Nearing the culmination of 18 months work was one of the most exciting and nerve racking days of my life; I think the closest comparison would be to that of getting married!
We loaded the boat up and took her down to Teignmouth, choosing the afternoon and low water as there is less of a tide rip and it meant we could watch the Rugby World Cup match between England and Scotland in the morning!
Having arrived and unloaded the boat onto the soft wet sand, the moment of truth had arrived. She wheeled beautifully over to a prime spot to be photographed prior to her first launch. Then it was time for her to get wet! Once again she manoeuvred easily, even after being at rest for quite a while, entering the water to quite a cheer.
Not forgetting health and safety I donned my lifejacket and stepped aboard. To my great delight she felt very light to row, even when pulling hard she stayed straight and true but was also extremely manoeuvrable.
Next came the buoyancy and stability tests - it seemed such a shame to fill her with sandy water and seaweed, but it had to be done.
As you will see from the video it took two of us to pull her over and hold her at gunwale level. As designed the water only started coming up around the edge of the wheel box at the same time as it started to come over the gunwale.
We held the gunwale down to fill her with as much water as possible but she just wanted to right herself. To prove just how buoyant she is one of my helpers stood in her keeping the gunwale under water and she just stayed floating at that angle in a stable manner. He then levelled her out and had to try quite hard to move what was approx 1 ton of water around in her. Despite this volume of water inside her, she sat only about 3 inches lower in the sea yet was still very stable and easy to bale out.
Finally a Huge Thank You to all those who helped out, and didn't mind getting wet!
Next - the task of processing the photos and video footage, to complete the design of the website and brochure.
All in all, a very successful day!