We took the boat out on the water today. Not a whole lot of wind when we got there, good for a first outing, but it was picking up as we left around 16h00. Looking at the weather this weekend it seems like wind is generally calm in the mornings and gets better mid-afternoon into the evening. Which is perfect for when I’m likely to be sailing.
Made a few notes on the setup document. There were a few key steps that were missing. I’ll be amending that soon, as well as adding a takedown document. For the most part working through it went well. I do want to get quarter turn clips in a few spots that have screw rings. Dropped one screw bit during setup and that’s just obnoxious. It took about 30 min. to get the boat ready to go, and about the same to return it to a hauling state. Not bad for a first time out. Should get shorter, there was a lot of looking around going, “I clip the what to where?”
Impressions of the boat
- She’s fast. Even in little wind, it was easy to pick up speed and get going, even without the jib up. Once I learn proper sail trimming, and get some real wind, it will be fun.
- She’s tight and tippy. I was spending a lot of the time balanced over the centerboard with the tiller pressed into my back. I couldn’t move further back due to the tiller length, and couldn’t move outboard to windward with Whitney already out there. Steering from leeward just seems wrong. In more wind I’m sure it will be possible to get two people on one side, hiked way out even.
- She’s leaky. Not truly leaky, but the self-bailing bit in the cockpit could do with having its seal replaced. On to the list it goes. It did drain well once moving, but we were doing a lot of standing still and luffing as we figured things out.
Notes for Fixes/Improvements
The tiller length is too long, it needs to be shorted. The fold up tiller extension means it can be made really really long, but there is very little room as is, for two people in low wind. I took one of the older spare tillers and shortened it tonight. Need some hardware to attach it, but I bought myself close to a foot. Basically as much room as I could without also needing to shorten the extension. Since it’s the scrap one, I can make a real mess and switch back without trouble.
I think I am also going to look into pinning the rudder in the downward position. It was a pain to get down, and seemed to want to come back up, which hinders steering drastically. A good pin should be able to hold it down. It’s still a pain to put down while underway, so a note needs to be added to not forget to do that at the dock. Also a note to put the centerboard down. As I said, it’s good the wind was light on a first outing.
Finally, with regards to the tiller, it needs to be installed correctly. It was tangled in the traveller when we set out and needed to be uninstalled and reinstalled while underway. A very bad idea if there had been any sort of wind, but I did it without mishap. Twice actually, as I didn’t get it fully cleared the first time.
The #2 batten got lost. It was starting to come out at one point when we were out on the water, and was not there when we made it back to shore. Turns out however, that the spare batten that came with the boat is just the right size. But I will make a note on the setup instructions to ensure they are properly seated before hoisting the sail.
The new jib halyard is a tad short. The jib can’t quite be lowered all the way to the deck. I think I want to make it long enough the jib can be stuffed in to the spinnaker chute. The jib did fine before it was raised, but afterwards, when we dropped it in preparation for returning to the dock, it kept wanting to end up in the water. But, I have plenty of line, so this shouldn’t be a big deal.
One of the trailer light sticks needs repairing or replacing. The boat wasn’t quite centered on the trailer when I tried to put it on and I split it. I’m trying to repair it, but I may just need to replace it. Must remember to put a note about ensuring the boat is centered in the take down instructions.
The stern line clipped to the lower center of the transom is a bad idea. When we returned to the dock, I went to grab it to be ready to leap on to the dock, found it all tangled and we ended up hitting the dock with more force than intended as I tried to get it free. Ooops.
The outhaul and the spinnaker halyards both need better tie off points. They were flopping around and in the way. This made the crew’s job trickier though an already line heavy area. I think I can clip the outhaul back on to the boom easily enough. And the halyard can just stay tied to the mast until we are actually using the spinnaker.
A lot of notes about improvements and minor corrections to the setup documents. But I had fun. Next up, doing some improvements for better long term performance.