Thursday, April 5, 2018

Playing with different rig layouts

As everyone following this knows I've been wondering how much sail area the Robbsboat really needs.  The originally designed 138ft2 on an 18 ft mast is definitely too much around here.  I built the original tarp sail @ 120ft2, and only needed the full area on the very lightest of days.  I spent most of the time on the first reef, which was @ 95ft2.  I finally decided to Have Mik Storer build me one at 100ft2.

The sail above is what I ordered, complete with the three reef points shown.  It's shown above on the 16ft mast I actually built using Jim's originally designed 5 degree mast rake.  Here's how it looked the first time I rigged it in the Driveway.

Here's one still show from actually in the boat

I sailed it for the first time on the Columbia river between the I-5 and I-205 bridges on a light wind day.  My velometer in the parking lot was ranging from 3-5 knots of wind with an occasional little gust up to 6 or 7 knots.  I headed off downwind against a 1 knot current, and maintained a speed between 1.5 and 3 knots, even with only 100ft2.  It's enough, especially with the improved aerodynamics of a properly cut sail.

Here's a video of that sail.  Too little wind to be very exciting, but it shows the shape of the sail and the experience of sailing it Paradox style from a beach chair with steering ropes.  I've pretty much decided that's how I'm going to operate it most of the time.  The going back and forth on tacks is hard on my 55 year old knees, and the boat is so narrow I don't pick up THAT much extra righting moment.  I'm better off reefing when my weight low and centered isn't enough.

New entry, surgery on the aft of the cabin to make it easier to operate the kicker.