Launching & Initial Sea Trials

 “The Day” arrived!

There was no more putting off to be done – we had to launch her. We had agreed the rental of a swinging mooring on Ullswater with Ullswater Marine.  So on the 27th June (just over 7 years and 2 weeks since the first post here) we hitched the Landy to the trailer, and with our hearts in our mouth we set off. Actually, as neither of us slept much, and recognising it was “bin day” and aside from the normal, farm/post/school traffic down the 2 miles of single track lane, we also needed to dodge the refuse truck so we decided to set off at 7:30am.

The tow went OK (we avoided any traffic down the lane), but the extra weight made her a bit more of an uncooperative partner, so slow and steady was the rule. It was a blindingly hot day – good for photography, less attractive for working on her.

Launching

This process was actually easy and drama free, as the marina owner does not allow anyone but himself to launch anything – so, hitched to his tractor, in she went….

While Ullswater is almost 200ft (67m) deep in the middle, it’s quite shallow at the marina, so there is little water to spare at the slipway.

The good news is that once in and tied up, we discovered that all the computations on load were OK and she floated pretty much where she was intended too. 🙂 (actually we eventually added a couple of bags of sand to even her up athwartships).

…and it floats level!

We fired up the boiler and checked that everything worked as intended, realising just in time, that we had the seacocks on both sides of the condenser closed – and the leak from a hose clip indicated that the cooling water in the condenser was expanding! But all the electrical stuff worked, the feed, circulation and vacuum pumps did their jobs and all seemed good.

Maiden Voyage

As suggested we left her on the doc for 48hrs, to make sure she did not sink, and her Maiden Voyage was set for Friday late afternoon when the weather was cooling from the 31C that we seemed to be stuck with for the week.

With Lou at the helm, her sister, Jane, handling the doc lines, 200psi on the gauge and some trepidation, we headed out into the lake!

The decision was made to head up towards Pooley Bridge. All went well, we kept speed down to 3-4 knots and checked the steering, stability etc.

She seems to ride well in the pretty calm waters of the lake, with the rudder able to easily offset the windage of a (slight) breeze across the water.

The varying electrical load as the burner started and stopped, was reflected in the load on the alternator, and thus engine speed – so at this rather stately pace some juggling of the regulator was needed to keep things steady.

The sad news was that the engine developed something of a knock, and the hp cylinder gland was leaking quite badly – so we decided against a more extended journey until these items have been investigated. So, having gotten within a few hundred yards of Pooley, we turned around and  returned to the marina.

Docking was managed with no drama, although we opted not to attempt to reverse in-between the pontoons: discretion being the better part… etc. (BTW the engine reverses readily with the Impulse Valve providing the additional push when needed).

So next week we are being moved to the swinging mooring, we will repack the HP gland, and see if we can locate the nasty knock.

All in all, pretty good – we even saw a vacuum, and the alternator maintained the battery condition.

I had stared a tracking app on the phone, to record the passage, but failed to click the right buttons, so no log is available – but a happy first hour on the water….

The Crew & Views

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