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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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Ravac

Anxiety about launch (as opposed to anxious for...)

34 posts in this topic

Does anyone else suffer from severe anxiety leading up to launch day?

 

I belong to a club that runs on volunteer committees. (Gatekeeper’s club is similar, I think, based on previous discussions.) So for haul out & launch, we bring in a couple of cranes and everyone pitches in to move 40+ boats from land to sea, or vise-versa.

 

That part doesn’t bother me at all, and in fact, I find the camaraderie during such a big event quite enjoyable.

 

What I get anxious about is being “that guy” when it’s my turn. The one that holds up the flow or does something completely boneheaded or ends up causing damage to someone else’s’ boat. I’m also very anxious about being completely prepared, despite having a check-list that is nearly 100% complete.

 

We launch this coming Saturday, and I’ve been bolting awake at 3 – 4 AM the last few days panicking about little things like having the correct clevis & cotter pins for the standing rigging or worried that I won’t get the motor started.

 

What’s completely dumb is that I know that such worries are irrational. Last year, I and 2 others needed to get towed out of the launch area due to engine issues. No biggie. That’s what the work-boat and its crew are for.

 

But it’s difficult to be rational when you’re asleep. I only have another week’s worth of insomnia and panic attacks to suffer through. Saturday night I’ll sleep like a baby. I am getting better however. The last two years, I had insomnia and panic for a month prior to launch.

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I definitely think that you face added pressure from the "assembly line" method of your Launching Day, but don't let it get you down.

 

Make checklists and run through them. If you can run the engine on the hard, with a bucket, then do so. If you can't, then don't sweat it.

Hey, at least you care to try and get it right. People will see your good attitude and cut you some slack. It's the people who don't even make an effort to be prepared, that pisses people off.

 

I launched all by my lonesome at my boat yard, with no one waiting behind me, and I was a basket case. It all worked out fine, and I sailed the boat home. It was my first time, so I often recall that day fondly.

 

So no, you're not the only one who frets. Make checklists and use them.

 

Best of luck! :)

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Thanks Ajax. I do have a check list, and I'm pretty much on track. I've little to be nervous about, but it doesn't matter what I know rationally. I still wake up in a cold sweat filled with irrational panic.

 

I was just wondering if this is typical of new(er) boat owners and if it will decrease with experience. I hope it does.

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I get more anxious about all the shit left to do to put my boat back together, all the routine maintenance to get it ready for the water. The worry about leaving it unattended all week and having it sink while tied up to the shoddy floating docks at the club with potential for choppy waters. Or how much I over payed for the damn thing and the thousands of hours of time I put in to it and the thousands of dollars I'll lose when I sell it. Owning this boat keeps me up at night. I hate it. I'm ready to burn it and be done with sailing for a decade. That's how I feel this time of year.

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Rayvac:

You need to HTFU!

If you lie awake at night worrying about your yacht I think you have it made in the shade. It's not like you are worried about world hunger or incurable diseases.

 

I think most of us experience some kind of "I hope everything is perfect" anxiety about our boats at the start of a new season. It never is. There is always something. But you can work on it as you go through the season. Not sure that ever stops. You will be fine. Go yachting.

 

I made it stop. I sold my dear PERRYWINKLE. Now I kind of miss not having that anxiety.

The wind comes up I start thinking, "I hope the boat is tied up good." Then I remember, I don't have a boat. Shitski! I have a plethora of dinghies and kayaks. That doesn't count.

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Here is my take on this...if you have your boat ready, and something happens that means your launch takes longer than it should, nobody will have an issue.

 

Slow down the launch because you are not prepared or sloppy, everyone will have an issue with you.

 

I doubt you fall into the second group.

 

I have a "cheap" member giving me a lot of grief now about launch day. Once I get him sorted out I'll be looking forward to seeing all the fleet launched smoothly and safely.

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Rayvac, we just endured Opening Day Weekend at NHYC and I be believe I may have an answer to you concerns. About 3 weeks ago I decided to repower Van Diemen. With the inevitable delays and waiting for parts, I ended up spending the last several days and nights working flat out to complete the job. Getting only a couple of hours sleep each night and going back to the yacht as soon as I awoke left no time for anxious thoughts. The new engine started at 7:00 am Saturday, just in time to cleanup and depart for Long Beach for the Opening Day Race to Newport. I don't necessarily recommend a repower, however the result for me was very satisfying, and no insomnia (not sure what that is really)

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Bob, I'll take your advice to get rid of the boat under consideration.

 

...

 

 

Nah. I can deal with insomnia for a week. You have a good point about livin' a good life if all that keeps me awake at night is boat-launch jitters. I have little to complain about, that's for sure.

 

 

sailglobal - heh, part of my issues last year were due to switching out motors.

 

Gate - I don't envy you guys that take on the responsibility of arrainging all the crap that goes on during these things. Gonna make a point of thanking our guy this time around.

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Rav

 

The goodwill from the good members always makes it worthwhile...one jerk is the price I have to pay to serve the group.

 

And it really does take months of preparation to pull this off. Most people understand that and are willing to help in any way they can.

 

I'm actually only the second on this project. Our HM does more work than me, and seldom gets much thanks for it.

 

HM's are always the the club "bad guy"

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I used to have that problem too. Up to being the last guy to leave the club the night before launch and one of the first to show up on launch day. Checking everything about a thousand times. Now it's a more relaxed checklist. Bottom paint is on, any underwater type projects are done, fenders and lines are ready. Done. Launched last week, still floating. Yay.

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Boy, to think of all the fun I have missed living where the boat stays in the water all year long.

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Boy, to think of all the fun I have missed living where the boat stays in the water all year long.

+1

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I don't think i'll put the boat in till mid June this year. Temperatures are still struggling to get out of the 40's here.

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Launch is this Saturday!!! No jitters just excited jumping up and down, like a kid on Christmas Eve. My wife, on the othe rhand is staying away until the boat is in. Boats in the air creep her out.

 

It's all good this year, we're third in line to launch. Two practice boats , then us.

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I'm booked to splash on the 15th and every year is the same- I attempt to jam a 3 week punchlist into a two week window. I used to get anxious and stressed about getting each and every item done before she hits the water... now I have a "FedEx" list (the stuff that absolutely, positively has to be done by splash day) and the "round tuit" list- the prettifying boat-wont-sink-if-left-undone stuff that i can spread over a whole season if the wind is light and the fish don't bite, and i need to do some varnishing to get away from the keyboard and come up with some new ideas.

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Launching my boat is my responsibility and pretty easy, other than the usual screw-ups, but I'm pretty wedded to only putting the boat in when everything is done- just the opposite of you, bljones. Once it is in I'm free to go sailing and that fuels the push I'm in the middle of right now (fantasy date is in time to sail June 9). I know that is awful late compared to some of you, but it is Maine, after all, where summer is short but oh, so sweet.

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My boat went in last week, last night I visited and it hadn't sunk at the dock. Anxiety over.

 

Until hurricane season , anyway.

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I'm far more anxious about the club launch drilling my awlgrip every time they try to pull alongside.

 

I'll see my boat thursday for the first time since september, friday is safety inspection for Marion-Bermuda, then I'm taking Mom and KDH out for veal chops.

 

Thanks to all the hard work WHL and Booms put in 2 years ago, safety inspection and boat prep is going much better this year.

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Boy, to think of all the fun I have missed living where the boat stays in the water all year long.

 

I think this is the last TO winter for me for a while. So I guess that will make this the last splash for a while. Didn't think about that. Will maybe miss the excitement of splash day ... till the first dec/jan of sailing!

 

(Not moving to PNW)

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No mast stepping. No varnishing. No anything. One day I'll go up to the boat and it will be in the slip ready to sail.

 

For almost 10 years we stepped/unstepped the mast ourselves every season. And since we were always under the gun to get the boat in at the scheduled date or face stiff financial penalties, we never got a chance to do a proper varnish job. Those days are over (hopefully).

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I'm far more anxious about the club launch drilling my awlgrip every time they try to pull alongside.

 

I'll see my boat thursday for the first time since september, friday is safety inspection for Marion-Bermuda, then I'm taking Mom and KDH out for veal chops.

 

Thanks to all the hard work WHL and Booms put in 2 years ago, safety inspection and boat prep is going much better this year.

Mmmmmm ... Sparky! :wub:

Give my best regards to LJ and kdh. Have a fantastic visit. I am very pleased that all is going well for you in your prep for the big race. I can not take any credit, as I did nuffin.

Safe travels

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I think anytime you face a significant event that you hold yourself singularly responsible for you will eerie nice some anxiety about the outcome. With repetition, the anxiety lessens. This year, it was a bit more than usual as the boat was out of the water for two years with many of the systems disrupted, changed or modified.

 

Debilitating anxiety? No. Honest concern that I might have missed something? Yeah. Somewhat.

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Haha. I wake up every night freaking out about work. Never go to work for a start-up company that grows like a weed.

Nice thing is, I can work for an hour and then go back to bed after I assure myself Rome isn't burning.

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After commissioning and decommissioning boats countless times it's just another day. Put it together and move on.

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I'm far more anxious about the club launch drilling my awlgrip every time they try to pull alongside.

 

I'll see my boat thursday for the first time since september, friday is safety inspection for Marion-Bermuda, then I'm taking Mom and KDH out for veal chops.

 

Thanks to all the hard work WHL and Booms put in 2 years ago, safety inspection and boat prep is going much better this year.

+1 on launch damage. Pretty much the only cosmetic damage CDE receives is from the 'crash operators' at my club....or another member's unoccupied mooring who's stagnant whip noodles my transom. Future rafting is off the table too.

 

As far as commissioning stress, my saturation point occurred during the rebuild and first season. I could barely care less anymore; part of that is being solely responsible for all that coordination. The whole cluster hump of seasonal de-commissioning/hauling/storage/re-commissioning and parasitic yards makes me pine for my 'boathouse hoist' living days on Smith Mountain Lake, VA. There's something to be said for simplification. Truth is, my wife is pushing me to find a gung-ho! partner or trade the 'big boat' for a trailerable classic with camping accommodations and island house with boat barn. She might be on to something.

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Here is my take on this...if you have your boat ready, and something happens that means your launch takes longer than it should, nobody will have an issue.

 

Slow down the launch because you are not prepared or sloppy, everyone will have an issue with you.

That's how it should be.

 

I had engine woes at the end of 2009 season, had to pull the A4 in the 2-3hour window between being hauled out and having the rig unstepped. That was a bit of a scramble, but I had enough street-cred around the club that my request to be the first out of the water and the last mast to go down was honored without fuss. I don't mind saying that I had some anxiety going on that day, didn't want to be That Guy holding up the parade. I hustled and got it done.

 

The reinstall during the same window of time on launch day was met with some skepticism, but they humored me. Again, I hustled and got it done, was ready and running when it was my turn to splash. Again, some anxiety, but really only the "waiting for Murphy's Law to strike" variety.

 

For the next couple of years, the whole haulout/launch process was so ho-hum routine that I figured I'd had that boat long enough and sold it.

 

I made it stop. I sold my dear PERRYWINKLE. Now I kind of miss not having that anxiety.

The wind comes up I start thinking, "I hope the boat is tied up good." Then I remember, I don't have a boat. Shitski! I have a plethora of dinghies and kayaks. That doesn't count.

 

I'm right there with you on that.

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I think anytime you face a significant event that you hold yourself singularly responsible for you will eerie nice some anxiety about the outcome. With repetition, the anxiety lessens. This year, it was a bit more than usual as the boat was out of the water for two years with many of the systems disrupted, changed or modified.

 

Debilitating anxiety? No. Honest concern that I might have missed something? Yeah. Somewhat.

 

I think I'm short of "debilitating anxiety" since I'm mostly fine while awake. Some folks have night terrors about spiders or aliens. I apparently have them about launch day.

 

I'm sure it will fade with the years. Already a big help is talking to the old-timers at the club that have been doing it for 10, 15, 20 years or more.

 

And one day I'll enjoy the luxury of leaving the boat in all year. Already have the place down south. Just need to retire... in another 25 years.

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I'm far more anxious about the club launch drilling my awlgrip every time they try to pull alongside.

 

I'll see my boat thursday for the first time since september, friday is safety inspection for Marion-Bermuda, then I'm taking Mom and KDH out for veal chops.

 

Thanks to all the hard work WHL and Booms put in 2 years ago, safety inspection and boat prep is going much better this year.

How quickly it's come around again !! CL, I admire your commitment getting it done with attention to all the small details.

Good luck this summer. We'll be following your progress. Regards to your Mom, Mrs Loser, Little Loser and KDH.

Still think of the Indian restaurant in Providence !!

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You're in good company. I'm launching/commissioning a new boat (used- new to me) Friday. (A 2001 37' Bavaria) The forecast calls for cold and crappy weather- and then there are about 7 lift bridges to go deal with... She's been stored inside for almost two years, needs to have the mast stepped, lines rigged, etc. I've never setup a Selden in-mast furling unit, but hope to be a quick study. Fortunately there's pretty good documentation for everything and the guys at the yard seem to be extremely competent. The Volvo started right up during the survey- so that's the least of my worries. Anyway I wish you (and me) luck. Let us know how it goes.

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I'm far more anxious about the club launch drilling my awlgrip every time they try to pull alongside.

 

I'll see my boat thursday for the first time since september, friday is safety inspection for Marion-Bermuda, then I'm taking Mom and KDH out for veal chops.

 

Thanks to all the hard work WHL and Booms put in 2 years ago, safety inspection and boat prep is going much better this year.

How quickly it's come around again !! CL, I admire your commitment getting it done with attention to all the small details.

Good luck this summer. We'll be following your progress. Regards to your Mom, Mrs Loser, Little Loser and KDH.

Still think of the Indian restaurant in Providence !!

SPARKY got all "A's" on her inspection, so that's done. Had dinner with KDH and Lola last night, for those who haven't met KDH, this isn't him:

young_frankenstein1.jpg

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Nor this, although there is a strong resemblance.

lecter0103.jpg

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