Finally, the “goose” is on the loose.
After a six-month refit, Onne and Tenley van der Wal's Grand Banks 32, Snow Goose, slid down the railway at Clark Boat Yard & Marine Works in Jamestown, Rhode Island, and hit the water.
“It was awesome,” Onne says about the launch. “It’s nice to get the boat in the water and rinse the dust off. When you put her in the water it’s kind of a scary moment, but also a big moment. You hope you did everything right when you fire up the engine for the first time and put it in gear.”
Onne says the couple has already used the boat “putzing around the bay here and there,” participating in a memorial parade and watching their son, Adrian, while he raced in a New York Yacht Club regatta.
“I love it,” Onne says about Snow Goose. “It’s a little wet punching into the sea when there’s wind, but it handles it beautifully and it moves very comfortably at 8 knots.” He hasn’t really pushed the rpms yet, because he wants to talk to his mechanic before taking it any faster.
According to Onne, his wife, Tenley, loves it, too. “We had four people on board for dinner and we had the barbecue going,” Onne says. “We can entertain. It’s comfortable, and the galley is brilliant with the windows all around. Tenley looked at me and said, ‘I can get used to this motorboating stuff.’”
Even though the boat is in the water, there’s still more work to be done. The varnish on the exterior railing and bulwarks was peeling off so they’ve decided to let it go au naturel, other than applying a coat of Semco teak sealer. “There will be three people working on the old varnish,” Onne says, “Me, Kaya Denroy (an Antiguan refinishing expert who lives and works in Rhode Island) and the Lord…because he cooks it off.”
The sun will have some time to remove the old varnish while Onne visits family in South Africa, but when he returns there will be more videos. Snow Goose will get a new graphic on the stern, Onne plans to demo the expansive electronic package, Tenley will show off the new canvas work and then there will be cruising videos.
For Onne and Tenley, the Snow Goose adventure has just begun.
You can watch the launch video with drone footage courtesy of Islay Petrie below.