Going Afloat


Make sure the drain plugs are fitted before launching the boat

With the crew on the side of the slipway holding the painter, carefully move the boat backwards down the slipway until it floats off, you may have to use the trolley rope to let the trolley fully submerge and the onshore crew should not pull the boat sideways until it is completely clear of the trolley!
Secure the boat to the pontoon and carry out the following procedure:-
1.    Position the boat head to wind or as near as is practical.  If the wind is pinning you to the jetty, paddle to the opposite side and temporarily hook up there.
2.    Step carefully into the cockpit and, if the depth at the jetty permits, lower the centreboard to its fullest extent - this will give you some stability whilst rigging.
3.    Fit the rudder - locate on the lower transom pin first and then guide the upper one into position and slide the rudder on (the buoyancy of the rudder assembly may make this appear difficult until you get used to it).


Make sure you do not accidentally slide one of the side webs of the rudder fitting onto the top pin as this will jam the rudder and you may have to obtain help to free it.

4.    Move the boom and mainsheet to the leeward side to avoid these being fouled under the tiller when you hoist the mainsail.
5.    Bring the rope/bungee cord from the rudder through the hole in the transom and make sure the mainsheet strop (rope) is also above this hole.
6.    Pass the tiller (fat end first) through the transom hole making sure that the rudder bungee cord/rope is under the tiller, hold this rope forward and down and then slide the tiller into the rudder head.

Secure the tiller by inserting the split pin (located onto the rudder head) through the top of the rudder head into the tiller (this may involve a bit of wiggling of the tiller)

7.    Pass the bungee cord through the black plastic tube cleat on the front end of the tiller and pull and lock into place (pull into the vee of the tube cleat). Check that this operation moves the rudder blade down into the vertical position, you may need to lean over the transom and push it downwards whilst tightening the bungee cord.



Hoisting the mainsail - stand to windward of the boom and feed the head of the sail into the mast groove whilst pulling  the halyard (red rope).

Make sure the sail does not pucker or catch in the groove. 

As\the sail gets higher there will be some resistance felt on the halyard, this is normal, if there is heavy resistance or the sail cannot be raised fully then something is wrong and you should stop and determine the cause.


Whilst hoisting the mainsail occasionally look back and up to check that either the sail or the mainsheet is not fouled around the tiller and that the sail or boom is not fouled under the jetty, side seats or on the crosstrees.

The boom will start to rise when the sail is nearly to the top of the mast.


Lock off the halyard onto the mast cleat with one full turn and one figure of 8 turn before making a locking turn. 

10. Pull the boom down and locate into the gooseneck spigot.


The Gooseneck Spigot can easily slip into the casting either side of the centre hole in the boom which could cause damage, so check this carefully.

11. Tighten the kicking strap.

Hoist the jib, pull the halyard until some resistance is felt, this is the wire to rope join passing under the mast sheave, an extra tug will release this from the sheave and you should slip the wire loop over the hook on the Highfield lever 

Before tensioning the Highfield Lever move the rope tail away from the hook otherwise the rope will jam under the hook and start to fray or break.


Using the palm of your hand turn the Highfield Lever up towards the mast

Keep your fingers clear as trapping them between the lever and the mast is extremely painful.


Final Checks

Once the sails are hoisted and before leaving the jetty take a few moments to gather your thoughts and tidy up.  Hasty departures can cause problems when you least need them.
Tidy up the halyards making sure they are clear of the jib sheets.
Stow away any bags, waterproofs or anything else you are taking with you so that the floor of the boat is clear and you cannot stand on or trip over things.
Secure anything that may float away in the event of a capsize or that may roll around the boat whilst heeling.
Check that the mainsheet and jib sheets are clear, untwisted and move easily.
Have a final check of the weather, has the wind freshened or is there a storm which is forming whilst you have been getting ready.
Check for other river traffic that may impede you leaving the jetty.
And Finally
When all is ready load up the crew and cast off.
Don't forget to tidy away the painter which should be located in the splash guard slot in front of the mast and thrown under the foredeck.



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