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Monday, July 18, 2016

The yacht launching

     As has been mentioned in previous posts, Front Street Shipyard, Belfast is the new home of a major shipyard industry. This morning a group of us from the Moorings, cameras in hand, headed down at 0700 to watch the launching of the 135 foot Komokwa. It had been out of the water since June 2nd, and the crew was anxious to get aboard.
     I am always astounded at the extent to which civilians are permitted access to the yard area. It is very unobstructed and informal, as if OSHA hadn't been invented yet. The city's Harbor Walk passes right through it. Below is a broadside shot of the boat suspended from the travel-lift.

     The lift can carry up to 440 tons! The entire machine is manipulated by one guy with a hand-held controller.

     All four sets of wheels are independently steerable, and he needed all of that capability to turn the boat and back it into the launching slip.

      The crew was ready to go aboard for a day of sea trials and a departure Wednesday.  They were more than happy to visit with us spectators. There is a crew of six: two below decks in the engine room and such, two in the galley, and two topside on the operations end of the business. I heard that the owner earned the appropriate Coast Guard license so that he captains the ship most of the time. The ship has a 4600 mile range between fill-ups...but, ooooh those fill-ups.. 30,000 gallons to feed those two 1500 HP diesels.

"My work here is done."

     I left after the yacht was floating. There was a lot of unseen work being done, and it was time for breakfast. As I was leaving, an unusually haphazard flight of geese flew practically through the top of the travel-lift.

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