Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Testing the Boat - third trial

I tried the new sail at Paynestown. I think it is too big. I had visibility problems (I couldn't see under it). I also had to sit too far back in order to keep it taut. This raised the front of the boat up and made it more susceptible to waves. There were a lot of these because of passing speedboats and jet skis.

The wind was mainly from the south and we were camped on the north shore. I had some problems getting out far enough to do any sailing. I was able to sail east but I didn't manage to go west. I kept being blown sideways into shore. The conclusion is that I can't tack very well with the current rig.

I did learn a few things about sailing including how to do some course correction with the sail instead of the rudder.

Possibly my sail material is to blame. I'm using a cheap drop cloth instead of canvas. It is a loose weave and might be letting too much wind through. I have a poly tarp to try next. Possibly this combined with a smaller sail will be handier.

I also think that I will modify the rudder. The current design is inspired by the commercial version and is similar to the dagger board. It is long enough that it will drag in shallow water and has to be taken out. The other boats I saw over the weekend had "L" shaped rudders. I think that I will go with that. It should be a minor change.

I'm not the only one going through this. I talked with one of the other pirates about his boat. He didn't have much luck sailing either. He uses a lee board and thinks that it might not be placed properly.

It was interesting seeing the other pirate boats. Except for one 1960s sailboat that has been repainted, they were a combination of boats made from plywood and aluminum rowboats painted dark with a sail added. There was one dory that looked properly constructed.

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