March 20, 2017 Hours spent building to date: 3,548
When I first started building the Tardis, the first question asked by everyone who knew about the project was, “How long do you think it will take, when do you think you will launch the boat?” But then as it became that the build was going to be a very long haul, that question subsided. But ever since the windows went in and the boat started looking almost finished, every friend, neighbor, blog reader, shop visitor and even Lotus (Wally’s shop dog) seem to have but one thing on their minds: the official Tardis launch date.
The other day I was standing in line at the deli counter at Stop&Shop when a woman who I can’t recall ever meeting turned around and said, “Hey, you’re the guy building the big boat. When are you putting it in the water?”
I totally, totally understand the question. I have asked it of myself probably three times a day for about a thousand days now. So here is a bit of guidance. Warning: this is is all based on questionable facts, highly subject to change and interpretation, and may be a total fabrication — something like a Donald Trump tweet.
First a definition of terms (I hate it when a speaker says that. Pretty much guarantees a boring talk). I used to think of “launch” as something like the pictures from my childhood of Mamie Eisenhower or Princess Margaret blasting a bottle of champagne over a destroyer’s prow before it slid down the ways. Sadly, that’s not going to be how it works with Tardis. With most boats, once the hull is pretty much done and drive train in, you can get out the champagne, put her in and “commission” the systems later. But on a modern outboard boat, the engine, steering, controls, instruments and even navigation electronics are all one big system. The folks at Atlantic Outboard are going to have to drop the boat in down there and hook everything up and check it all out. Then, with the boat in the water, it really doesn’t make any sense to pull it out again, so we will get it back to Guilford Yacht Club and hopefully have some sort of on-the-dock christening and barbecue. Then the boat WILL go back on the trailer for transportation to the WoodenBoat Show at the end June. Let’s call that her coming-out party.
Dates: The boat HAS to be safely in its slip by May 13, since that’s when we’re leaving for John’s graduation and a trip to Ireland, returning May 30. So I really need to get the boat to Atlantic by the last week of April, at the latest. The ceremony at Guilford Yacht Club will probably be June 10, and the WoodenBoat Show is June 30-July 2. So there’s about a two-month range of dates to answer the “when’s the launch” question.
I am currently in Oxford, Ohio for John’s birthday and Spring Break. In know, goofing off when I should be working on the boat. But at least here I don’t have to where a trilby hat, sunglasses and a fake moustache to buy a pound of ham.