Winter is upon us, Christmas is over and the New Year celebrations are just a fading memory. What better to fill the post festivities void than thinking about summer boating? In June 2012 I went over to the States to receive, prepare and handover the first ever Sealine SC42 in America and this is the story…
Ted & I arrived in Harbor Springs, Michigan just as the rain stopped and the sun came out. Actually, we hadn’t seen any rain ourselves but the one person we came across in Harbor Springs marina, when we went for a stroll that Sunday evening, told us this was the case. He turned out to be a welcome source of local navigation information. Incidentally, as well as being the part-time Fire Chief, he is also the local undertaker too, might be a handy person to know, who knows…?
SC42i #7 was due to arrive from Baltimore on Wednesday, so we had a couple of days to organize everything. For now, having just completed two flights and a two hour drive we were happy to try out one of the recommended eateries and settle down for some food, a beer and some baseball – welcome to America.
Before we knew it the boat had arrived and we had to hustle to get her off the truck, re-assembled and tested ready to hand her over to her new and very excited owner. Putting the light-mast and radar up was simplicity itself but the interesting bit for me was putting the IPS pods back on.
However, we had enlisted the help of the local marina and the local Volvo-Penta agent as well, to make doubly sure everything went to plan. This is going to sound amazing but we had the boat in the water and tested by Thursday evening!
Friday came and I was still rubbing specks of anti-foul off my glasses (yes, that was my contribution) when Andy, Debbie, Jodi & Brooke arrived to see their new toy. I reckon I saw a lump in Andy’s throat and a tear in his eye. This boat looked fabulous and everyone was so excited about seeing her in Michigan.
As a matter of fact, we drew a lot of attention. At Sealine, we are very proud of the fact that we are innovative and that we don’t make boats that look like everybody else’s boats. So you might imagine the stir we caused – everyone who passed by had to have a look.
What struck me was how people were comparing us to much bigger boats, saying that there was more space inside and out than other 45 or even 50 foot boats. Everybody said how pretty she was. I found out later, when we were going through the practical part of the handover, that Andy’s neighbour, who is an architect, reckons she is the prettiest boat he has ever seen – now that is a recommendation if ever I heard one.
Finally, we hopped on board and started the handover. I wanted Andy and his family to be completely happy with their new boat, so we set about finding out how she worked. Beginning with the forward cabin, we made our way through the whole boat, pressing buttons, opening lockers, turning switches and doing lots of talking!
Jodi took notes and Brooke videoed me, so that there would be no forgetting and they could always refer back at a later date if they needed to.
The last thing to do on Friday was take ‘It’s Mine II’ round to her home berth on Lake Charlevoix. It was a superb run round, with everyone taking a turn on the helm, including me!
As the sun finally started to drop, we gently slipped her into the dock and raised her out of the water at her new home.
Keeping your boat out of the water is a practical solution to preventing a build-up of growth on the hull and drives. In the UK, for vessels up to 35 feet, some marinas offer the option of dry-stacking.
The very next day we started on the practical side of the handover. Now it was my chance to show Andy and the family how to get the very best from their boat. It’s all very well knowing what buttons to press to turn a boat on, but each boat has its own handling characteristics and there are a few different drive options too.
So, off we went, screaming around the lake like mad things, whooping and cheering as we went. We did MOB (Man Over Board) practice, anchoring tight against a windward shore, navigating by compass alone and of course, we had to stop for lunch each day, so that meant lots of mooring practice too.
That’s Ted on the back!
By the end of the third day everyone was really getting to grips with how to make her fly and how to bring her safely alongside. So now it was time for a mini-adventure…
We went to Bay Harbor for dinner – by boat!
Not that boat… The restaurant is in the left corner of the shot.
By the time we set off to come home it was well and truly dark. We edged our way out of Bay Harbor – boy that channel is narrow – and headed south down Lake Michigan for the link through to Lake Charlevoix. The plotter was on and working fine, the lake was flat as a pancake and it was good to be alive.
We’d worked out that we could get under the road bridge in Charlevoix without having to have it lifted, so before we knew it we were into Lake Charlevoix and whizzing along at 16 knots – not hugely quick but it was pitch black out there!
I have to say, the spotlight fitted to Andy’s boat is stunning and it’s just as well it was because the approach to his landing stage is a little shallow and not exactly well lit. Nevertheless, we got there and once the boat was in the lift and out of the water there was an excited cheer at the fact that we’d come all the way round from Bay Harbor, by boat, in total darkness!
The next day I headed home. I was sad to leave and I can’t wait to go back and see how they’re doing. One thing’s for certain, if they travel along all the routes we put into the chart-plotter, then that boat will have some hours on her by the end of the season and there will be a whole family in Michigan with aching face muscles from all the smiling!
I hope you enjoyed reading about how Andy Colman and his lovely family took possession of their newest ‘family member’.
Don’t forget to keep popping in to see the new Skipper’s Tips as they are posted – the best way to ensure you are notified of new postings is to either ‘Follow’ me or if you follow Sealine on Facebook and Twitter they will post a note to let you know I have posted an update.
If reading about my adventures or the Skipper’s Tips prompts you to say something, then why not leave a comment and let me know?
Also, it would be great to hear from anyone who has had their own adventure or even has a tip they’d like to share.
This has been another Captain Corbett’s Adventure. If I’m not on Jersey teaching a private tuition Day Skipper theory or Yachtmaster theory course, then I’m either spending time with someone on their boat, giving them the confidence to take their boat out with their family and friends on board or I’m off somewhere exotic delivering a boat. Either way, I’ll write it up and put it on the Blog for you all to see, so keep popping back to see my most recent adventures.