Launch day was a success! Launching a dry wooden lapstrake hull involves the process of the boat’s planks swelling up. This makes the boat become watertight again. This can take hours, or sometimes days. It can mean a lot of bailing and pumping. The best part of slipping Quinque into Maple Bay this week was that she didn’t leak one drop. Hurrah!
I took the dry bilge as a good omen and decided to go for a sail. I readied the masts and gear for the short sail to the slip at Bird’s Eye Cove Marina. During my leisurely pottering to get the boat in order, the wind in the bay piped up and whitecaps began to break around me. I raised sail and the boat responded with forward motion. Gathering speed, I put the helm down to tack the boat, during which the foresail’s downhaul mysteriously shook itself loose and went over the side. How that could happen is a mystery, as it was tied with a bowline at one end and belayed to a cleat at the other. I blame the wind. Without a downhaul the foresail was turned into a barn door prone to the wind. I jumped forward and scanned the boat for a chunk of line to replace the downhaul, only to look aft and see that the mainsail’s flogging sheet had taken a turn around the picnic anchor. I made a gasp similiar to Doc Brown in Back to the Future.
Without the foresail, Quinque aimed herself at the nearest moored vessel and refused to go anywhere else. Sensing a compounding of issues I doused the sails and took up oars. I rowed the remaining mile to the marina in a lumpy sea without any further mishaps.
Quinque is now tucked into her spot and waits for a proper outing under sail. To avoid a repeat performance of launch day, I’ve spliced the downhaul into the tack on each sail and I’ve stowed the picnic anchor in a better location. I kind of had my hands full that day, but I promise to take some photos next time.