Monday, June 27, 2016

Blown all over the river a second time. Reef points.

I got out on the river again after the last round of improvements.  Trailer worked much better, the lower ballast worked out well.  The 2hp honda is a joy to use and pushes the boat really well.

Once again there was more wind than expected almost right out of the gate, and I had no reef points in the sail.  The good news is the ballast proved itself.  Bad news is we were so overpowered that we essentially lost directional control.  Reefing moved to the top of the priority list.

 This is my typical "corner patch" at the luff and leach for each reefing point.  Reinforcing ribbon and then the radiuses vinyl tape strips.  Finished off with the sewing machine.
 The cringes in between are simply a layer of vinyl tape on each side and the grommet.

 This is at the luff up by the yard.  Third reef to head is almost continually reinforced for the last reef. I call this the "Texas 200" reef.
 The original full sail

  First reef point.  This will be tied in at anything over @ 8 knots of wind I believe.

  And the second reef point.  Testing will show where this is needed.

Last and most certainly least sail.  Be interesting to find out if i can get to windward with this at all, not to mention just how much wind i can stand up to with it.

The other thing I'm going to get done is a Paradox style steering rope around the inside of the cabin.  Last 2 times i've had help in the boat working the till while I was hoisting sail.  I won't have that most of the time, so the ability to helm the boat while standing at the mast will be necessary.  The other thing I've found is that even with the bulk of the ballast forward, my 200lbs and the outboard make her trim a bit bow up If I'm back in easy reach of the tiller.  Fine for downwind work, but I'll want to scoot forward when heading upwind to avoid lee helm and help get the full chine in the water.  A tiller extension could work, but wouldn't help in the hoisting process.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Upgrades and changes after the first sail

After the Memorial day first launch, I of course found several things that needed to be changed or finished before heading out again.  Brand new boat and trailer setup, so that's of course to be expected.  The first thing I did was replace all of the sail ties with high strength tactical cord.  Sailing was ended for the day by the zip ties at the tack blowing out.  I had been running the sail loose footed, so of course that was a very entertaining couple of minutes and we came home on Dave's 2.3hp honda that we'd thoughtfully exchanged for the trolling motor before heading back out.  I wasn't sure how much charge was left to run the trolling motor after the first excursion with Greg.

The entered foot is now tied to the boom, so if I have a blowout at the tack again it won't be catastrophic.  The grommets were already there, i just didn't use them before.  Something about adjusting sail shape with a loose foot configuration.  Turns out I have so much area there's no reason to add camber for light winds.

The second big issue was getting the boat back on the trailer.  The winch tower was way too short, and didn't have the right angle to pull the boat all the way on.  It was pulling essentially straight down the last couple of feet.
 I had bought an old drift boat trailer with a wider axle so the boat could ride lower between the wheels, but it's pretty rough compared to this trailer.  The height didn't seem to be an issue, i didn't have to get the truck wheels wet.  I happened to notice the winch tower was much taller on that trailer.  Broke out the tape measure and was pleasantly surprised.  I swapped towers and now it's much more useful.

 I had loaded a bunch of water jugs into coolers for temporary ballast, and it worked out OK but i really wanted to get the permanent steel mounted.  It will ride much lower for better effect and take a lot less room in the boat.  These are 36"x3"x1/2" thick steel and 16lbs per.  (4) will mount at the front of the cabin and (2) at the rear.

I also want to get some reef points into the sail for next time.

I also brought a brand spanking new honed 2.3hp.  I have the old Evinrude shown in earlier photos, but between mixing gas and the fact that it has no centrifugal clutch,  I really preferred Dave's Honda.  You can leave the motor running but not in gear, a BIG advantage.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Memorial Day Splash

I got her wet.  I sculled her, ran her on the trolling motor, tipped her over on purpose at the ramp, sailed her and ran her with a 2.3HP honda.  I had 2 full grown men in the boat for all of the sailing.  I'll go into depth on all of it, but to summarize she worked just great.   Here's a few shots of her in the water.
 The man with the back turned on the dock is Greg.  He came out with me for the first sail and was a lot of help.  It's nice to have backup on a brand new boat as you try everything for the first time.
 After 8 years on a 4.5' draft, 12-ton twin diesel trawler, it's nice to have a boat that can just go to the beach.
This is Dave Pierce,  a huge help for the entire day.  Greg above is his cousin.

And here's all of the video I managed to personally take that day.  Not much time for camera work when you're having a blast sailing the boat you built for the first time in the wind and current of the Columbia River gorge.  Sorry about all of the crazy tilting.

I'm a really happy guy :-)