Monday, October 22, 2018

Cabin modification for better motor access

I've used the boat for a couple of seasons now, and one of the things I've enjoyed the least is the big stretch over the aft deck to operate the kicker.  I even end up crawling up onto the deck on my knees a lot of the time.  Tall people would probably be able to reach fine, but I'm only 5'8" and wanted better access.  Here's how I solved it.

I've since made a hatch and rounded off the stub of the tiller.  I've also extended the rope steering back to where it doesn't interfere with standing in the new space.  The tiller still works well with an extension if one doesn't want to use the rope steering.

I had the boat out on the Columbia last week for a motoring only trip, and this has worked out exactly as I'd hoped.  Motor is easily reached and operated standing in this space.  I REALLY appreciated it when i ran out of gas sooner than expected upstream of the Glen Jackson bridge and started floating down towards the pilings.  Grabbed the gas can and filled the tank without spilling a drop in perfect safety in about a minute flat.  Also made it much easier to operate both the motor and the tiller near the dock.

A definite success.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

New professionally built sail from Really Simple Sails

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 had Mik Storer build me this one over at Really simple sails.  100ft2 with 3 reef points.  Came out nice.

Got it out for the first on the water test back on September 28th.  Headed downwind against a 1 knot current on the Columbia river between I5 and I205.  My velometer in the parking lot said the wind was hanging out between 3 and 6 knots.  I was going between 1.5 and 3 knots that way.  I got up to 4 plus knots when I fell off to any kind of reach, the current helping with the apparent wind and the SOG. Camera battery died before I got turned around and headed back upwind/down current, but here's some good shots of the sail shape with the wind behind me and going against the current.

I'll get some video with better wind and some tacking soon.  Hopefully before the season ends this year.