16 August 2009

Weekend sail 19nm (133.9)

I took my wife out for the first time this weekend. We sailed to a windward beach and put the boat bow on it for lunch. Worked very well except that we got stones in the centreboard case which jambed it. I had to take the table top off to push it down, which freed it easily. A hinged table might be an idea. We reached around the harbour and then went into the local marina for the night. Trying to work slowly into a narrow pontoon berth with no reverse gear was quite a challenge. Spinning a little engine round to go backwards is fine in theory. Doing it to get some immediately needed braking is something else. I think I'll be getting a Tohatsu next week.

I have fitted an 8kg Britany style anchor, with 12m of chain. This should hold me in anything I am likely to encounter, and is the largest anchor size that will go into the anchor locker. 8kg doesn't sound much, until you are pulling it in hand over hand.

We tried close hauled sailing in about force 4 with a single reef in. No loss of speed at all, still 5-6kts, but the helm is much lighter. As I have found with all boats, reefing early is always a good idea. My old Drascombe Dabber was fastest of all with a reef in a force 5. Even 2 reefs didn't slow her down, it just let her sail more upright and therefor faster.

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