Two years ago we saw the fiberglass hull for this boat go up Ridge Rd. to the boat barn that Ty Babb had built to work on it. I don’t know much about boats other than what I observe living in this fishing community, but even I could see this was a big boat. It even had a police escort as it was a very wide load, as in 17 feet wide I later learned. Yesterday was the day he launched the boat. And sure enough, it came back down Ridge Rd. I’d seen Drinkwater’s empty boat trailer go up the road, so I was waiting for him to come back by in about half an hour.
At the ramp at the town landing it looked huge still. That’s Ty standing to the right of the photo with his hands in his pocket. The launch was scheduled for noon and from about 11:40 on people gathered to watch. A good crowd. Young people in particular went up and down the ladder to inspect the interior of Spirit World. Turns out, Ty’s first inboard boat was Spirit World. It was only 22 feet long; I think this one is 48. It’s so long it’s nose stuck out of the boat barn the whole time it was under construction.
I’ve learned a few things about boat launchings. First, it’s exciting because it represents a lot of work, time, money. Ty spent two years working on putting this boat together. And then, it’s exciting because the boat is intended for use on the water — clearly the intent of this boat is fishing way off shore — but it has not yet been in the water. This is the test: how will it behave? A blessing is in order before the boat gets wet, which in this case, Ty’s pastor offered. And then champagne gets splashed on the bow, which Ty’s wife Phoebe did.
And then it’s off. That’s Ty’s son, Marley, at the bow after having untied the boat from the trailer.