Sunday, April 28, 2013

She sails

Today I took WHISP out to the lake and tested her sailing rig.  She sails.  Success and surprise.  The surprise is that she sails without the use of any added underwater parts (centerboard or rudder) and that she even sails to windward this way.

At first I was using the oars for steering, that was awkward but somewhat affective.  While going forward to take up on the snotter for the sprit yard I noticed that my body weight moving affected the track of the boat.  I had the mainsheet made fast to the cleat and moving forward caused the boat to head up into the wind.  Moving aft caused it to fall off.  I also noticed that leaning to leeward could add to the affect of heading up and leaning to windward caused us to fall off the wind.

I also think that the external chine has a large affect on reducing the boats leeway.

I was able to tack the boat thru the wind twice, simply by moving all the way forward and to leeward until the boat came about, then moving back aft as the sail filled on the opposite tack.  I was really amazed.  I did miss a tack completely once, but used the oars, which were at the ready, to easily move the boat around.

The nicest thing about this is the freedom of clutter in the boat and the simplicity.  No center/dagger board, or leeboard to deal with.  No tiller.  I was able to lie prone with my head on a boat cushion and the mainsheet in my hand and by simply moving my feet from one side of the boat to the other and leaning my body a tiny bit, was able to steer a coarse.  Another thing is I had no worries about catching the under body on a rock.

I hope to post some pics or vids of the boat underway in the next week.

I think I will build a rudder for the boat in case of being out in stronger winds and needing to use my body weight more robustly.  I may also try a leeboard as well.  I can always not use them if I find I don't need them.

I am very happy that the sail worked out.  The shape of it was pretty good for making it out of a reclaimed old jib from my 27 footer.  The sprit rig seemed much simpler to use than the lug rig I had used on a dink I had set up a year or so ago.

It is nice to be sailing in one of my own boats once again.

No comments:

Post a Comment