Green Sea Shipbuilding Establishment

Monday, October 24, 2005


The R.C.S. Zuiderdam made her maiden voyage on the morning of Saturday, October 22nd at Dobson Lake in Mesa.

The weather was beautiful, and the wind very mild. With reguard to the weather, it was the perfect day for a maiden voyage. This maiden voyage, however, was quite eventful. Not necessarily in a good way.

I arrived at the lake at about 9am. The sailboaters of MMYA were setting up. I got frequency clearance, made note of where the sailboats would be sailing, and began setting up. I christened the ship with the customary champaign bubble-blower bottle, and put her in the water. Tom Petty was playing on the CD player.

At first, things went well. But about halfway across the main part of the lake, she suddenly stopped moving, I hoped it was because the battery died, but it didn't act like a dead battery. I waited patiently for the vessle to drift to shore. I even got "Vessle Assist" from a sailboat (thanks, Jerry).

The allen screw had come loose, and the motor was no longer joined to the prop shaft. Once again, Jerry helped my by loaning his allen wrench. I tightened it up and put her back in the water.

The brick I had used for ballast came loose and shifted to one side. By the time I got her back to shore, she was listing heavily to starboard! Throughout the voyage, the brick was too far forward, making the vessel appear down by the bow.

I corrected that, but noticed that water was coming up through her rudder shaft sleeve! Jerry let me use some grease to keep the water from coming up into the boat.

Finally, the maiden voyage was terminated when I noticed much water was coming into the boat through cracks in the fiberglass in the back of the boat!

So went the maiden voyage of the R.C.S. Zuiderdam. There will be better voyages. I am reminded of the maiden voyages of the Itallian superliners "REX" and "CONTE DI SAVOIA" (look 'em up). It may very well be that these ships of mine need more shakedown time before they are pronounced finished. My next vessle will have the most thorough trials yet.

In spite of all of this, I managed to get several good pictures of the maiden voyage as you will see.


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