Sunday, May 27, 2018

She sails!

So she sails! And pointy end forward to boot!

Reinhard and I spent a few weeks stringing together the sails, making endless macrame with the sheetlets, and in general getting knotted up.

A foggy winter morning
At last we were ready, and after postponing the day by a week due to other priorities, we launched early out of Pretoria. It is foggy in the early morning, after all it is winter here. Alexander came and gave invaluable help, and David, who had been an unswerving supporter for the past few years, also came along. Shahnaz provided video services, and I hope to provide a Youtube link.

Hoist up the John B's sails. Reinhard at work.
An ideal day was forecast: very light wind in the morning, gradually increasing through the morning, and then switching to the west at about two.

A few hitches occurred while launching, with the one keel hooking up with one of the new guides, and then we were afloat. The little two horse motor pushed us out into the great open, and then the sails cam
e up, and without a major hitch, although we needed then motor to get away. A little breeze came up and we were sailing at all of 1 knot. It strengthened later, and we reached a maximum speed of 1.7 knots.

They are up! The foreyard fouls the forestay.
There are several problems with the sails. After thinking that the sheetlets were far too long, we discovered that they were too short! Also needed are lines to control the set of the sails. Authors talk of snotters, yard hauling parrels, Hong Kong parrels, and some more esoteric things. Studying will keep us out of mischief.

But even with the badly setting sails we managed to tack through 120 degrees, from 60 degrees to 180 degrees in the GPS. The rig is a little bow-heavy, and we had to keep the rudder over to keep her head into the wind, something that parrels should cure. She tacks readily, but as it is at present she would not hold a course.

Brazil, here we come! Please excuse the tangle
of lines and badly setting sails.
After a few hours of tacking up and down and figuring out the systems we turned for home, and sailed wing and wing. Here, too, we hit 1.8 knots! The sails came down with little trouble, and we motored into the harbour to vanishing wind. Unsure of where to go we slowed down, the wind switched and gusted, and we went drifting sideways. I was on the foredeck, and that lifted the propellor close to the surface, which did not help control at all. I dropped the anchor, but the scope needed was more than the distance left. So we arrived at the jetty with a bit of arrival.

Next time we will sell tickets of our Chinese fire drill arrival. Unfortunately the video card ran out just then, so future generations will miss the entertainment.

Conclusions are that the boat has little lateral stability once she stops moving forward. Also the center of effort will have to be moved backwards quite a bit.

A bit more of work, and now the priority shifts to the motor and propellor. Money!

Video at

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