Green Sea Shipbuilding Establishment

Saturday, May 27, 2006


7 months of conception, 4 months of construction, and 2 weeks of testing, came to an end today, as the Radio Controlled Ship "QUEEN MARY" made her Maiden Voyage!


The days before the maiden voyage were marked by a feverish pace of construction, testing, and shopping. In preparation for the big voyage, I made an invitation on my computer for the MMYC boat club members. I made it as a text/image file and emailed to the the members whose email addresses I had. In the invitation, I promised free doughnuts and beverage service. This jesture represented a heap of more work when I was already running late on finishing her. You see, as early as this March, I wanted to have at least 1 week before the Maiden Voyage to relax. I wanted everything to be done by the weekend of the May 21st. Well, that went out the window REAL fast. Even last night, her hull was still white! She had her final trial voyage on Friday the 26th, and passed thankfully. I still ran out of time to do the lifeboat davit arms and the name and registry on the stern. Those will have to come later. Finally, I got the doughnuts, juice, cups and ice cooler this morning.


Beginning in the middle of this past week, the local weather reporters were forcasting high winds for (wouldn't you know it) Saturday and Sunday. Anyone who knows my ships knows that they don't like wind! The Zuiderdam, for example, would capsize quite easily if caught broadside by a relatively minor breeze. After all, that's how I lost my Queen Mary 2.

The time will never be right to lose the new Queen Mary, so I didn't want to hear about wind on such an important day. May 27th is important because this is exactly the 70th anniversary of the maiden departure of the REAL QUEEN MARY in 1936. Anyway, the wind usually picks up in the later morning hours, so I figured Saturday morning would probably be safe.

So, imagine my frustration when at about 7:00 last night, the wind REALLY started to pick up! I mean it was gusting! I felt 'oh shit! Here it is! The wind for Saturday is here NOW'!

Then imagine my relief when I woke this morning and there was absolutely no wind. But it was just the wind catching it's breath. By the time I was leaving the house, the wind was nearly gusting! Very discouraged, I began to resign myself to possibly not sailing at all this day.


A funny thing happened on the way to cancelling the Maiden Voyage. I floated the Mary in the water some distance away from the main staging area, to test her handling in the wind.

I can say without question that this ship is my best big ship for wind. Arguably my best ship PERIOD for sailing in wind. You see, the Mary is big and long, but she's not TALL like the Ecstasy or Zuiderdam. She is the only large ship that is wider than her own height! Sure, she bounced around a bit because the water was choppy, but she never came anywhere near capsizing! I finally have a great big boat that doesn't have to fear the wind!

One humorous moment came when I accidently knocked the juice cooler into the water! It landed so far out that I couldn't reach it! I had nothing to do but sit there as this red cooler bobbed its way further and further out into the lake. Not funny if you are thirsty! Still, I look at the pictures and chuckle. You can see the cooler floating in at least one of the pictures above. I finally recovered it after half an hour on the other side of the lake.

I got a few minutes of good video as well. I am thinking of making a copy for others.

The Mary also experienced an unusual drain on her batteries. It's possible that either the charger didn't do its job right, or the Mary is so heavy that she really taxes her batteries.

Nevertheless, I got some great action out of her, and everyone was able to see her.

When it became clear that I was not going to get through the morning with the batteries I had, fellow boater Dennis did something incredibly nice for me. He went home, picked up his charger, and came back maybe 20 minutes later!

For this reason, I was able to recharge one of my batteries and sail again from about 11:00! Thanks Dennis!


As the R/C season is officially over for MMYC there wasn't a huge turnout today. But I was impressed that the people who did come were REALLY interested to see the new ship! I got compliments from people who had never commented on my ships before. Dave Acree even brought a very nice camera of his to take pictures of her! He is talking about doing an article on my ships for a British model boating magazine. Only 2 people brought boats today, as mostly, they seemed to come for the Mary (and the free doughnuts). While I wish more people had come (I love to get pics of my boats with lots of other boats), I was please with the QUALITY of the turnout. Hell, only Nathan and I were there for the Ecstasy's Maiden Voyage!


My motto for my boats is "bring 'em home safe", in referance to the dangers of stranding and capsizing. On a day when the greatest ship I ever built sailed for the first time, and the wind was SO threatening, living up to that motto is more gratifying than ever! Please look forward to future sailings and updates of this, my most wonderful ship!

Barrett Harmon Hochhaus


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