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.