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Feb 21 2007 – The Big Day

I arrived at PCI just before 9am sitting in the lot across from the factory door was our boat, still with the travel lift sitting over her. On the sides and on the stern were the name and hailing port distinguishing her from the other finished Geminis. After so long with the boat existing only as a concept, a fantasy, a dream – there she was, as a physical thing I could walk up to and actually touch. I took a walk around and admired her lines, looking for imperfections – I could find none.

I went inside the office. Sue handed over the paperwork, there was surprisingly little without a bank loan: an invoice to sign, a form for the state of Maryland (saying the boat was leaving so they would not charge us stales tax), a certificate of manufacture for the Coast Guard documentation and the C.E. Certification. Then Sue said she was sorry to have to do it, but we needed to settle the matter of the check/cheque. I patted myself down and pretended I left my check book in the car and excused myself. I went to the stair well and retrieved the ‘big check’. Maryanne and I had an 18” x 36” novelty check made for the occasion (Big Check from PrintArt). I came back in the office saying “this is the biggest check I had ever given anyone” then pulled out the ‘big check’. Sue busted up laughing, calling everybody to see it. We took pictures for each other then sat around for a while talking alternately about cruising and the boat building business. In around 1000 boat sales, they had never before received a big check – it was a hit.


Sue Smith accepts the Big Check from Kyle


Kyle takes his first seat in Footprint

We then went to the boat for a check to make sure everything on the contract was there. Sue excused herself and I was left alone on Maryanne’s & my new boat. I took just a few seconds to take it all in but had to leave because I had a meeting with Jeff Hamilton of Ocean Options. We had a good conversation about the new heater he would be installing and how the installation would work. (It was harder to get the heater than the boat!). I got a lot of good information about fuel types and maintenance requirements/costs, etc. Then I paid him to begin the work.

I then went to Peter Kennedy’s to take him to lunch, but he seemed more interested in work. We opened the wind generator and the mounting pole kit (from svhotwire.com) and made sure everything fit together correctly (which it mercifully did). We then went to the boat to consider the windlass installation. The windlass we got did not come with anything else but the windlass (we had wanted a manual windlass, and found the last one on the North American continent – and paid for it!). We needed to figure out leads, and what kind of naval pipe to use, etc.

We went to lunch and had the usual great conversation with lots of stories and laughing. We stopped by his office after lunch and I paid him the next installment to begin the work the next day.

I went to the boat and started unloading the stuff I had brought in the car. It felt strange and wonderful to be able to put our stuff on the Gemini and leave it there. I was very pleased and relieved that our A100 spade anchor fit into the bow roller so well; it seemed as if the roller had been designed around that anchor. All of our measurements had indicated that it would probably be a really tight fit but it worked out beautifully and was just perfect. I took a few pictures for Maryanne, poked around a bit, and then grabbed anything that looked remotely informational from the pile of manuals in the navigation station desk. The long day was getting to me, and I wanted to get home before it got much later, but first I had to stop by the hardware store to have copies made of our new keys.

Luckily Maryanne keep me on track (or tries), just as I was leaving Sue came out to the boat from the office with a pile of paperwork - menioning that I would probably be needing these - all the papers I had signed earlier. Maryanne and already emailed PCI to ensure Kyle returned with all the right paperwork.

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