27 July 2009

First sailing impressions 10nm (10.5)

My daughter and I went sailing for the first time this last weekend. Not the best of conditions as it was very windy and very strong spring tidal currents. But some quick first impressions.

Sails are very quick and easy to raise. I have had gaff and lug mainsails before and I must finally confess it is a whole lot easier to raise a jib headed Bermudian.

She is fast. We had about F4-5 and she reached at over 6kts easily, without any frights. Very stable with the water ballast. Heavy weather helm in gusts, so I put in the first reef (very easy with the rigged lines, and again, the absence of a gaff makes it much less dramatic). Little loss of speed and helm much lighter.

The winds and current got even stronger, so we motor sailed back to our mooring against both with jib, mizzen and a 2.3HP Honda. She made 3kts over the ground against what must have been a 3-4kt current and F5 on the port bow, so that was very reassuring.

Overnight on board very comfortable, with lots of room for two, comfortable berths and even the PortaPotti worked well (but for lack of privacy, I was banished to the foredeck). Noisy on the mooring as the mooring chain clanked as we swung round in the current. Storage is excellent, probably too good as I tend to accumulate unnecessary junk. Berths long and comfortable. I used the quarter berth and at 6ft 3in found it very comfortable. The only disappointment was the weather. Really too windy on Saturday to try everything, and grey cold and wet on Sunday so we came home. But I'm looking forward to getting back on board.

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