June 2, 2018 – Launching Day

Milestone of milestones, after 18 months on the builder’s ways, the day has come for Grey Fox to taste salt water! However, the builder’s ways are a building cradle in my garage, and the ocean is several miles away. I need to get this rather large dinghy off the cradle, out of the garage and onto to the trailer. That should be no problem, just rig a lifting mechanism from the ceiling rafters of the garage, lift the boat up, remove the cradle, wheel the trailer into the garage under the boat, lower it and you’re in business. EXCEPT – years ago I gave up on ever wheeling a car into my garage, and built a patio where part of the driveway used to be. And we replaced the old apron ramp down to the garage with three stair steps. So the trailer will remain in the driveway and I need some human lifting power to pick up the boat and carry it there.

Fortunately, with glued-lapstrake construction and 6mm-thick planks, this big dinghy, with everything that is removable out of it (floorboards, seats) weighs only about/ a guess of 200 pounds. I plus 5 other people should be able to manage that carry.

I advertise a “Coming Out Party” – that is, the boat is coming out of the garage — and use the promise of free food and drinks and a complete tour of the newly built yacht to induce even more friends than I need to help with the task. 10 or 12 friends, acquaintances, build-helpers and curious come over and Grey Fox is on the trailer in no time. Oh, the thrill of stepping the masts for the first time and seeing that it actually looks like a sailboat when viewed from more than 4 feet away! First moment of truth is whether the masts will even fit in their steps and partners… just barely, but yes. We have a sailboat!


Author: Larchmont Jim

A 50-something investment banker from Larchmont, New York (about 15 miles from midtown Manhattan). Amateur small boat sailer, boatbuilder, kayaker, musician. I grew up spending summers sailing the New England coast on my grandfather’s beautiful 47’ 1952 Sparkman & Stevens wooden yawl. I’ve lived in Larchmont, a major and historic sailing center on Long Island Sound, for 25 years, but career and family obligations kept me off the water for all of my 30s and 40s, and only about 7 years ago did I get back on the water, first in sea kayaks, and then in small boats.

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