Taking a boat to the sea is not the easiest task. In some areas with history and experience, there are professional services, but in Almoradi/Torrevieja there is a limited pool of knowhow.
We ended up using Transportes El Serio, an old time friend who already helped the "Peer Gynt" in 1975 to the water. We contracted an expensive special truck as well and we started on the 14th of February.
The first issue was to take Icaros out of the yard into the sun. We did that with the help of two neighbours and their forklifts. Until we realized how it should be done we suffered quite a bit to take the relatively wide boat from the spot where we built it. Finally we did it on time and just after brunch we had the boat in the outside.
After pulling the boat out, we cleaned the solar panels and tried to charge the batteries. This did not work. The batteries acted dead, and no ideas from the hotline of the manufacturer would bring them to life.
This was a critical moment, because no batteries -> no boat. We shortly considered purchasing four 12V batteries as replacement- an expensive last-minute idea. However, finally I decided to try charging the batteries with a car battery charger from a neighbour. Fortunately it accepted 24V charging and after a few seconds, the battery came back from protection mode. I left the batteries for a while charging, and after that I left them charging from the solar panels.
Before that I checked all DC solar connections and yes, I had wired one block of 2 panels with reversed polarity. Fortunately it was easy to change and the batteries charged happily for about one hour with the february sun. Battery voltage was still quite low, but it was improving slowly.
We also cleaned further, adjusted small things and gave a couple of interviews to the local TV stations.
The crane took carefully the boat a couple of meters into the air and the special truck came below it. Then we slowly left Icaros resting on top of the truck, noth without making a couple of not-so-tragic-but-I-wish-we-had-done-it-better mistakes.
The 25km trip to the Marina Internacional was uneventful, with cars and pedestrians looking puzzled at the boat. We arrived at the marina and we had the boat crane pick the boat and carefully bring it into the water. At the time it was getting late and the lazy february sun was already going away. The day had been very long and we just wanted to bring the boat to its resting position and call it a day.
There are no pictures of our (short) first trip, from the shipyard to our berch. However, it was anything but uneventful. First problem was that we could not turn right. The reason was that while moving the boat, we had slightly bent the motor in the wrong direction and the direction was not turning.
This was a potentially very dangerous thing but I managed to un-bend the metal parts without breaking them. It was not perfect, but better.
Second issue: steering was strange. It took a while to get used to the response time. Actually, we did not really master it that day.
Third issue: the motor did not work sometimes. This very dangerous issue made us hit the dock once and made docking to our berth difficult. We later realized that the battery level was so low that giving sudden high power to the motor was bringing it into protection stop.
All in all we were not very satisfied but we still had one full day to test and check things before the official event.
On Saturday the 16th, about 20 friends and family members came to see the boat and test it. We started about 1pm. The sun was shining high, wind was mild and spirits were high. We had fixed most of the issues during Friday and we were much more confident now.
Everybody was taken for a 10-20 minutes ride, some catching nice small waves, some steering themselves... It was fun, we chatted and were allowed to be proud to have brought Icaros into life. Small kids loved the front cabins, their windows and had no trouble going from the back to the front of the boat. We were surprised how little power was needed to gain speed and ended the event with some pizza at the marina club.
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