At 0900hrs this morning Dorade pulled out of the yard in Portsmouth on her new cradle and a second truck following with the Container, trailer and spars. The last couple of weeks have been busy preparing the boat for the journey and packing up all the gear into the trailer and container.
When Dorade is traveling down the road at sixty or seventy miles an hour the wind over the deck will be equivalent to that of a hurricane. For this reason everything had to be removed or tied down very well. The hull has been wrapped in tape and heat shrink to prevent any damage from small stones or grit flying up from the road.
The cradle fabrication was just finished in time for the boat to be placed into it yesterday and with a few minor adjustments everything went pretty smoothly. Once we had her nicely in position the task of strapping her down onto the cradle and trailer began. A total of eight straps were used to keep her in place and with a hole drilled through the lead keel and a pin slotted through and chained down she is well secured. The biggest worry is that if the driver has to slam the breaks on Dorade will want to kick back and put her bow down so the pin through the keel is the key to preventing this.
The maximum height we were allowed to work with was 13ft 6inches so that we had the legal amount of clearance under bridges and overhead cables. As we did a final check this morning and measured 13ft 2inches at both ends which is better than we had hoped. To get it down to this level we had to remove deck winches, the companionway hatch and a couple of blocks.
There are a couple of jobs left to do in Rhode island before I can leave and meet the boat in San Francisco but I am looking forward to it and need to start thinking about packing up my own stuff before I leave and begin the task of putting Dorade back together. We found some damage to the prop shaft and bearing so I have to wait until a new one is made and bring it out with me.
Dorade should arrive in San Francisco next Monday or Tuesday but due to the weight of the load the routing for the trip will take the drivers a long way south to avoid any weak roads or bridges.
We will keep you posted on Dorade’s progress as she drives across America.