Building the Eun Mara "Skerry"
Launch day! - 27 August 2011
The building frame was started in October 2003. After nearly eight years, Skerry was launched on 27 August 2011.
This page describes launching the unrigged boat to test the hull integrity and the auxiliary electric propulsion system. Although I have spars and sails from Ibis, it will be a few months before Skerry is ready to go sailing.
Where did all this space come from? Where's Skerry?
THERE she is - in the carport! (Just next to her baby sister, Grebe.)
Helpful son Tim and I rolled her out without too much trouble. We got the necessary extra height simply by taking off the upper stops from the roller door, which allowed us to raise it manually a few inches higher than normal.
On the public road...
...through the traffic...
...to Lotus Bay (Lake Burley Griffin), where there is a jetty and two launching ramps. The Nissan X-Trail (4WD, 2 litre turbo-diesel, towing capacity 2000kg) pulled the rig with ease, though there were no significant hills.
We travelled fairly slowly, but many cars hovered off our tail for a longer look before passing.
Janet and Richard with their new baby.
There was a great turnout of friends, as well as a few passers-by, who watched the momentous event. It's a good job Janet had put together a great picnic lunch
My friend Dave volunteered to ride down with her, in case of mishaps requiring attention from inside the boat. I had done a trial run at this ramp a few weeks earlier with the empty trailer, and was reasonably confident that I could reverse the X-Trail sufficiently far into the water to float Skerry off.
This proved to be the case, though she's not quite floating in this image...
...or in this one (I must remember to disconnect the winch and safety chain a bit earlier next time)...
...but with the X-Trail rear wheel hubs just submerged, Stephen has gently hauled her off.
Floating at last! What a cute looking boat.
Now's the time to gather round to check her out.
Grand-kids Douglas, Evelyn and Owen, who had helped with the construction, were among the first boarders (along with ring-in Alexander).
And here's me looking relieved and not quite so stressed out. I'd checked the obvious places for leaks, but all was OK.
Being a cautious sort of person, I went for the first "cruise" with a 50m tether running from samson post to Stephen (on the jetty), just in case of motor or steering problems. However, the RE-E-Power 2000+ motor worked flawlessly. The steering was OK, though the turning circle was not great. I still need to come to grips with how the offset-to-starboard motor affects the steering.
Cruising along nicely, leaving a satisfactory wake. The current draw at this point was around 15 amps (so 720 watts of power being delivered by the 48 volt battery pack).
Perhaps a bit low in the water, but 270kg of batteries must have some effect! This shot also shows how I've positioned the ammeter, which is not weather proof, so you can see it through the starboard port-light. It's pivoted on a vertical axis so I can rotate it to be visible from the starboard seat as well.
Time to check out the the rudder's drop-down panel.
Almost ready to motor over to the other jetty where the trailer is waiting.
It took a couple of attempts to get the boat centered on the trailer for recovery. Like other builders, I'll have to work out an appropriate strategy.
Douglas helped me work through the "Ready for towing" check-list that I'd put together...
...and we were soon on our way.
What a great day.