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64188Windsprint questions

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  • wtarzia
    Aug 16, 2010
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      Hello -- I was just given an unfinished Windsprint, which I am hoping to have in the water before winter. It came with carbon spars (!) and new sail, the 114 square foot one according to plans. I am used to sailing a small outrigger canoe along the coast near New Haven, CT, so I am curious as to what to expect from this small double-ender sharpie. My only other sailing experience has been in a 11 LOD foot Lowell semi-dory.

      I realize that some questions are beaten to death on a forum, so if you feel it is better to refer me to previous excellent posts (their approximate date or exact number if possible) on the Windsprint, I understand (or, off-list replies are welcome). I will continue on to my questions in any event.

      The general question is of course, "Has this boat generally proved to be worth having and sailing? What can I expect?" Assume I have a few years of casual sailing experience. Of course I intend no open-water crossing, but even so, Long Island Sound gets surprisingly rough for small sailboats. More specifically:

      (1) The sail seems very big. It would be great in the frequent light New England winds, but it seems anything over 5 mph might lead to frequent capsize. Correct me if I'm wrong. Yes, it has reef points -- does the sail keep any useful windward-going shape with those reefs? If not, I would rather carry my 54 sf lug and just raise that.

      I tried the 114 balanced lug on my 16 foot outrigger canoe (wisely, on a lake with its flat water), and in windspeeds regular 9, and frequent gusts between 16 and 23, it was a real handful, flying me up to 11 knots and almost driving my ama (float hull) under on close reaches. Don't get me wrong, I loved the 3 hour play time, but for longer periods on choppy coastal water.... I don't know. My outrigger has an ~7 foot beam, so I can only imagine how a Windsprint might behave. I am planning to try out my 54 square foot lug sail on the Windsprint, and plan to add a step aft for a jib-headed mizzen sail of 20 square feet: 74 square feet set lower than the design sail and mast seem better. I could still roll up and the big sail for zephyrs. So....any experiences/advice concerning use of different/smaller sail rigs?

      (2) The original plans had the off-center dagger board. The builder of this one opted for an on-center centerboard with a wide thwart across it. I assume this should have no effect on sailing (might even improve sailing?). Is the plan size of the daggerboard enough? Seems a tad small to me (less than 3% of design sail area).

      (3) I am adding ~ 6-inch wide side-decks (inside those heavy, wide gunwales) to keep some water out when heeled and to allow me to sit on WW gunwale comfortably, since sedate reclining while sitting on the bottom of this boat does not seem to the best method if there is any sail area on this boat. Opinions? Is this a rare/common design modification? (Also adding fore deck up to the mast step, and aft deck up to the cross-beam there that is on the plans).

      (4) Perhaps I should have taken this time to build the side decks as water-tight chambers, but I am trying to actually sail rather than build this summer. Still might do so as a winter project, but for now I intend on stuffing large sections of the unused interior of the boat with slabs of Dow foam inside large nylon laundry bags. Has anyone experience with strategic placement of capsize-recovery foam?

      (5) Any other comments appreciated, or answers to questions I should have asked. -- thanks -- Wade
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