Launch Day 31 July 2001

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Ann’s daughter Kathryn, my sister Karen, my mother Ilse, Roly and Rowan, Wendy & Franc, John and Joyce, and other friends arrived for the launch early the next day.

For ten months we had heard the roar of the travel hoist going backward and forward collecting boats for launch and today was our turn.

The final cup of tea was had on land and at 11 am we walked behind our yacht towards the launch area.Ann held a bottle of champagne I held on to the dogs.

I was a little worried.Thoughts like will she float right? Will she float at all? I kept telling everyone that should she sink then we will own a submarine.

No one was listening though all eyes were on the travel hoist. It finally settled over the water. We tied a line around Ann’s waist and she leant over and smashed the champagne over a cleat.

Her words were, “I name this ship Ruffles Spray and may god bless all those that sail upon her”.

My eyes were watering as the hoist went down.

All eyes were on the waterline as Ruffles Spray touched the water. Down she went and the water rose up until she floated. She floated exactly 6 inches below the painted water line and absolutely correct in all aspects.

Not bow heavy or stern down not leaning to port or starboard. Fantastic.

The slings were removed and I went below to check the hull and bilge.No leaks.  No water coming in from anywhere.So far so good. I started the engine and checked the systems.

Roly and Rowan tied on the fenders and Ann released the lines. I motored ahead and slowly steered Ruffles Spray into a berth in Nayland marina. I was sweating a lot but managed it without any damage.
Everyone was on the pontoon and we opened more bottles of bubbly.

The party had just began.

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