Friday, July 22, 2011

Launching ‘Talitha’

Trolley attached

On her side

Ideally I would like to be able to launch ‘Talitha’ directly from her road trailer when her keel is in place. To do this I shall have to modify her trailer or buy a purpose-built one. Meanwhile I’ve come up with a system that I think will be satisfactory.

It goes like this: Firstly, on arriving at the top of a slipway, attach the trolley to her skeg and position the boat on her port side while she is still on the trailer. Do not unhitch the trailer from the car. Re-position the boat so that her keel box is slightly aft of the trailer’s rear support beam, and the port side of her transom rests on the ground, while being protected from damage with a soft pad. Slot home the keel and add the starboard weight; then lock them together and attach the keel haul wire to the pulley system, making sure it is taught. Set the boat upright before gently pushing her astern until more and more weight is taken by her trolley. Continue moving her astern until she is completely free of the road trailer. You are now ready to walk her down the slipway, but take care, because some slipways are very slippery! When the boat has been launched, remove her trolley and put it in a secure place, perhaps the boot of the car.

Weight being taken by her trolley

Ready for launching

I have found it is generally better to rig a boat before launching her. The alternative is to accept a fair amount of wading around the boat to get the job done. The rudder may need attaching after the boat has been launched.

I have carried out a ‘dry’ run of these proceedings on my driveway, but the acid test will come when I do it for real.

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