13 August 2009

First single handed sail 13.2nm (114.9)

We had a couple of days of "possible sunny intervals" which is as good as it gets this year. So I took the opportunity to go and try out Daisy Grace single handed for the first time. I also wanted to spend some time sorting out various items which is always easier on your own.
Changes made:
  • small cleats fitted inside gunwhales to hold the fenders. These were very awkward to fit because of the tight space, no room for a drill or normal screwdriver, so a bradawl and stumpy driver had to be used. I beached the boat to do this.
  • Bottom linings fitted to shelves to stop things falling through the slots between the slats.
  • Tiller retaining line fitted, which allows me to let go for short periods to carry out essential actions, like pouring coffee, opening beer etc.
  • Lazy jacks reorganised so now I can control them with a line from the base of the mast, rather than on the under side of the boom. These now seem to work very well.
  • Pictures stuck up to make it look a bit more homey and less stark inside. I'll try to photograph the interior when it is tidy sometime.
  • Bow roller fitted. This is a bit inelegant, but I needed it. I keep her on a mooring with a chain. When this goes through a fairlead, it rubs the stem and damages the paint. The bow roller takes the chain right over the stem
She sails beautifully single handed, which was an essential requirement. The main and mizzen look after themselves when tacking. The jib sheets come to hand perfectly on the cabin top. I tried a few tacks to start, just to see how she managed, and then carried on tacking just for the pleasure of it.
Spent the night at anchor, which was the first time. (I've had four nights on board so far, having owned the boat for less than a month, so not a bad season after all.) I am not sure my current Danforth anchor is big enough, but it worked fine on a thick muddy bottom. (I think I could have phrased that better.) The accommodation seems palatial for a solo sailor.

One final test I carried out this time was to drive her up a beach, to see how she took it and how easy to get off. Very well. When the bow was on the shore, the stern is still afloat. Just walking to the stern lifts the bow off and she floated off. Picnics will be easy again. Didn't have my camera, so this is an earlier photo of her on the beach, to show how she takes it.

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