Monday, October 16, 2006

Element is Ready to Relaunch

Element assembled, rigged and ready to launch....

Those of you following this blog have probably assumed I've not been working on Element, but in fact I've been steadily plugging away at finishing details, including reinstalling all the hardware after the paint job, replacing and setting up the running rigging, and making some custom canvas items like interior storage pockets and a rear trampoline. The only thing the boat lacks at this point is the outboard engine, which I will be buying shortly before launching. I'm also overhauling the trailer and getting it ready for the trip to the coast, which is at least 2 hours away depending on where I decide to launch.

I would have already been sailing by now if not for the difficulty of finding a place to dock the boat on the Mississippi Gulf coast. Most of the marinas there were destroyed or badly damaged by Katrina, and those that were not are full. I'm on the waiting list at a couple of potential marinas, but so far I have not found a place to dock the boat that is convenient to getting out in the open Gulf. Although the Tiki 21 is a trailerable catamaran, it's not a trailer-sailor in the sense that you can feasibly drive 2 hours, spend about that long assembling it, go sailing for a few hours, then repeat the process in reverse. For me, keeping the boat in the water is the only way to go. I plan to have it set up and fully equipped for multi-day beachcruising adventures, so that when I drive down to the coast to board it, all I'll have to do is load on the food and water for whatever trip I've planned and cast off the lines.

I'm of course getting anxious to sail this boat, so if I don't find an ideal dock space soon, I'll explore the option of a marina in nearby Louisiana or Alabama, where there are more slips available.

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