Like with all boat restoration projects getting to the water is one battle. The next one is to make sure all the hard work that was put into the boat pays off and you have a great time out on the water.
With Mai-Star II, getting to the water was a long protracted period of stops and starts, having money to do some jobs and then not have the time to do the jobs and then the opposite. But that is boat restoration for you, it happens how you get over it, what makes it fun or hell depending on your point of view.
Then came the day of the first attempt at launching the boat. It was an experience to say the least. The boat had been caulked and putty put in the seams the boat had been primed and anti fouled and there appeared to be no gaps in the planks. Then when the boat was put in the water it was a different picture, water was coming in from all over the place, it was difficult to see where it was not coming in.
It was not a thing that was not uncommon to old wooden boats that have been out of the water for so many years. That coupled with the fact that it had been a dry winter and a very dry and warm spring and early summer, it was a situation I was expecting to happen, but not quite that bad.
So the boat was left to hang in the hoist slings for a couple of hours to see if the flooding would slow down. In the end it did not that day, but after an evening of wetting the inside of the boat with wet sacking and taking a look round the bottom of the boat an attempt was made the next day. This time it was a success, the water had stopped a great deal and the bilge pump could cope with the amount of water that was still coming in.
After a couple of days, well a week the leaks were all but stopped and the next part of the re-commissioning could take place.
That was to step the first time this had been done on the water for at least 12 years and to sort out the standing and running rigging and to ensure that all the bits were in place.
Then next came the bending on of the sails after they have come back from the sail maker who had done a great job of making a new set of sails out of an discarded genoa off a modern racing yacht.
So these new sails were bend on to the spars and hoisted and you could feel the boat coming a live once more with weather in its sails. While I was doing that it was time to set out where the two foresails sheet position would be on the deck and fit the sheet lead blocks to the deck and the cleats at the cockpit end.
By then it was the end of the first day, then next morning it was time for the first trail sail to see how the long hours of work had paid off, then to enjoy having the boat once more on the water and sailing.