Wednesday, October 5, 2016

It's good to be Back

Went out yesterday evening for a nice 3 hour sail.  I had meant to test out the rudder on the skiff but realized I had bent one of the gudgeons by dropping the stern of the boat while trying to off load it from the pick up sometime ago.  The up side was that I didn't need to worry about how the rudder and steering stick worked, and just enjoyed an evening sail to the light house and back.  It was gusty but I think I just about got it right for the amount of sail I have on the rig now.  The boat has weather helm, good, but not so much as to loose control.  The big gusts are easily spilled by easing the mainsheet, and yet, the boat moves along in a light breeze.

Today the weather was even better and I wanted to fix the rudder rig and test it out.  I have been under the belief that steering with the oars works very well and makes for one less bit of gear in the boat to have to control and store and carry, but, I had built this rudder and wanted to try it out.  The rudder is made our of cedar (formerly somebodies decking material for their house) and has positive buoyancy.  The tiller, or rather, the steering stick is yellow pine and works by pulling fore and aft.
Though it does add a complication to the rig, it does work nicely.  I was concerned that the rudder might not have enough wet surface area to provide steerage but at least in moderate winds, it's just fine.  The steering stick could be a bit longer, maybe a foot or foot and a half, and I need to replace the toggle that locks the rudder pintles into the gudgeons, I just tied them together today.
Power sailing for this boat is rowing with the sail up, and it works great.  The transition from rowing to just sailing is quick and easy, just pull in the oars, don't even need to pull them out of their oarlocks.  Steering from the rowing position is easy with the tiller and main sheet easily within reach.

sailing rig ready to go in a matter of minutes, 2 minutes at the most.

Dagger board trunk being built

Dagger board in use.  A bungee cord allows for adjusting to any amount of board depth.
 The mainsheet comes from the clue of the sail down to a detachable block on a ring seized to the stern painter on the transom, then is bent around the forward oarlock sockets then to a cleat on the daggerboard, though I don't cleat it off much.
An Ocean going canoe catamaran at the local marina. Really amazing and beautiful.
I also saw the sailing vessel UNICORN  today, and the skipper was kind enough to invite me aboard to take a look see.  She is about 108' LOA with square sails and fore and aft sails.  I need to look up what that makes her, windjammer, full rigged ship, clipper???????  Great boat.  Enjoyed meeting the Skipper,  If this were a month ago, or things were just a bit different, I'd be pleading for a berth to get the ship down to the Chesapeake.  It would be what some people call a "BUCKETLIST" item for me, sailing a tall ship.
Waiting out Hurricane Matthew by going on perfect daysails here and knowing that people down south are dying a losing their homes, land, is kind of strange.  I guess somewhere in the world something really hard is always happening while something wonderful is also going on.

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