We actually did it. 90 hours of work spread over 5 months of evenings and a few weekends. She’s finished and she sails. We took her to a busy Falls Lake and christened her the Terror of the Sea with a dram of rum, for a fierce vessel like this could never be christened with champagne.
The boat was very stable. She doesn’t heel. We didn’t need to both sit on the same side of the boat, etc. There was no chance she was going over. Winds were a bit light and variable. We used the oars heavily on the way back to the ramp, but that’s what they are there for. I think the boom could be a bit stiffer, but the sail was decent. The ropes started to stretch and could have used a bit of tightening. The might have helped us get back a bit quicker. This boat is very happy to go into irons. Tacking about took a bit of effort sometimes. I’m happy with the leeboard and rudder though. The leeboard had a tendancy to ride a bit toward the rear – not straight down, but that was expected. The boat felt balanced on a beam reach so I think the center of effort of the sail and the leeboard spacing were working pretty well together and I’d rather have it round up and stall than go sailing off down the lake if I fall out. I can’t wait to get her out on the lake with time to kill and a good wind to see what kind of headway we can make upwind. People always complain about the lug sail upwind, but hopefully tweaking around with the ropes and a steady breeze will help. Once when the wind did kick up and we were on a run the boat did nose dive into a wave a bit. I guess that’s the disadvantage of having a tall sail that close to the front of the boat. I think I was sitting down in the boat at the time and not up on the rear deck. Putting more weight on the rear deck on downwind runs in the future might be necessary.
I wasn’t sure of the positioning for the oars so today I just had c-clamps attached to the sides and the oars tied unto the stems. This worked okay but when I was first rowing from the ramp over to the beach I had the sail and mast down on the decks and the oar would hit the spars while rowing. I think for more efficient rowing with the spars down I’ll need to raise the oar mounts. I’m still torn between the thole pin and the oar locks. The thole pin is certainly cheaper and seemed to work pretty well today. I think I’ll make a raised up mount for the oars and put a thole pin into it.
Already looking forward to the next adventure on the lake where we can explore some of the smaller, backwater channels I haven’t been able to get into before.