S/V Serenity’s Maiden Shakedown Sail (video)

As we were departing the dock, a routine that should be ingrained in me from Wu-Wei, but still feels so alien aboard this boat, our boat neighbor remarked, “Did you check the winds for this afternoon?”  Taken aback by this statement (because, no I had not bothered to check, despite the fact this would be Serenity’s maiden sail), “Um, no, why?”  (I just expected Poseidon and Njord would smile upon me… I mean, come on, we are in the Bay), “No reason.  Just wondering if it is worth taking my boat out.”  No matter the winds, a boat should always be taken out.  Hell, it could have been gusting 40s and I would have thought it was a fine idea.  Nonetheless, after dealing with the landmines of crab traps (these should be illegal in FL), we set about to “release the girl”, kill the engine and throw up the sheets.  First issue- the damn mainsail got caught on the lazy jacks.  I was cursing like an old salty sailor, which could be construed as unfavorable for a dame, but nonetheless…  Da**ed raked mast is an issue here- the cars want to stick.  We eventually got it up, but there is a huge pocket in the sail since Brian pointed out- “Um, the bimini/dodger frame is too high…”  (This actually IS my fault, since I wanted this thing installed before we departed the Boatyard of Broken Dreams…  There was more cursing on my part, but hell, it is too late…  $3K later and this boat better overcome this setback!)  Also, the line on the genoa was catching on itself.  Da hell!  Nonetheless, the sweet window in the top of the bimini gave me a view of the mast, and I was sailing!  Max speed- 1.1 knots.  Which, yeah, is good for a shakedown cruise, but is kind of boring for those adrenaline junkies (e.g. me) who wanted to see what she could do.  Anyhoo, what we did learn- the RayCharles, I mean, RayMarine Dragonfly started shutting itself down under motor, but was fine under sail.  We started the engine utilizing battery bank #2 instead of #1 (house versus motor) which means we have a bad battery.  Yeah, the engine battery is a bad-ass beast (Interstate), and the house batteries are cheapo Wally World ones…  We kind of suspected this. No fitting or through-hulls leaked, which is good, and to compensate for the bimini, we really need to get the mast un-raked (I say, let the professionals do it.  We already need a few backstay holds replaced and some stuff on the mast.  This is why sailors keep SSMR in business!)  As we motored back to our dock, our boat neighbor was already drinking beers on another boat while his poor, sad boat start unused again for another day.  Brian backed up to the dock as a pro, and we tied up lines.  Indeed, a fine day to learn Serenity’s systems, but I will not lie- I missed my old girl, Wu, and felt like I was cheating on her!