2002: THE RE-LAUNCH of the Cats PJs
Finally in late August 2002, the Cats PJs is ready to launch. Here is the story.
The Cats PJs is not the only hydraulically driven entity in the yard - this crawler has independent hydraulic circuits for each wheel, etc. and some very low gears!
Here the crawler starts the launch process by pulling the boat and its cradle diagonally towards the bay. The wood is held down by additional pieces of iron bar, scrap rails, etc.
Evidently, a lot of leaves had accumulated under the boat. I also found it interesting that the crawler had no problems pulling 9 tons of boat down the ramp... Note the furrows in the sand which had accumulated around the cradle.
Lots of acorns rained onto the boat as the mast stays and halyards got caught in branches above.
The crawler then came around the front and straightened the cradle with respect to the ramp.
Then the hydraulic lift for monohulls was pressed into service as a mobile battering ram. The front edge of the lift is brought to bear against the cradle, then the whole assembly can be slid into the water.
Note how a little gas-driven motor is all that is needed to move all the arms of this lift. To the right you can see how the hydraulic lift is pushing us into the water - chains are attached so that they can pull the cradle back out once we clear the ramp.
Gerald and Luise were able to be there for the big day! Besides testing the engine, we also set sail, caught 3 lobster pots (and got rid of them w/o damage to any pot), and even got lost. We retired with big grins for the rest of the evening.