CODBLOG25: Floating At Last

We didn’t want a big crowd for the first launch for Gwalch. There was too much to go wrong. The brass band and champagne would have to wait until we were sure the thing floated!

Although a mooring in the river had been arranged (gratis, thanks kindly to our new Harbour Master, Matthew Forbes) we needed to get it into the Marina after launching and this was arranged thanks to the Manager, Jon Roberts. Also thanks to Barry Sharples who allowed us to raft up alongside Musetta in the marina berth. We wanted to be able to pump it out if it took on a lot of water. Also, the Marina is so much easier if you’ve got work to do on the boat.

When the big day arrived we had a strong team in place at the Deganwy slipway. Keith brought the Guard Boat over the river while Gwalch was towed down with the faithful Suzuki. There was some discussion between the experts as to whether to put the mast up prior to launching or afterwards, alongside the jetty. The worry was that the boat would take on water and we may need to get it to the marina quickly. In the end it was Anne Grace who took charge here and on her command the boat was slipped into the water minus the mast. The launching actually went so smoothly it was almost an anti-climax!

Once off the trailer, Gwalch was pulled to the jetty for the mast to be fitted. This was the critrical point. What a relief when we found it was watertight and it wasn’t going to sink! Amidst all the euphoria the mast was stepped and secured. The boat was then towed round to Deganwy Marina and tied alongside Musetta where we can carry out the final tweaking. Result!

The next day Keith and I took her out for a sail. The original sails for Gwalch have gone missing so for this sail we used the ones off Kandahar. They probably hadn’t been out of the bag for 30 years or so but they don’t look too bad. We had a lovely little sail around the bay. Roland Young and Patrick Roobottom in turn shared this maiden flight with us (potential participants for the future perhaps?).

Two days to go. Gwalch IS going to make it to the Menai Straits Regatta this year. Hoorah! Hoorah!

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