The launching master informed me today that he could not put ‘Bumper’ in her element. He has his priorities and my yacht is not one of them, but some progress has been made, because my small yacht has been transferred to a trailer for conveying her to the crane; so perhaps tomorrow it may be her turn to fly over the sea wall while dangling like a puppet on a wire.
One of the launching crew may do me a favour by twisting the main halyard block at the top of the mast. For perfection it needs to be rotated 180 degrees in a clockwise direction – that’s looking from above – to enable the fall to exit on the starboard side of the mast. The previous owner made the mistake of having the fall on the port side, but because the deck fairleads and jamming cleats are on the starboard side it’s better to have all the running rigging operated from that side of the mast.
A volunteer from the launching crew will have to be hoisted by the crane to the top of the mast while sitting in a bosun’s chair. In that elevated position he will cut the wire which stops the block shackle from coming loose; then he will remove the shackle before twisting the block 180 degrees and refastening it. Finally, he will need to wire the shackle.
When that’s done and ‘Bumper’ has been launched she will be shunted by the work boat to her mooring. Then I shall have to check the underwater hull fittings to see if they are watertight. The engine will need to be run for testing the cooling water, and both the forward and reverse gears will have to be engaged. That’s the only sure way of checking the stern gland to find out if it is watertight while under load. I’ll have to make a couple of turns on the stern gland grease dispenser which feeds the ‘stuffing box’ with grease via a plastic tube. The function of the grease is to lubricate and seal the shaft.
If I’m happy all is well with the boat I’ll leave her on her mooring until Friday, because there is an atrocious weather forecast for Thursday, and I have things to do ashore.