4th September - What Happened Next
Well its finally here, the last chapter “what did we do with her after all that work”. As promised we left her for a good few weeks for the topcoat to fully cure and whilst we scratched our chins a lot, working out how we might get her out of the shed!
Putting her in was an easy task, as nobody was overly concerned by the odd knock or scrape. But taking her out and away was a different matter all together, especially as the memory of countless hours of painting by all those people was still fresh in our minds.
Following a lot of phone calls and organisation at both ends, the pick up and transport across to the Lake District had been arranged for Monday the 5th September. But given that she would be leaving site on the back of a wagon we had the unenviable task of getting her down a steep bank and into the bottom yard of our manufacturing facility first.Being able to lay your hands on several Fork Lift trucks at once really helps
The advantage of working on such a large site is the ability to commandeer forklift trucks and experienced people to help with the task, the disadvantage is that you have to do all this on a Sunday so you don’t get in the way of running a manufacturing facility. So at 6am on a lovely Sunday morning we set about moving her, with an intricate display or fork lift truck driving and some very worried expressions from all concerned. But several hours later she was safe in the bottom yard without a scratch on her.Job done, all ready for collection on Monday
Moving day had arrived and again it was a crack of dawn start to make sure we were well out of the way before the factory started. Having made two shorter braces the day before both hulls could now be picked up at once, and with the haulage company’s huge crane it was as simple as picking her up and placing her down very gently on the back of the flat bed wagon. With the mast and other ancillaries all loaded it was off to Derwent Water and Nichol End Marine in the Lake District.All ready for the off
Navigating the lane to Nichol end took pin point precision but soon it was time to lift her back off and whilst we were all sure she would be fine, there were a few nervous glances as she pitched at the bow before being lowered to the ground.We weren’t worried in the slightest!!
However all in all the transport had been a success and sat on the ground at Nichol End we were agonisingly close to having her back in the water.
With work getting in the way of all the fun we were having, it wasn’t until the end of the week that we could start to complete the final assembly and rigging. The day started nice and early with the last push to get her in the water, and I mean literally push!. Suspended on two mobile frames we manhandled her down to the waters edge and after donning a couple of dry suits walked her into the water and then slipped her off the slings. No matter how much planning and logic tell you its all going to be fine, the sense of relief when she actually floated and was tied to the jetty was immense. She Floats !!!!
Following a cup of tea and the now infamous (but lovely) Nichol End scone, it was on with the rest of the rigging. This is where some past experience really helped so Nick Ball from the Calvert Trust was on hand to try and remember where everything was before we had taken her away. All I can say is that it took a lot longer than expected. As we methodically worked our way through re-fitting the braces, trampolines and various ropes, each job just seemed to take that little bit longer and so it was with very weary arms, that as the sun began to set we finally hoisted the mast into position. She looked great but it would be the best part of another days work before she would be ready to sail As the light beings to fade we fix the mast into position
With other work commitments for all involved and some rather serious storms in Cumbria, it was another two weeks before we could get everyone back together for the final rigging. Fresh from a couple of weeks off we set about completing the final jobs, and with another glorious Lake District day to work in, it was just after lunch before she was deemed ready for the test sail.
Having dug out the newly cleaned sails and started our re-mounted outboard we set off in search of some wind so that we could get the sails up, see if all the work tuning the mast had resulted in it being straight and that the hundreds of bolts we had taken out cleaned and refitted would actually hold her all together.
With the Main sheet up and the Gib out we gently sailed off towards the North end of the lake. It felt great, nothing was missing, everything looked immaculate and with all the new or recently cleaned components it was hard to believe that she was over 20 years old.
It was then that we spotted some lovely white horses at the far end of the lake and what turned out to be a nice strong force 5 blowing. It was also at this point that I realised I was somewhat under dressed for getting wet. To say she is fast would be an understatement, and with only limited sailing experience under my belt the pick up of speed in a Catamaran was somewhat surprising, so 10mins later utterly soaked and with the widest grin possible we deemed the test sail a success and headed in to shore.A glorious day and just look at that gloss26th September
So the time had come to officially hand her back to the Calvert Trust and for the third time in a row the Cumbrian Weather played nice as we pulled together all the parties involved for a small photo shoot and another opportunity to take her for a sail. L-R Nick Ball, Jan Monaghan, Nick Liley, Stuart Melville, Rodger Newby, Natasha Newby, Rachel Stephenson, Craig Dallison
The wind wasn’t quite the same as our test day and even with the Gennaker up we couldn’t muster much speed, but sat back on the trampolines the smiles from everyone said it all.
From now on she will be based on Derwent Water and being just down the road from the Calvert Trust’s base in Keswick will enable them to run half day sailing as part of their activities,
It will also be a real boost to their outreach programme as she will be available for hire through Nichol End Marine offering sailing opportunities to able and disabled sailors alike.
From all the people involved at International Yacht Paint it has been great to make a genuine contribution to the work of the Calvert Trust and the lives of the people it works with, and hopefully the new lease of life we have given the boat can be enjoyed by all who sail her for years to come.What it’s all about