The launching of Tom Flower's Brittany Class sloop Eos took place on Saturday, 26 May 1956. He had chosen a site which the haulage contractor had declared an easy job. By normal standards it may have been easy, but the amount of clearance the trailer driver had to weave his long vehicle back across the yard could have been best measured with a feeler gauge.
The crane, already in position, had a trial run for positioning the jib over the hole that had been made in the roof of the shed in which Eos, the first of her class built in Australia, lay resplendent.
Two huge wire slings were slung under, and passed to the hook on the crane, chafing blocks of softwood having been fastened to the hull previously, to take the load. The slings were parcelled with hessian to protect the paintwork.
With a line to the bow and another to the stern to prevent spin when the crane lifted her, Eos was ready to take the air. As she was raised, four chocks were placed around the hull to support her and then two large Oregon flitches placed athwartships across the deck. Chains were fastened to the ends of the flitches and pulled down to the deck of the loader with chain and pulleys.
She was released and left supported by four chocks and four chains - light rigging it seemed for a 7.5-ton lady who was to still face a couple of miles of roadwork, possibly more severe than she would ever face afloat.
The route to the water, having been previously used by the haulier, was known to be free of traps such as low power lines, low bridges, and so on, although a tight hairpin bend was to test the driver's skill.
With all care and caution, the convoy (loader, yacht, crane, several carloads of well-wishers, small boys on bicycles, and barking dogs) moved off towards Middle Harbour, Where the crane again took her and gently placed her on a marine slipway.
And the damage? A spot of anti-fouling about the size of a postage stamp rubbed off. Tom declared that if he had known the way she was to have been handled, he would not have lost a wink of sleep the night before, and he could then have arrived in time to see her placed on the slipway.
Transporting Eos to launch circa 1956
Eos on the Slips