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Brad's Boats (Building & cruising the "Leah Gent")

Launching Day

bradsboat.jpg
It floats!!! This is a great day.

4/8/04   The boat is, for the first time, in the care of others for the first time in two years. I'll sleep well tonight knowing that there is nothing I can do but wait untill tomorrow for the launch. There is a 40 foot hole in front of the boat shop. It looks bare. Tonight I feel the same feelings as when the kids went off to college. Empty. 




4/9/04    We arrived in Bayboro on the way to Oriental around 2 pm and stopped at a marine store to buy more docklines. A note about docklines: docklines at the local lakes are always too short for coastal waters. It's been that way on every boat I've ever had so I should have known better. We have been back to the store twice! Back to Bayboro...... I step up to the counter to pay for the lines and he notices the line drawing of the boat on my shirt and asks if the boat just went buy his store earlier. We were scheduled to launch in 2 hours and he just saw the boat. Interesting. The boat was supposed to be in Oriental early that morning so I'm more than a little curious. It turns out the driver (Dale) had a seal go bad on one of the trailer wheels and had to have it repaired. The boat was fine. Dale said he had a lot of other truckers ask him to just deliver the boat to their homes instead of taking it to Oriental. Cool, huh! We arrived in Oriental to find the boat near the side of the road at another boat yard and went looking for the driver or anyone else that could help. In the end the boat make it to the dock for the launch and the the guys at Triton Yacht sales have been great.


 


The Launch:  Allen Arnfast at Sailcraft Marina will always be my first choice for any work I need done. He managed to get the travel lift to the boat and off the trailer with what turned out to be a few hours notice and lots of other boats waiting for attention. Allen is a neat guy. He makes things happen. No fuss, they just get done. I like that. The boat was lowered near the water and the travel lift was shut down and we proceeded to have a proper christening and launching. Phil Brice brought the champange as agreed upon when I first started the frames. There were about 20 people in attendance. Paul and Holley from Tennessee were there. They have a set of plans and hope to start building soon. Hope they were inspired! Lots of other family and friends and a few people from Oriental as well. News of a launching, espesically a wooden boat, travels fast in this boat town. The champagne was uncorked unanounced (we never found the cork) and a quick toast and then she went in the water. I felt like we were on Letterman playing his game, "Will it Float?". The lift was lowered and she floated perfectly on her waterline. The waterline is figured out by the designer and if all was figured right, the boat floats right at that line. You hope but you never know for sure until you hit the water. She was level in all directions. My perfect day!! Tom Lathrop was a big help (thanks Tom) getting me in the slip and tied up. In fact, Tom and Liz have been great hosts for our first nights in Oriental. We did some turns and tried backing up to see how the boat handled and I had the bright idea to back it into the slip in a crosswind. Crashed and burned in front of everyone. The rub rails work great. Attempt #2, bow first, worked a lot better. We will be docking bow first for a while. Deb and I spent the first night in a hotel wishing we were on the boat.


 


4/10/04    Back to the boat for tours and rides. I put seven people, full fuel and water onboard and a' riding we went. Mark Van Abbema was correct when he said these boats pound in a head sea. It was blowing about 15 and a good test for a first voyage. The pounding was not as bad as I had expected. 15 degrees off the wind it rides just fine. Downwind is a lot like most sailboats, lazy and nice. A better landing at the dock this time but still not great. With nothing in the water at the bow to grab the water there is a tendency for the bow to blow off in a breeze. Another note: When I installed the motor I lined the cavatation plate up with the bottom of the hull as per the instructions from Mercury. The point I overlooked is that the bottom of the boat is only in the water a scant 3" at the transom. Had I ordered a 25" shaft on the motor instead of the standard 20" I would be able to back up much better. As it is I will need to pull the boat out of the water and cut down the transom to get the motor under the water more. I have also ordered a small bow thruster from Vetus and will install it at the same time I have the boat out of the water. The results will be of interest to other builders.


 


4/15/04    Well we have been here for almost a week now and find out new things about the boat everyday. We went for a ride yesterday to put some time on the motor and after getting past the break in time I had to find out "what she would do".  It appears we will need to go to a prop with more pitch. The 9" pitch we have now is a little flat and an 11" should do better. We got 11.1 knots at 6000 rpm for just a second or two. I didn't trim the motor and only gave it a few seconds at high rpms but I think it will go 12 knots or so with the other prop. These numbers are about what I expected and hoped for. Cruise speeds appear to be in the 7-8 knot range at 3500 rpm. I did make a quick and dirty cavatation plate out of aluminum and it does help the backing problem  but I will still drop the motor some. Cold weather has kept us plugged into the dock but we hope to get out tomorrow and take a longer ride.  Everyone who comes by the boat have had good things to say. The design gets a lot of looks and comments and it is taking a while to get used to all the attention. Ken, part of the local flavor, came by and proclaimed that "Anyone who can build a boat like that is welcome to use my wood shop, and I have the best wood shop in Oriental". And he does!! I have taken him at his word and the spars for the lifting mast are at his shop while I put on a coat of varnish everyday. I feel right at home here. My beard is right in style and will need a lot of time to catch up with those of Ken and others that walk the docks here.


 


4/17/04


We took the boat out today before heading up to the mountains.  12.2 knots has been the best speed but that should improve some with the new prop. This is a displacement boat after all and the goal is to go gently and have fun so I expect we will spend all our time in the 7-8 knot speed range.


I guess I have blended this building journal into a travel log so other than a few notes about the bow thruster and prop change I will start putting down my thoughts in the "Travel Log" section. I don't know what I'll write just yet but it will come to me, I'm sure. Thanks for all the support and nice e-mails and I hope you have enjoyed the start to our adventure. It's been a blast so far.....................and keep those e-mails comming!


Brad and Debbie Indicott

indicott@bellsouth.net


 


The stats:

 

Cruise speed,  7-8 knots. ( A knot is 1.15 miles per hour)

Weight: 7800 lbs without water and fuel. 9000 lbs loaded and ready to cruise

Top speed: 12.2+ knots approx.

Water: 105 gallons in three thirty five gallon tanks.

Fuel: 50 gallons,   87 octane

Waste holding tank: 23 gallons approx.

Navigation: Garmin 182 GPS,  Nobeltec Visual Mariner on the laptop.

Engine: Mercury 60 hp four stroke big foot

Solar: Kayocera (2) 120 watt panels with Morningstar 15 amp charge controller, 240 watts total

Batteries: (4) Trojan 105 6volts wire to get 12v and 220 amp hours total in two banks

Charger: ProMariner Sport 20,  20 amps

Fridge: Norcold 441  12v/115v drawing 3 amps per hour @ 12v

Hot water: Propane 6 gallon with 115v hot rod.

Propane: (2) 20 lb tanks with Trident remote cutoff and sensing


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