Re: [bolger] AS-29 sailing report
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Sorry, it was a solo sail. I was too busy to man the camera. Maybe next
weekend I'll have crew.
This weekend was strictly "try it and see if it works." The rig is
complicated and takes some getting used to. I had a couple of rigging
failures along the way. Nothing major, just stuff I forgot to tie off
properly or didn't tighten enough, etc. As much fun as it was, it was
also a lot of work. No way I could have taken any pictures. Next week
will be easier.
Harry James wrote:
>Uh pictures?[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>>Yesterday and today, my AS-29 had her first sailing trials. All I can
>>say is "WOW!" This boat is a kick to sail. It takes a little trial and
>>error to get the gaff-rigged main to set properly, but once you do, it
>>is a sight to behold.
>>I sail the Hudson river, and anyone who's ever sailed there will tell
>>you trying to sail against the current is like pulling teeth. The
>>Hudson is actually a fjord, a long narrow tidal estruary. Every 6
>>hours, the river changes direction. For 6 hours it flows south, then
>>for 6 hours it flows north. The current can run 3 knots or better,
>>depending on tidal stage and river flow.
>>But the AS-29 holds her own. With the wind at 10 to 12 knots, this
>>boat will do over 6. I can't tell how much over because my knotstick
>>is pinned at 6. Whatever it is, I was making as much as 5 knots ground
>>speed against the current. There aren't many sailboats around, of any
>>type, that can do that.
>>With the wind at 7 to 8 knots, the boat sails almost flat, virtually
>>no heel. You feel like you're standing still until you look at the
>>knotstick and find your doing 4+ knots through the water. She leaves
>>virtually no wake, even under power. The water is actually a bit
>>calmer behind her than in front. This is a very efficient hull.
>>As the wind picks up toward 10 knots, she starts to heel, maybe 10
>>degrees or so. That's when the fun starts. This boat is comfortable
>>doing 5 to 6 knots. The pounding, to be expected from the flat bottom
>>and blunt nose, is a lot less pronounced than I expected. With any
>>heel at all, she presents an asymetrical "V" shape to the water. She
>>seems to slice the water more than slap it.
>>Churning along at hull speed, the rig doesn't seem overly stressed. I
>>built the spars to plan from D. Fir and Spruce as specified, and
>>everything holds up fine. Very little creaking and groaning. The mast
>>doesn't seem to bend much, even with full sail and driving at hull
>>speed. The main sheet is a four part tackle and can be handled easily
>>with one hand, except when the wind picks up. Then it's a good idea to
>>take a turn around the cleat to save your hands.
>>Tacking this boat is a dream. You just push the tiller over, the big,
>>balanced rudder bites the water and you hear the gurgle as the boat
>>spins around the axis formed by the bilgeboards. Next thing you know
>>the boom has sailed over your head, she's taking her new heading and
>>accelerating. No jib to drag around the mast. No winches to crank. No
>>work at all.
>>We get a lot of power boat traffic on the river and the wakes they
>>leave are always a problem. I've had several boats, one a 45', 11-ton
>>ketch. In light wind it's typical to completely stall when hit by one
>>of these wakes. The wake bounces you around and knocks the wind out of
>>your sails. Not the 29. She just dances over the wake and goes on her
>>merry way. Up river, down river, whatever.
>>To say that I'm pleased with her performance so far would be an
>>understatement. Now I'm looking forward to taking some friends out so
>>they can be jealous.
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