Tracy’s first sail in the 2.4 meter

Tracy sailing her 2.4mR

Tracy sailing her 2.4mR (Photo by Bill Blevins)

I took my first sail in one of our new 2.4 meter sailboats.

As soon as Bill cut me loose from the dock, I went into panic mode. My hands were busy adjusting the sails but I had no control of the boat and was doing circles between the docks.

Bill yelled, “Go over there (pointing out in the middle of Canandaigua Lake) and we will meet you (in our Skeeter “chase boat”)”.

I said, “I would if I could figure out how!”

Bill finally yelled to me, “use your feet, use the rudder” and then it hit me that I wasn’t steering the boat at all! Once I remembered that the right pedal moved the boat right, I started to calm down a little. I figured out how to move in the direction I wanted.

Bill and our new CYC friends ran over to the chase boat but had a little trouble getting it started. But at least by now I could maneuver myself over to them and ask what was going on.

They finally got the chase boat started and I made a few laps and rounded a couple of marks and by that point was ready to end my trial run.

It was only a few minutes of sailing but it seemed much longer to me and I was tired! I tied up to the Skeeter and they pulled me back to the dock.

I’ll get better and more confident in the boat in my ability to sail it after a few trips out.

International 2.4 Metre Shakedown Cruise

2.4mR first sail

International 2.4 Metre Shakedown Cruise (Photo by Tracy Blevins)

Tracy and I headed down to the yacht club this morning after a big breakfast and got one of our new boats out in the water. I sailed it today just in case there were kinks that needed to be worked out.

Sure enough, when we made the turn into the parking lot, we could see three guys intently studying the hull and rigging and the controls inside of the boat. These things sure do get attention!

Tracy helped get the sails on the boat while I mounted the new cockpit spray cover with some marine goop and a couple of screws. I put in the keel drain plug and then donned a fleece jacket and my spray top and we were ready to go. One of the club members came over and gave us a hand with the lift.

The whisker pole ring on the boom immediately broke. Tracy ran to the truck and grabbed some tape and we just bound it onto the boom. I have no idea how I’m going to get the loose line inside of the boom to do the repair but for now, the boat works, just no whisker pole practice. I’ll study the boom for the other boat and try to come up with a solution before we do any racing.

We raised the sails and Tracy gave me a big push away from the dock and I sailed away. After an hour or so I headed back to the dock and we lifted out the boat and put her away for today. I have notes on things that still need to be ironed out.

Sailing was pretty straightforward. The boat handles nicely. It took about 10 minutes to get used to steering with pedals – you push your left foot down and the boat turns left and vice versa with the right foot. Having been a tiller sailor for years, this initially seemed backwards, but it didn’t take long to get used to it.

John Kruger from Gavia Yachts emailed last night to say that the “extra” cam cleat that we found (and I blogged about in an earlier post) was for the semi-automatic adjustable seat. Very cool. They thought of everything with this boat! I need a longer line for this adjustment though, because I am 6′ 2″ and I think I need to sit as far back as possible. With the seat back as far as the adjustment would allow, my knees were comfortable, but they were right at the underside of the console. Sitting back will probably take care of that little problem.

The jib luff was never as tight as I would have liked, but before I cut off the extra line running inside of the hull from the downhaul to the cockpit controls, I wanted to see how it worked. I had taped the loose end to the forestay, but didn’t leave enough slack to pull the jib downhaul all the way into the deck.

The stock vang is odd. I may have to shop for dingy vangs with different swivel shackles. I may try to flip it around too so that it is adjusted up on the boom rather than at the base of the mast. I may try that next week one night when I go out.

The ride is not dry, but it wasn’t terribly wet either. The bilge filled up 3 times during the hour sail, but I was actually quite dry. The newly designed cockpit cover works well. Most of the water that entered the boat came through the holes for the stays and jib twings. Only one or two rogue waves got me. Had I had on my dinghy pants I would have been totally dry. I was wearing my “big boat” spray pants and they aren’t quite as dry as they were several years ago. I have a pair of Gill dinghy pants on the way and they should be here next week.

I dropped my little Garmin eTrex GPS under the seat as soon as I got in the boat but with so much going on during this first sail, I didn’t bother standing up to try to locate it. I have no idea how fast I was going. It felt pretty fast! (I have a Velocitek SC-1 on the way too and that should be here next week.)

All in all, it was a great day! Fun, windy and wet. Now if we can get the other boat out so I have competition!

Tracy shot video and photos today. The photos are over on Flickr and the video is posted on YouTube.

2.4 Metre newbie rigging questions

It would be cool if someone could post a comment with close-up photos or a link to photos showing how they rig the tack of the jib on their 2.4mR, another showing how the shock cord for the whisker pole is run and one showing a close-up on how the vang attaches to the mast and boom.

I have the whisker pole rigged like the description on the International 2.4 Metre site. Close-up photos would help though as I’m sure there is a much more efficient way to attach these things than the way I’ve got them set up at the moment.

When we visit with all of the experienced sailors at Nationals in June, I know we’ll see lots of variations of how to do these things, but seeing photos sooner would be even better!

View of the cockpit of a 2.4mR

Cockpit view of a 2.4 Metre Sailboat

2.4mR cockpit (Photo by Bill Blevins)

We went to the Canandaigua Yacht Club today and set up one of our boats.

A busy weekend is planned next week at the club where they rent a huge crane to lower all of the larger boats into the water, and we have to keep clear, so we could only get one set up today. The other is lonely up on the hill behind the club. We’ll get it in the water in a couple of weeks.

The 2.4mR did draw a lot of attention from the folks there setting up their big boats.

We managed to squeeze in to use the lift to get the boat off of our trailer while the guys were out on the lake working to set the mooring buoys for the summer.

We met a lot of nice people.

One of them said, “Ya’ll don’t look handicapped”.

I’m sure we will get that a lot. The 2.4mR is the current official boat for singlehanded racing for disabled sailors because within the class rules, they can substantially modify it for their disabilities as long as it doesn’t break the 2.4mR rule and they can measure equally with the other class-legal boats.

Our goal is to get a few more people educated about how great these boats are and get them out on the water in their very own International 2.4 Meter!

We’re going sailing tomorrow. Check back for the full story on our first adventure on the water!