A Windy day for the Houston HordeBy Eric Comstock #759 (11es 13eo 12ea 12ad 53ar)
The "Houston Horde" met at Buffalo Run Park for the second time today. This was our third meet (counting our original hatch) and our second day of sailing. This was also the FIRST time I have ever sailed my PDR. We had two boats, three Dads and six kids, plus many passersby who stopped by to take a look and comment on how much fun it looked like we were having. They were right!
It was a VERY windy day. The forecast called for 10-20 MPH winds. By the time we got in the water a little after 1:00PM the wind was probably running 12 to 17 with occasional gusts of 20+. I was a little nervous taking my untested rig out for its first sail in these winds but it turned out that I didn't have anything to worry about.
Everything performed exactly as it was supposed to. #759 sailed great. It easily handled the gusty winds and was a lot of fun. I did have some pretty bad weather helm, but an adjustment of the swinging lee board should correct most of that. I had the lee board almost all of the way down while I was sailing and no easy way to adjust it while under way. It is funny, with most of the boats I have ever sailed out here, getting away from the dock on the lee shore has been the problem. Today it was getting back down wind to the dock that took a while.
Roy brought out #634 "Puddle Jumper" and it performed well, as always. We never did quite manage a race, but we both got in a lot of sailing. Roy recorder a top speed of almost 6MPH and I expect that mine was just about there as well.
The winds continued to build all afternoon and by the time I pulled out around 4:00 I would guess that it was blowing 17 to 20 and gusting to 25+.
It's funny, after all I have read about the PDR, I thought that my 55 square foot sail would be on the small side. Once I saw it flying over my boat it didn't seem small at all. But even with the relatively high winds both of our PDR's were perfectly manageable, well mannered boats. It really is an amazingly forgiving design.
I think I was the only one taking pictures and I didn't get any while I was sailing. I had my hands full getting accustomed to the rig. It wasn't difficult, just something new, so it took me a little while to get a feel for how it wanted to be handled. So there are no pictures of #759 sailing, even though I went back and forth, across the lake, at least 10 times. I did get a few pictures of my boat on the dock and Roy's while it was sailing.
It was a windy, but very fun day. Aside from a slight sunburn, everything went perfectly. There is no way I'll be able to wait another month to go out again.