USA Hazardous Building Project - April, 2016 Update

16/04/2016 04:24:56
Julio Arana
I hope all are well and off to a great start this season. I'm now three years into my "six-month" project, and it has been over a year since my last post. Well, here is the quick summary.
Pícara, my Hazardous Zero-9 Merlin Rocket build and a Keith Callaghan design, was successfully launched and sailed this morning on Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas, USA. She gracefully sailed in light winds and quickly responded to mild gusts. I'm pleased beyond words. I'm sure she'll exceed my expectations. 
I want to express my thanks and gratitude to so many of you who have helped me along the way. I couldn't have done it without you.
Photos, videos and a big blog update (2015 - The Missing Files) will be posted in the days and weeks ahead. For now, just a new photo of Pícara and I this morning.

16/04/2016 09:14:42
I idly looked at the blog yesterday, saw the last post was 2015 and thought, oh dear, Julio got distracted, other priorities must have taken over, maybe his situations changed. What a shame. fantastic it is to see this post today. She looks great, you must be very proud.

16/04/2016 13:36:14
Julio Arana
Hi Mark,
You are correct, actually. I got distracted with other priorities, life/family events, travel, camping and work, of course. Fortunately all good and important things but took my attention away from Pícara.  
Thank you for your kind words, I'm indeed very proud of this accomplishment. Looking forward to sharing my last year build activities soon. I just posted more photos of the launch.

16/04/2016 18:19:37
She looks lovely Julio.  Would be fantastic if at some stage you could get her to uk and let us see her in the flesh.  

How about Salcombe 2017

16/04/2016 20:58:51
James Gibbons
Julio, I finally ordered my kit after I got a house with a garage! Start my build in May! Will be using your blog as inspiration!

16/04/2016 23:49:01
Julio Arana
Colin, thank you! Salcombe 2017? That would be a dream come true... Maybe we could fulfill two dreams at the same time?
James, congratulation on the new house with a gar.. boat building shop and on ordering your kit! Looking forward to following your build. I'll update my blog with the complete final build details and the rigging bits. Happy to share my mistakes along the way and a list of things I wish I knew beforehand. All in all, no regrets. Good luck and let's stay in touch!

25/04/2016 09:38:40
Andy Dalby
Huge congratulations Julio - she looks absolutely amazing. 
We have watched your progress with interest and you certainly made all it look effortless and very professional.   
My father and uncle both built their own rocket ships 3534 and 3470. I think many of the fleet appreciate the skill and time that goes into building a rocket - never mind in the USA.
Lets hope you spark more interest there. There is lots of good footage of merlins now on youtube so you can study the trim and boat handling techniques - I found it takes some time to find the groove but when you and the boat are working together in harmony they take some beating! 
Happy Sailing! 

25/04/2016 21:41:51
Julio, she is looking lovely... but ....fenders?! (see pics)  I have never seen that on a MR before.......!!  I guess after all that work you don't want her getting scratched?  Brilliant job.. much Kudos.

26/04/2016 16:38:45
Ainslie French
Well done Julio. Picara is looking absolutely fabulous !!
You've done an excellent job.
Wishing you safe and happy sailing.

27/04/2016 10:16:11
Stuart Bates
She looks fantastic, especially given your lack of being able to look over other boats.  Even if you can't get her over for Salcombe you should make the trip over for that week and maybe even get to borrow a boat over here to sail.

27/04/2016 17:12:45
Julio Arana
Hello Andy, thank you for following my progress along the way. The blog now has in excess of 31k visits from over 40 countries in 5 continents since I started. Not a record but hopefully it will generate more interest. I agree it takes some time to find the groove and look forward to learning how to fine tune her and make sure she's up to the task. I need to learn how to sail her well. I'll be taking her out again very soon.

Alan -hi!, Those are Rum and Whiskey containers... yes I knew I'd get in trouble for posting those photos of Pícara with fenders. My bad. First-timer jitters, I guess. I know I don't need them now. It was just a precautionary measure since I went alone to launch the boat. I was going to launch from a concrete boat ramp and it had boarding docks to tie the boat from while parking the Jeep and trailer. Mind I don't have a launching dolly yet. At the end, the wind shifted and I had to launch from the grassy shores, which turned out to be better. I know she'll get scratched and I expect that to happen in combat but hopefully not during launch or transportation.

Ainslie,thank you! We'll be waiting now for your next updates with photos and all details of that beautiful boat you're building.

Hello Stuart, thank you for yout kind words. It would've been great to have fleet boats available to look over while building my boat. I was fortunate to leverage the photos in the library and Laurie Smart's build photos of Rob Holroyd's Wicked, after which Pícara was built. That, combined with Keith Callaghan's detailed drawings/support and the help of so many in this forum, helped me complete and launch Pícara successfully.

This is certainly a different journey and, if one feels the calling, one should seriously consider it. I recommend it!




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