It was a beautiful day for sea trials: 70 degrees F, 5 kt breeze, very few boats on the lake.
We made a good start at noon, but a few miles down the road I realized I had forgotten the oars. When we got back home I discovered I had forgotten about half of the boat, including oars, mast partner, rudder, tiller and tools. I guess I need to work on packaging the boat.
She trailers wonderfully - very easy motion. I lashed the mast to the deck using fore and aft mooring cleats and some closed-cell packing foam pieces that the kids were playing with.
It took a long time to rig the boat for the first time. Lacing the sail was time consuming, so I will try to keep the sail on the mast in the future. I raised the sail and furled it to the mast before departing.
I had trouble with my rowing stroke, so next time I will experiment with seat positioning. I also discovered that I made the benches too high - on level with the oarlocks, so my oars can rub on the seats on the back stroke. I am going to add a slot for sculling on the starboard edge of the transom. While rowing, the unattached boom was generally in the way of everything. Next time, I'll stow the boom inside the furled sail.
With kids in the bow compartment, we rowed past the marina, dropped anchor, unfurled the sail, rigged the boom, weighed anchor and were off.
Having never sailed a sharpie before, I was a little surprised at her initial stability (even though the all literature discusses this). She's a very stiff boat - as steady in the water as my 21' Drascombe Longboat, which has a very flat bottom for a lapstrake hull (also a shoal draft boat). The kids were very much at home and moved around easily - the toy dinosaurs didn't even get in the way.
I didn't get a chance to check her windward abilities, but it seemed like we were sailing pretty close to the wind. Judging from her performance in light winds, I think she will be really fun! I put in a second row of reef points so I can go out in some of the heavy Chinook winds that we get here in Colorado.
|Lake Pueblo, ready to go!|
|Upwind in a 5 kt breeze. 71 degrees in Feb.|