November 5, 2017
She was launch with the flood tide at the mouth of the Columbia River in November 2017 and will spend her life sailing up and down the Columbia. She was named in honor of the Chinook Chief Comcomly, an expert navigator of the Columbia River and the first river/bar pilot. While this first test sail was only in the river for a little more than an hour, it demonstrated its sailing ability. According to the pilot’s log book: “Deployed 1/3rd mile South of Derbyville, 1/2 mile west of Astoria/Megler bridge in 40 feet of water at 1015. Wind NW at 25. flood tide high water at 1328. 9.9 foot high water. Retrieved at 1145 on November 5, 2017. Position 100 feet downstream of buoy 50 in 15 feet of water. It was sailing so fast we could barely catch it backing up with the pilot boat sternbasket down!”
You can see a video of the launch on the museum’s Facebook page. In the audio, you can hear the amazement in the voice of the bar pilots “Look at her go!”
This is the first test sail of many CRMM-sponsored boats. This particular boat is the Columbia River Maritime Museum’s research vessel. Museum staff built her as a prototype before starting construction with students. The Museum tested different assembly methods, types of anti-fouling paint, topside paint, and application of graphics.