Monday, July 28, 2008

Bobcat sail #5

Even though my friend wanted me to build a new rudder before going out again, I wanted to sail more. We found a day of nice weather, and Reid & went down to the marina.

Reid says he doesn't want to sail, but he does want to motor. Once we exited the marina, I let him motor until we had some sea room, and then had him point the boat in to the wind while I put up sail.

As an experiment, I didn't raise the sail up quite so high (you can pick where it sits on the mast). I saw two significant effects: the boom keeps hitting me on the head (duh), and the peak doesn't sag, since the peak halyard has a better angle on the gaff. That means better sail shape (yay).

I got to practice my tacking, and felt like I learned to do it a bit better. Learned another trick: when stuck (or almost stuck) in irons, ease the sheet. Sheeting in will make the boat weather-cock, so sheet out stops the wind from spinning the boat. For a little more help, push the boom out far, which will make the wind actually spin the boat the right way, helping to complete the tack.

Reid complained of boredom eventually, so we dropped the sail and I let him motor back to the marina. This boat is a little quirky under motor power, because the rudder hits the prop if you push the tiller one way, and the prop hits the rudder if you turn the motor the other way. The most effective steering is to operate boat the rudder and the motor together, but it's tricky. Reid is getting the hang of it through, and safely got us back in to the marina. I decided to have him motor up the channel to the launch, which meant that I could go forward to handle the bow line. It worked pretty well, and Reid loved it.

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