After about three years of part-time work, seemingly endless
winters and more than a few interruptions, I finally launched
Friday (Aug. 6, 2010). There are still a few odds and ends to
complete, and a list of projects to enhance both the boat and
the experience to undertake. But, I scheduled a vacation day,
told a few friends and stuck to it.
So, I spent a couple of hours at the sailboat rigging area while
my family and friends found other ways to occupy themselves. Please
ignore any blue tape seizings or dangling lines that may be visible
in the pictures.
We launched from the public ramp at Williams Bay on Geneva Lake,
just across the border in Wisconsin, about two hours north. It’s
about a mile wide, and seven or eight miles long – big enough
for a first outing. We got lucky with a sunny day in the mid-80s,
and winds just under 10 mph (though a bit unsteady).
I invited Chris Feller, a fellow boat builder, to join me, my
wife Audra, daughter Ava, and son Henry for the initial launch.
Chris is an experienced sailor, familiar with Geneva Lake, and
is sensitive to the boat builder’s anxieties that come along
with launching a new boat. Despite three adults and two children
(and a pile of gear that never got stowed properly), we had plenty
of room. At one point both kids were stretched out, sound asleep,
and the adults still had plenty of room to be comfortable.
Ava at the helm
Two other friends were nice enough to take some time away from
work to come celebrate the launch, bringing their own boats along,
providing platforms from which to take a few photos of the boat
on the water and under sail. That's Dave Seaberg in the Pearson
30 in the background of several shots and Mike Sandell in his
All went surprisingly smooth. The boat was very well behaved
and it was fun to play around with the split rig. Despite our
inexperience with the yawl rig, the boat was determined to go
5 knots. I’m looking forward to some more wind and getting
the sails in nice trim on a broad reach!
Geneva Lake is home to both sailboats and an enormous number
of power boats. We had ample opportunity to sail through confused
chop and wakes with no pounding and minimal pitching – very
nice and comfortable motion.