On January 24 2018 at 6:03am and after 12 years, 3 months and 10 days Yikes, the project formally known as MahnaMahna finally hit the water.

The truck arrived at about 4pm on Tuesday 23 Jan.It took them until about 10pm to have the boat secure on the trailer. The stern needed to be elevated because the rudders hung too low to the ground, and at about 11pm they started moving the boat up the driveway. Earlier in the day the guys next door removed the fences and gates to clear the path, but unfortunately I had to cut away one fence stump as it was in the way of my port rudder and the truck was already all the way over on the other edge of the driveway (it falls away and the truck could not move its wheels any further over and remain safely on the driveway). The gate opening was wide enough so when the boat reached the road I breathed a premature sigh of relief.

Across the road the truck had to mount a slight hill to make the turn down the road and at the base was a gutter hollow. As the wheels of the trailer went into that dip one of the rudders scraped the ground for about 6 inches, just enough to scrape a layer of glass off. Fortunately there are about 5 layers of glass on the rudder base but I no longer have antifoul on that small section (about 10mm wide by 50mm long) of the rudder base.

Then it was about half an hour to the boat ramp and then we waited for the sun and the tide to come up.

At about 5.45am on Wed 24 Jan they started the process of launching at what was starting to become a busy boat ramp. At about 6.05am the rudders first touched the water and by 6.15 the entire boat was floating off the trailer.

The last week or so has been without doubt one of the most stressful of my life. The feelings I have are hard to describe.

We (my friends Terry and Cath, and for a while Jo and Jake, unfortunately Jo had to go to work and Jake had to get back after helping me get ready for launch) spent Wednesday motoring around Brisbane Waters to do a preliminary sea trial, albeit in sheltered waters, to be sure the motors were happy to run for hours so that we could motor the 8 hours home. We had a few hiccups with one motor, not quite idling correctly and neither motor would run with the engine covers down due to starving for air so we kept them open and they seemed quite happy (the longer term solution I hope is the installation of bilge blowers) so Lindsey came at about 6pm to fine tune them and reassure me everything seemed ok with them. Terry and Cath left at about 3pm after a beer at the Gosford Sailing club to celebrate with me so I had a well deserved and needed nap while on a public swing mooring about 100 meters off the club.

I was fast asleep at 8pm after the all night launch and up again at 5am to start the motor home. Terry arrived at 5.30 and we lifted Denis (he is in a wheelchair) aboard and started the 8 hour motor from Gosford to Wyee via the Swansea channel. We left at 7am and were at the Swansea bridge opening bang on 3pm (we literally got there with minutes to spare for the 3pm opening, had we missed it, the next opening isnt until 5pm) and less than an hour later we were tied up at the fuel wharf at the Wyee Point Marina.

Home will be a swing mooring about 100 meters south of the marina and about 100 meters from our front door and we should be able to see her from our front patio.

Rather than pictures, here is a video of launch day and another of her maiden sea voyage home.

 

Maiden sea trial voyage from Gosford to Wyee, distance aprox 44 nautical miles, time taken 9 hours, average speed 4.8 knots, fuel used aprox 44 litres (22l per motor – 2 x 9.9 high thrust Yamaha 4 stroke).

 

The boat handled flawlessly.

I will take a break for a while, clean up the shed so I can move out and move on from that stage. I will then start on finishing both the numerous small jobs not yet done, for example, the motors wont run with the engine covers, the rear steps, in the closed position because the outboard chamber fills with exhaust and the engines are starved of oxygen. The solution hopefully is a bilge blower in each well, I already have them, I just ran out of time to fit them before that deadline of launch hit.

And once the boat is on the swing mooring we will start using her so as to enjoy the reward of the hard work and sacrifice Jo and I have put in, but also to gain experience in handling her so that we get the confidence to venture farther and further from home.

Although there are many many more posts to come, this is an opportune time to say one final thank you to all of the readers who posted well wishes and encouragement along the way. Please keep the emails coming, I really do enjoy getting them and responding to them. Thank you so much for reading and for taking an interest in our (I hate this overused word but cant think of a better one) journey.

Jo and Paul

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Paul

24 thoughts on “Yikes 1N

  1. Gerald Hayter

    Woop Woop, Congratulations guys what and awesome adventure, I have been following the build from the beginning, though the Photography supply, and shelf packing days, your stamina has been a huge inspiration.. enjoy the sunsets and post the pics..

    Regards
    Gerald

    1. webmaster

      Hi Gerald, thank you. There is a special place in our hearts for the full termers like you. It was my feelings of not wanting to let you and other long term readers down that helped keep me going when I didn’t really want to. So again thank you.

  2. Steve Araci

    Congrats mate. I’ve followed you from the start and I’m so excited for you and your family that you have got it to the water.
    It really looks awesome too. A beautiful boat that you should be proud of.
    Great job.

    1. webmaster

      Thanks Steve nice of you to say so. Yes feels pretty good considering how close we were to walking away. It doesn’t look quite as good close up but she is solid and safe and we are very happy. Thanks for staying the course with us.

  3. Jim Long

    Congratulations Guys, a momentous occasion and very happy for you!

    1. webmaster

      Jim, thank you again. You are one of my favourite readers. Hopefully we get to meet one day soon.

  4. Jack

    Jo and Paul, I like to whish you all luck with your Yikes and each other.
    Well done!
    When ever boating to the Netherlands, please let me know!

    Regards,

    Jack

    1. webmaster

      Hi Jack, thank you for your kind words. If we ever sail to Europe we will look you up. Did you know there is a Schionning being built in the Netherlands?

      1. Jack

        Yes, I know, I’ve visited Jolanda and Paul while building there Precat.

        Cheers,

  5. Graeme Hedges

    Well done Paul & Jo. You must be feeling on top of the world. Enjoy the moment.
    Kind regards,
    Graeme – SV Kilikina

    1. webmaster

      Hey Graeme. Was almost going to motor over to Pittwater if the weather window didn’t open. We will have to catch up soon. Cheers Paul

  6. Rick

    Absolutely congrats on your milestone! She looks great.

    I’ve also been watching since the beginning. My girlfriend and I have swallowed the anchor after having lived aboard and covering many miles. No regrets at all. I now live more vicariously than ever through your trials and successes so keep it up, especially now that you are getting to some really rewarding stuff!

  7. Judy Honan

    Oh my goodness – a huge congratulations to you two! I hadn’t checked in on your project for some time, and was absolutely delighted to see this when I did. A long challenging journey, and as you say, not yet completed. But so many people do not get this far, so what you have achieved is amazing. I had goosebumps while watching your videos. The boat is simply stunning!

  8. Slawek

    Congratulations!!!
    I watched your building for several years. I decided to start construction of Gypsy by Richard Woods four years ago, also thanks to a builders like you. Despite the construction problems, huge changes in life, opposites and wind in your eyes – you have achieved a great goal.
    Enjoy life !!!
    Thank You,
    Slawek

  9. Matt

    What a great sight!!!!!!!!!
    Congratulations.
    So much hard work behind. Only a builder knows what all this really means.
    All the best for the cruising ahead of you.

  10. rattus

    Holy smokes, Paul – Congrats!

    What a beautiful boat – really like the color combo. Looking forward to the rigging and test sails, and further adventures down the road.

    A long time, and a lot of hard work pay off in the end. Awesome!

    Mike

  11. Karel Michielsen

    Paul, congrats hope you’ll have good memories of the build as well as the sailing to come which will also have it’s up and down’s. Alcatraz has been sold so my sailing days will be over as yours are starting. Enjoyed your site and will continue to follow to see the completion, which will be followed by maintenance. Ahh the joys of owning a boat.
    Cheers, Karel

  12. Fred

    After following your blog since I found it while googling DuFlex panels so many years ago that the blog didn‘t show much more than piles of these here goes my first comment:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Very, very impressive work. And such a beauty.

    Here comes the second (sorry I just have to write this although you probably know it already):

    When you start cruising you will need twice as many fenders, twice as thick as the ones you have. Remember all those hours of fairing!

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the world.

    Fair winds and always a hand‘s width of water under each keel. And rudder 🙂

  13. Mike

    Congrats!!!!

  14. Rene

    Dear Paul, dear Jo,

    with all my respect I send you honest Congratulations for comming so far in such a projekt. I followed you from time to time since the early days. I wish you all the best for the rest of the outfitting (I am curios and waiting for the masts 🙂 and for your journeys in future.
    It is really a magnificent boat and looks very precious. A great, great job during all these years. And also a great THANK YOU for writing your blog and letting us taking part at your adventure.
    Best regards and “always a hand water under your keels”
    Rene

  15. Greg

    Yikes Paul!
    I just saw this update, totally missing your launch date.
    She looks fantastic and congratulations to you both. I hope you and Jo spend many happy miles on her.
    We are still plodding along, but the end is appearing through the mist of time.
    Hope to see you in Adelaide when you make it here.
    Best wishes, Greg and Kerry.

    1. webmaster

      Thanks Greg. Had a few weeks off since launch. About to get back into finishing the multitude of unfinished jobs. How far along are you? Cheers Paul

  16. Harry

    Hi Paul,
    Congratulations, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I had a 2 hour road trip from Toowoomba to the Gold Coast for launching then motored to Hervey Bay. I am into my 11th year (Schionnning Waterline 1320, Limelight) with some internal work still to be done. Look forward to catching up in some exotic location.
    Cheers Glenn

  17. Graeme j

    Looks impeccable Paul & Jo. Love reading all threads. From my armchair. Try and visit Percy island if you get up as far as Mackay. It was my home at the time when I fell in love with cats and Andrew was alive.

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