The big day has come, it is August 16th, 2003



It is 14:30, FLAME is water borne! A minimal leakage at the centerboard bolt can be repaired by tightening the nut a bit.

Stefan is securing me, in a moment I will move FLAME to her poles.

The first moments on board are truely exciting. My relation to FLAME is rapidly changing. She is not a piece of craft anymore, but suddenly is becoming a boat. A phase of my life just is suddenly ending, another phase is starting with the same pace. Somehow I was not prepared for that!

Each paddle stroke raises my confidence into the boat. How is she going to run under sails?


FLAME found a place at Yachthafen Oggau. This place is connected to the lake through a 2km long channel. No problem for FLAME with being able to lift her center board and rudder, but particularly this year (2003) many boats cannot leave the harbour because of very low water levels. Even Stefan has some troubles on his Vaurien. FLAME on the other hand can haul quite well through the channel.


will she ...

... capsize, break apart, will the mast come down - oouuuhhh what's GONNA happen...?


Hi Stefan - doing fine!

Chris (sitting) and I carefully start our first test.

Conditions are ideal for our first sailing attempts: bright sunshine, 28 degrees Celsius, 1Bft NE, and Stefan is acompanying us on his Vaurien with my camera.


O Lord ...

... thank you for THIS moment

We carefully move her on all courses: close haul, haul, reach, deep reach. She is responding fine to tiller movements and catches up fine with breezes. Summarizing the first cruise FLAME behaves by far more sporty than her predecessor ESPERANZA, a traditional, heavy PIRAT of the early days with wooden rig.

Finaly the grand moment of hoisting the Spinnaker - what a feeling!


Happy like children - and a bit proud about the comments of other sail boats passing and commenting FLAME - Chris & I enjoy the channel while Stefan is giving tug assistance.