25 April 2011

Second Easter cruise (32 nm 54 nm total)

Taking advantage of the good weather and four day weekend I went down for a second cruise and a second night at anchor. Experimented with the rig on the first day. She sails quite well just with the main sail, but doesn't point too close to the wind. With just main and jib she points closest to the wind and this is the best setup if you are having a long beat to windward. She sails closer to the wind without the mizzen and tacks faster.
With all three sails you get the best balance, especially on a close to broad reach. With just the jib and mizzen, you can bob along slowly, which I did to get into the extreme shallows off Shipstal Point, but with centreboard and rudder almost completely up the leeway was terrible and she was difficult to tack. You had to work and back both mizzen and jib. If you get them muddled (which I did nearly every time) you can bring her to a complete standstill.
On day two I solved the problem of her floating high at the bow. The forward ballast tank didn't fill completely because the weight of the engine keeps the stern too low. I put an inflated dinghy buoyancy bag in the stern tank, which displaces about 40kg. She now floats level and both tanks are full. She looks better and seems to be faster. My maximum was 7.5kts.
The battery was very low by the end of the second day, so the solar panel was not keeping up with the use. I had recharged my mobile phone and handheld VHF radio from it, which may have been asking too much. I will be interested to see if it is recharged by next week.
Sailed out into the open sea to Studland to get my sea legs back. Half the world seemed to be doing the same. Hope the weather contnues, although my wife says the garden needs some rain. It should rain at night.

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