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05 April 2018

WAYWARD at Last

WAYWARD under sail...Photo by Peter Frost

Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz.
I wonder where
My paintbrush is?


WAYWARD at Last

Finally a picture of WAYWARD sailing!

The Lion of March (2018) has turned sheepish away up here in Warmsprings Bay (Alaska). Unseasonable warmth and light winds make for pleasant turns around the bay.

In this pic, we're approaching the dock.

The mains'l (forward) is close-hauled and the mizzen (aft) is eased in anticipation of a 270deg turn in probably fluky breezes. When the wind is forward, the main is trimmed to drive us, and we can haul the mizzen in with a hand on the boom. When the wind is aft, it's the eased mizzen which drives us with the fores'l blanketed. Either way, we have good control and a range of options without the distraction of over-hauling or -easing line.

Since it's a tight corner, we'll send one of us ashore in the dory to catch a line. Sail in, round up, tack and dock (in steady, onshore wind). Or, if it flukes us, we'll settle for sail in, round up, nose the dock and warp alongside (cranking the stern in with the sculling oar against the bow line if practical). If it had been woofy, we might drop an anchor, row a line to the dock and warp in.

The rig (split junk mizzen) is in prototype, right now. The draft is set via 'Thai Style' lacings between individual panels at 8%. This worked out perfectly, so we should have just built the full sail from the git-go without all those inefficient gaps. Oh well. Eventually, we'll change the sheeting geometry to flatten the mains'l leech... all required curvature is cut into the sail, so (unlike a flat cut sail) twist is detrimental.

Adding the curvy shape to the sail is considerably more work than flat cut, and it doesn't look its best in very light to no wind (sags). But it points considerably higher, or alternatively, draws more powerfully at any given windward point. Since the mizzen is flat, it doesn't point as high, and the main is accordingly drawing powerfully at a wider angle. The net effect, however, moves us along noticeably better.

Real sea-trials are quite a ways off, however. We'll have something substantial to report a year from now-ish, from a longer boat with a bigger, split junk mizzen.

Stay tuned!


*****

PS. The photographer, an experienced blue water sailor and delivery skipper came out with us the next day, and we turned command over to him.

His comment... this is the Cat's Ass!

This means a lot, to me... for all my years on the water, I've only once or twice sailed aboard another's vessel. Our boats are limited to a lifeboat conversion and a series of square boats, under-rigged by choice. So I don't have a lot to compare with.

Pete says the boat feels and handles well in the five or so knots of wind we had. I can vouch for the rest.

Not winning races, but hearts?

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful thing! Congratulations. I look forward to seeing more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks! We're off the job, now, and paint and spring cleaning are advancing at... well... a springtime pace. 8) A friend is coming soon and we'll sail off for Sitka. Hope to have more to report, and she's a shutterbug, so lots of pics.

      Dave Z

      Delete

About Me

My photo
Anke and I live aboard SLACKTIDE, our T26x7 ketch. We sail by wind, tide and muscle in the waters of mid- to northern Southeast Alaska. We try to maximize the joys of life, and minimize the chores. ........ We live between the communities of SE Alaska, but drop in to visit with friends. Lately, we've worked, every other winter, care-taking Baranof Wilderness Lodge in Warmsprings Bay. This has given us a window on Web. ........ We're working toward a subsistence lifestyle, somewhat impeded by addictions to coffee, chocolate and cheese. ........ We think TEOTWAWKI is looming, and while we won't be ready, we'd at least like comfortable seats.