1 August 2014

19nm sailing in the sunshine with a new dinghy

A couple of lovely days in and around Poole Harbour, with a surprising amount of wind, so some very good sailing. Took my new dinghy down and launched her. She floats, rows beautifully and tows well, although she does drag more than the inflatable did. Really nice to row, but I need new oars. The sectional ones I have are too short and too thin. I kept thinking they would crack.

I sailed round to Studland beach and tested how she coped with swamping. Not well. Even with the stern buoyancy tank she completely swamps. I did get into her, but all was basically under water. I may try to fix some more buoyancy under the main seat. The skeg wheel works very well on the slipway, but not so good on sand and soft mud. I managed a little sculling, but it is a technique I need to practice on still water. Too much swell onto Studland sands. She carried loads really well. I brought the inflatable dinghy back to shore in her, without problem. I need to move the main rowlocks further forward to fit my long legs, and I must fit a rope fender around her as she scratched Daisy G each time I scrambled aboard.

The second day I spent tacking and tacking around the harbour. Getting up to 6kts on a broad reach, even with the dinghy in tow. She is quite noisy at night, with every ripple banging into her flat bottom and reverberating around. But I got used to it. She slides on and off the roof single handed very easily, which I am pleased with. That was the very first consideration when I chose the design.

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