Launch day arrives, February 10, 2007. The boat will not be done for 6 more months, but the hull is finished and it is time to get it in the water. The tractor once again pulls Jakatan out of the shed.
Here she is leaving the shed for the last time, or so we thought.
She looks great.
Me, Bob Perry, Bent Jespersen, and Eric Jespersen. Bob is the only one not smiling. Maybe architects worry the most at launching.
We have to push the boat sideways on the railway to get closer to the crane and the water. We have done this before, but today it doesn't want to move.
In addition to the tractor, everyone grabs a pry bar or pushes. A truck in the parking lot is also pulling and spinning its wheels. The boat moves a total of six inches and will go no more.
After much effort, it is decided to put the boat partially back in the shed so the marine railway carriage can be inspected. Moving back the six inches gained is equally hard. The problem turns out to be that the middle wheels on the carriage are frozen, but nothing this heavy has been moved in many years so it was unnoticed. The only thing to do today is apply a lot of grease to the rails and hope we can slide it.
A couple of hours was lost but the boat is finally in position. Many friends and neighbors are there. Champagne and juice are passed out, words are said.
Daughter Anne gets the responsibility of breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow. Excellent job Anne.
The crane lifts the schooner in the air, swings over the water and down she goes.
As soon as the boat is settled, the crane lifts each mast in turn and they are stepped.
It is a tradition to place a gold coin under the masts of sailing ships. In the old days it was believed to bring good luck to the ship. We didn't have gold coins, but the Canadian dime has a picture of the famous Nova Scotian schooner the Blue Nose. What could be better? There is one coin under each mast on Jakatan. Here is the one under the fore-mast.
With Mike at the helm, Jakatan leaves on its first voyage, about 50 meters around the bend to a slip just outside the boat shed. There is a lot more work to go.