She made it! After 6 days on the road (including one lay day due to driver’s max hours) she is back in Chicago! Thanks to Mark with Capital City Yachts and Winston Trucking she arrived in great condition, no damage inside or out. Pretty impressive considering she’s 83 years old and its a 2,000+ mile trip. The team at Canal Street Marina had to plow the yard, and do some creative engineering to get the crane unfrozen and functioning before her arrival. When I first proposed launching Naida this winter back in November they looked at me a bit funny, but as fate would have it we had perfect weather for the day of her launch. Sunny and almost 50 degrees with no wind, rare for February 14th.
I was fortunate to have several friends and family members on site to help unpack and clean her after arrival. Tiela Halpin was kind enough to come down and shoot some photos, while Charlie helped me get the mast stepped and engines ready to crank. Capt. Julie Means grabbed a razor and dug right into removing all the packing tape from the windows, not a fun task.
She was still watertight after almost 15 days out of the water and being transported cross country. She had a little leak in between seams under the aft deck, but by day two she had swelled up and the leaking has stopped.
It took several days to unpack and put everything away, Mark did a phenomenal job packing the boat, noting seems to have been damaged during transport. By Saturday evening she had been washed and unpacked, ready for some fun on Sunday.
On Sunday we had 20 guests aboard in the afternoon for a cruise. We were lucky to get a break in the weather and were able to enjoy some temps in the 40s and sun. I was surprised at how well 20 guests fit aboard, several in the salon, a handful on the aft deck, and a few on the bow. We even had chilli cooking in the galley and a full bar!
Overall we are very pleased with the yacht so far. She needs some work here and there, but what boat doesn’t? This week we will be sanitizing the fresh water system, and refreshing the DC electrical system and batteries. Naida has 7 batteries total, two massive 8Ds for the house, two group 24s for each engine, and a group 24 for the genset.
More on that project to come later…