on Sunday, I helped a friend put in his Flying Scot sailboat in at a lake near his house. it was a hot and muggy day, so standing in the shallow lake water for several hours was a pretty nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon! here is the sailboat ready to go on its trailer.
after slowly backing the trailer and Flying Scot down the narrow dirt ramp at the lake, we parked at the bottom of the ramp and started the process of stepping the mast. since my sailboat experience is mostly in the much smaller, lateen-style rig of a Sunfish or Sunfish clone, I pretty much just did whatever I was told – in this case, I was to pull on the line connected to the mast by the jib halyard line, while my friend stood in the sailboat and did all the real work of lifting and tipping up the large mast.
as I stood there watching him try to lift up this mast, I realized that the trees were too low and overhanging at the ramp, and we were going to have trouble getting the mast all the way vertical. about the same time, we realized there were a few other people waiting to use the same little ramp to put their jet-skis/jet-boats/power-boats into the water (there were 2 kayakers, but no other sailors).
so instead of stepping the mast on the trailer, we slid the Flying Scot off the trailer and into the water, where I held it to keep it from drifting, while my friend moved his vehicle and trailer off the ramp and out of the way. after sinking four (4) mooring posts, and setting up a system for tying the Flying Scot to the mooring posts – we set out to now step the mast again.
I had a great view as I stood in the water this time, perpendicular to the boat, holding tight the line fed through the bow handle, and up to the jib halyard up on the mast. my friend said it was much easier to lift the mast this time – I think he had been fighting a little extra gravity when the boat was still on the trailer, as the trailer was sitting on the inclined ramp. we finished installing a few other parts, and then since it was very calm with little to no wind, we set up the boom tent to keep water out of the cockpit.
all told, it was a neat process – the Flying Scot looks like a pretty sweet little boat, and my awesome reward for mostly standing there and helping out occasionally, is that I’ll get to go sailing with him on the Flying Scot this summer. as a bonus, his wife had baked some strawberry rhubarb cobbler (gluten-free, too, so my wife can eat it!) as an added thank you for helping get their Flying Scot into the water.
the chance to sail on the Flying Scot is thanks enough, but the cobbler was delicious, too!