Blue Away - First SailBy Doug Reuter #737 "Blue Away" (3ar)
I took it out last weekend with a friend who knows less about sailing then I do. We putted around in 2mph wind the first night with a little bit more wind after a quick rain shower. The boat sailed and I was pretty confident when I had wind I could sail it like it was meant to be.
The next day I got the chance to prove it as the wind picked up to 12-16mph with 25 mph gusts. The lake was a big dog leg left (think golf). We launched from the outer dog leg section up wind an confidently sailed the whole lake at one time my gps said we were moving at 3.7 mph which was pretty good considering between the two and gear we had to be caring over 500lbs. A few time during the day the front end would dig into the water, but it couldn't be helped as he out weighs me by 80lbs and I was not giving up the tiller.
We confidentially sailed the distance of the lake mostly down wind.in a matter of 25 or 30 minutes. People out that day all took long looks at us as nobody we talked to says they ever saw a sailboat on this lake (which is shame its perfect for puddle ducks 2 miles of shore line and deep!). We soon would be humbled being a rookie sailor on his first sailboat trip ever I learned some very good hard lessons. Turns out by sailing the whole lake we pinned ourselves in the the lower south east corner with a northwest wind. I also was trying to read the waves on wind direction (liars) and felt the wind was coming hard north. So I had a very short tack to my starboard side and it seemed no tack to my port side which made no sense as that is suppose to be the good side on my boat. We spent 3 1/2 hours zig zagging back and forth trying to get angle to make the turn back to our car. When I finally realized I actually needed to go backwards to get a good tack forward I had already made up most of the lake. Also I was being to easy on rope and had not figured out the whole work the edge up wind thing and after a few hours of running the tiller and rope I finally got the feel to do both at the same time. After this it clicked and it took two good tacks (meaning sail in hard leaning, and going all out) and we cruised in.
Had I not had to go home, I would have sailed back to the other end of the lake and did it again. This time I'm pretty sure I would of been back within a hour! Unfortunately as we docked I let the main sheet out and didn't unhook the sail right away as I was walking it around the dock the wind shifted (as it had been doing all day I realized later) enough for the sail to swing a little bit and the main rope caught a bullhorn and tightened up the sail and caught a big gust of wind sending it crashing hard and then sideways over the side of the dock. Oops I won't do that again. So the boat now has a few battle scars. Ironic that in the weather we had been in all day the most dangerous spot was the dock..lol
I love this little boat I can't wait to get back out there and try again.
Thanks for providing the resources to make this all possible.