Gail and I trailered “Alice Gale” down to San Diego and spent two days sailing out of Shelter Island.
Tag Archives: building a sailboat
Alice Gale has been out a few times since launching on Sept 8th. I have been working on sail trim details and developing ideas to improve the sailing experience. I also updated the blog with several additional building details. New blog details posted include the building of a laminated mast guide, and trailer upgrades to allow shallow boat ramp launching using an extension. Here are a few additional photo’s taken on launch day. Soon I will have more photo documentation of Alice Gale sailing.
We have successfully launched Alice Gale with a Christening held on Sept 8th at the Back Bay Marina in Newport Beach. A number of good friends and relatives were on hand to celebrate the launching with us.
The ceremony of christening new ships began in the distant past, and we know that Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians all held ceremonies to ask the gods to protect sailors. Maritime superstition held that a ship that wasn’t properly christened would be considered unlucky. Sailors have long believed a coin under the mast brings luck. This ritual is believed to have started with the Romans. The mast has been stepped with a new 2011 dollar coin. Christening a new ship with wine or holy water has obvious religious overtones, but the practice pre-dates Christianity. By the 1800s the christenings of ships began to follow a familiar pattern. A “christening fluid” would be poured against the bow of the ship, though it was not necessarily wine or champagne. The practice of breaking a bottle of wine over a ship’s bow was introduced by the British navy in the late 17th century as a cost saving measure! Previously the ships were baptized with a “standing cup” of precious metal, which was then promptly thrown overboard. The rapid production of ships during the height of the British Empire put an end to that. The christening of ships became great public events, with large crowds assembled to witness the ceremony. And it became standard for champagne, as the most elite of wines, to be used for the christening. The tradition also developed that a female would do the honors and be named the sponsor of the ship. I have asked Gail to do the honors of christening our boat.
“For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she.” I name this vessel “Alice Gale”, May the Gods bless her and all who sail in her. “To them we toast, and ask to celebrate “Alice Gale.”
“TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO Alice Gale.”
“The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this vessel be given the strength to carry on. The keel is strong and she keeps out the pressures of the sea.
“TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO Alice Gale.”
“Today we come to name this lady “Alice Gale”, and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for the Richards family and friends. We ask the sailors of old and the mood of God that is the sea to accept “Alice Gale” as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. ”
“TO THE SAILERS OF OLD… TO Alice Gale”
In the name of all who will sail aboard her in the years to come, we invoke Neptune, the ancient god of the sea, and Eolus, the god of the wind, to favor us with their blessings today. That she may always find shelter from tempest and storm and enjoy safe passage to all ports she visits. May she be blessed with fair winds, calm seas and good fortune to all who sail upon her. May the gods protect her and all the sailors who enjoy this beautiful boat named Alice Gale.
Champagne was poured over the bow to appease King Neptune and everybody raised their champagne and shouted, “TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO Alice Gale.”
Time for some driveway sailing. I stepped the mast for the first time and set the sails in the driveway. A few adjustments and “Alice Gale” will be ready for launch.
We took “Alice Gale” down to the water to get the centerboard set into its proper location. Might as well take a quick sail while we’re at it. Our official launch party is a few weeks away.