Flashback to the beginning…

Here are a few pictures from when we first bought Southern Star from Blue Water Yachts and put her in the water at Newport Yacht Basin for the very first time.

At the Seattle Boat Show when we bought Southern Star

Of course, we knew it was fate when we got in the truck the morning of the Seattle Boat Show and the radio was playing Styx’ 1977 hit “Come Sail Away”.  In fact, those were the words coming out of the speaker when I first turned the key.  “Come Sail Away.”  Can you have any clearer an omen than that?  🙂

Stella was further enchanted by the show’s demo boat having a pink (YES PINK) spinnaker flying in the air conditioned breeze.  

You can clearly see that she feels very comfortable behind the wheel of a MacGregor.  Of course, when I’m behind the wheel, she’s navigating and still gets to tell me where to go!

Pulling into the parking near our launching rampAfter signing the paperwork at Blue Water Yachts, we brought her over to the 40th Street boat launch ramp in Bellevue.  It’s right next to our marina. 

So we found a wide open area and pulled in to begin setting her up for getting in the water.

We had to raise the mast, attach the boom, rig the sails, and so on.  Everything you want to do when she’s on solid ground and not rocking. Some tasks you just don’t want to try when the boat is rocking in some powerboat’s wake!

Ensuring the standing rigging isn't twistedThe rast gets raised by using a winch system supplied with the boat.  Once the mast starts going up, you have to constantly check to make sure none of the shroud cables are twisting or kinked.  That’s what I’m doing to the left – one chainplate attached to a shroud wasn’t quite standing up the way it should.  The winch can put a huge amount of pressure on them if they’re left to twist, and they could be damaged, so I’m ensuring that they go up straight.

Of course, I still can’t get Stella to tell me what she’s laughing about here…

Feeding the mainsail into the slot on the mastOnce the mast is up, the boom is attached, and then the mainsail’s slides are fed into the groove in the mast so it can be raised.  At the right, I’ve attached the main halyard to the top of the mainsail, and I’m getting ready to feed the halyard rope through the various pulleys back to the cockpit.

Finally it’s time to back the trailer in and get Southern Star’s hull wet for the first time!Splashing Southern Star for the very first time  You can see the slips of our marina off to the right side of the picture. 

Once we pulled the trailer back out and parked it, we motored around to our slip and tied her up in her new home.  The Chevron sign that appears to be flying from our mast is actually on a post at the gas station 3 slips behind us!

In the picture below, her sail covers are on, we’re exhausted, and ready to head home.  We didn’t even take her out for a quick spin that evening – we were beat!

But we finally had our sailboat after all those years of dreaming!

And for those who are curious about where “Southern Star” came from … Stella means “Star” and she’s from Mississippi.  Get it?  🙂

Southern Star in her new home on Lake Washington

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