Our First Day SailingBy Raylynn Driskell #743 (3ar)
We took the boat out (finally) yesterday. Our first attempt to go out was messed up because the lake we went to was being drained and had about 4 feet deep mud that we were trying to sludge through to get the boat to water, and once we made it (2 hours later) and tried to go sailing our rudder ran into a mud pile and broke off.
So after coming home and rebuilding the rudder and varnishing a little more we went out yesterday. We found a small leak that after about 3 hours on the water we has about an inch of water in the cabin and in the boat. So were going to be repairing that over this week.
Our first sailing attempt we thought we'd try to just use the jib and the rudder because the wind was super light (mirror on water) and we just wanted to trolly around. When the wind picked up however, the rudder had zero say in where we went and the jib drug us across the lake. Even after dropping the jib it was nearly impossible to paddle up wind even though it was really light, I think its because the boat was so flat nosed.
So out second attempt out we took the keel with up, upped the jib and tried again. Instantly we were cruising down wind again so we immediately dropped sail and paddled back to shore. By this time i was feeling super discouraged because I thought we'd messed our design up terribly. So as a last resort we decided to throw the main sail up. Which, by the way, needs a little reworking.
Currently were trying to tie the main to the mast, except we have spreaders half way of the mast which makes that super hard so we got to find another method. Anyway, with the main on and the keel in we took off and holy monkeys she sailed! And I mean really sailed. The wind was hardly enough to fly a kite I believe and we were going a good speed walking pace - this is the best part - we were heading nearly UPWIND! I'd say (with a huge guess) that the wind, if you're looking straight forward from the centre back of a duck, was coming from about 3-5 feet off the side of the nose. I was amazed and relieved that the boat finally worked.
By this time however the strings that were tied from the steering wheel to the rudder had stretched somewhere around 4 inches, which made steering a bit difficult because I had to spin the wheel about 3 times before the rudder responded. (which was kind of fun anyway) So we need to rethink that, maybe get a better rope.
The wind got super calm so we raised up the jib again, and we were still able to steer. So I believe the jib by itself is too much for our rudder, but with the main sail its perfectly fine. This boat was able to keep of a gentle speed even when the water was so smooth you could see your face in it, and you can see the trees on the mountains in it.
Anyway, thats just a bit of an account of how our first day sailing went.