>> The last time I wrecked, my dog abandoned me
>> in the middle of the lake and swam to shore without me!
>LOL! That's gotta hurt!
I widened the decks on the LSME to about 12". The idea was that it
would let me heel a little further without shipping water over the
lee rail, and make a wider platform for my ass on the weather rail.
In actually use, the modification has resulted in unexpected behavior
both good and bad.
One the plus side:
On beam ends the boat will just barely float above the cockpit line.
On the day in question when we got knocked down the first time, the
dog just slid to the low point in the boat, while I climbed out onto
the dagger board to right us, just like I used to do with my laser
(no ship's dog on the laser.)
The wider deck also lets Roxy hike out. On command she heave herself
onto the widened deck, her massive head well outboard, with only her
hindquarters still in the cockpit. She's a Newfoundland, so the
effect on the boat's righting moment is considerable.
They're just wide enough to lounge on with some degree of comfort.
When we're down at South Lake Beach (where she's usually moored,) I
can lay out on the boat while keeping an eye on my daughter splashing
in the shallows.
They've plenty wide enough to walk on, so if you want to go forward
you can walk along the weather rail all the bow. Very handy for
single handing a boat that really need four people (at least!) to be
sailed well. I've been knocked down with nine (9!) people sitting on
the weather rail while driving her hard to windward.
On the negative side:
Because she doesn't swamp when she goes over (at least not right
away) she's more vulnerable to turning turtle. When I dumped in
mid-February sans wetsuit or lifevest (posted under the title "Your
Tax Dollars at Work") the only thing that kept me from turning all
the way over was the fact that the main mast got stuck in the mud.
Fortunately I was able to pry her up without going into the 38 degree
water and blew into shore before the Coasties could get to me.
You can't really sit down in the cockpit and sail, the edges of the
deck are too far from the sides of the boat. This problem is
addressed in the design of the aft cockpit of the Singlehanded
Schooner. In the SHS you can chock yourself off with your feet on one
side and your back against the other. The best I can do is lean
against the aft bulkhead.
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