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59Re: [Weta-Trimarans] no. 147 gets wet for the second time......

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  • Robert Shirley
    Aug 7, 2008
      #147, The Empress, went for her maiden voyage out of her home port, Ventura, CA today. Sorry, no pix. According to iwindsurf.com the wind was blowing 16-18 knots. According to NOAA the seas were about 3.3' at 6 seconds. The Empress loved the conditions and frolicked using all sails. It is amazing how much "ground" one can cover so quickly in these little hot rods.

      It is a good thing the water temp is almost 70 because there was water flying. I went upwind about 5 miles along the beach. Then closed reached offshore about 6 or 7 miles. Then broad reached with the Gennaker surfing the whitecaps back in to Ventura. Fast and exciting sailing.

      As with any new boat I have a few bugs to work out. The gennaker jammed with the sail out. The furling line had jumped off the drum and jammed underneath it. I gybed twice and carried the gennaker into the harbor (no choice) and beached at Mother's beach. I dropped the Gennaker halyard and worked on it for a while and was finally able to fix the problem.

      Also, at the high speeds I was getting a fair amount of water coming up the back of the daggerboard case and into the cockpit. It wasn't a problem because it just flowed out the open transom and I never had a lot of water in the boat. I did have enough to keep washing my bowline out and eventually lost my slaps. Don't leave anything loose in these boats!

      Finally, docking the boat in the high winds at the end of the sail proved to be a real challenge. Two powerboaters told me later that I provided them with a lot of entertainment. Ouch, I don't want to be that guy at the ramp. But they thought I was hot dogging it and showing off. They thought that because I was unable to dock the boat without somebody there to catch me. Finally, after 7 or 8 attempts, a kid took pity on me and caught me.

      The docks at the ramp are pretty tight together and at about 60 degrees to the wind. So, I would come screaming in down wind on port tack, punch it up into irons, and then try to reach for the dock off the starboard side of the boat, always coming within a few inches, but unable to get over to the float and grab it quick enough. I would then sheet back in, beat out on starboard before drifting down on the next dock and try again. One of the times I evidently, swung the starboard transom into the dock because I now have a gelcoat repair to do on the outside edge of it.

      I am gonna practice on a different ramp/dock that is more sheltered next time.

      Anyway, my WETA provided me with tons of fun this afternoon. I hope we can get enough in SoCal evntually to get together and race.

      Tired, sore, and grinning,
      Bob
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