everyone took turns being rowed around
A spritless ET Bugaboo is
ready for her big day
After putting so much
time into this boat, I decided that only a semi-traditional
christening/launch would suffice. The attendees for
the launch ceremony included my wife, kids, and parents.
leads the group in a traditional "responsive reading"
Lisa christens ET Bugaboo
Brenna places a branch of
green leaves in the bow
Molly (with a little help
from Mom) places her branch in the bow
A final check of the rigging
The first trick is to get
in without making too much of a scene
... and we're off
The REAL wind is out here.
As soon as I was beyond the point... WHAM!!!!
That will do for today
I need a 3rd arm. By the
way, the weighted centerboard worked nicely (didn't float
up in its case)
Lisa and Brenna went out
for the first row. Lisa tried out the push/pull tiller while
Brenna helped row (paddle).
Dave took a spin behind
Ruth was content just being
a passenger while Brenna and I ferried here around the bay.
Molly was not to be left
... but, she wasn't quite
sure what to make of it.
Notes from the following days sail:
What a difference a day makes.
I was feeling quilty for not getting much of a sail in,
yesterday. Since I had a couple of hours free this morning,
I went back to the water for another shot at it.
Today, it was blowing a steady 7mph from the Northeast...
perfect. This is the type of sailing I was imagining as
I was sucking in epoxy fumes. A nice relaxing reach across
the bay to a little isolated beach where I layed out and
had my peanut butter and fluff sandwich and soaked up the
rays, then another reach back. I only wish I remembered
to bring a book... I might have hung out longer.
On the way back I tried out various points of sail. She
flew while running, and didn't seem too shabby beating.
There are two changes that I want to make:
1) lengthen my rudder deployment line and have it rigged
so that it is in easy reach. What a pain to have to hang
over the back to deploy or release it from the cleat.
2) Taper the gooseneck end of the boom. It is just wide
enough that while the sail is out (as when I was running),
it digs into the mast.