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Launch Your Boat Time!

25th April 2017
afloat_mcsweeney
Tom MacSweeney racing Seascapes at Royal Cork Yacht Club Tom MacSweeney racing Seascapes at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

It’s launching time at Castlepoint Boatyard at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour where I keep SCRIBBLER II.

That’s my Sigma 33, named rather appropriately for a journalist/scribe, as I’ve been told. The first SCRIBBLER was a Ruffian 23, much sailed and enjoyed by the family to whom she gave great service. The main drawback was the low head room in the cabin, but she was a great boat and served us well in racing and cruising over the years. From her I moved onto a Sadler 25, a grand boat too that gave great racing. From her I moved to the Sigma.

The change from masthead to fractional rig was an adjustment which gave me a testing time. Over the past week or so I’ve been getting her ready for launch, which time arrived this week and began with my first port-of-call to the ‘rest-and-recreation clinic’ as I call it of O’Connell’s Batteries on the Marina Commercial Park on the banks of the River Lee in Cork where Scribbler’s batteries had lain under care since lay-up last October. Throughout my sailing career I’ve been advised that battery care is an essential component of safety. From the annual rescue statistics, there are owners who should give more care to their boat batteries. Then a rigging check and adjustment carried out by a good sailing contact, Harry Lewis and a guard rail for crew safety replaced on his recommendation. There can be no compromise with safety

Castlepoint was busy and gradually losing its population as boats were launched and Scribbler’s turn approached. Billy Curran and his staff helped me with checks and maintenance. Taking a boat racing puts responsibility on the owner/Skipper towards the crew who will sail it. That too is an issue on which those who introduced me to sailing placed emphasis.

Preparing a boat properly is vital because sailing is a sport where there is no ‘even playing pitch.’ Conditions change from one day to another, even change during a race and not only the crew, but also the boat, must be able to cope.

So for my weekly Podcast, come aboard SCRIBBLER II as I make the final checks myself and, perhaps, smile and laugh as you hear what you may have encountered yourself aboard your own pride and joy...

Published in Island Nation

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