LSME Sailing details
- FBBB --
Hoisting sails underway? Nope. This scooner has no motor. In fact,
the entire aft section is closed up. As soon as I glean a way to make
a cheap, watertight hatch, I'll cut a door in it and use it a locker.
Remember, this boat is a sharpie. Floats on a heavy dew. We laid her
up broadside on the beach, (more or less a beam of the wind,) and
hoisted the sails on slack sheets while standing in ankle deep water.
The loaded baby and dog, spun the boat downwind and let the breeze
run us off the beach.
In my haste to get her on the water *now*, I build a very rough
rudder, just cut the best shape I could out of a piece of 3/4 AC
48"x30", screwed the pintles into it and called it good.
Running off the beach I used the rudder/tiller like a big steering
paddle until we were in deep enough water to secure the rudder in
place. Three things make this much, much easier than doing in the
teal lil'winnie. First, I bought on pintle a little long than the
other; second I was doing it out the back of a big, square-sterned
boat rather than a little, pointy sterned dingy; third, I was a
smooth water rather trying to get off the beach through 3 feet of
swell and 1 foot of wind chop. None the less, a kick-up rudder is
definitely called for, and I'll be building one over the winter.
The wind was light and a little shifty on the run. We tried to coax
the foresail over to run wing and wing, but it keep flopping back to
the lee side. My wife took the tiller for most of the down wind leg.
As it was her first time steering a boat, and only her second or
third time in a sail boat, we sailed on a broad reach to reduce the
likelihood of an unplanned jibe. We make two slow, planned jibes to
the north end of the lake, the boat moving quietly in front of the
gentle breeze the whole way. We ate meatball sandwiches and drank
Lake Montauk narrows at the north end. That's also where you find the
inlet, as well as the commercial and sport docks. The eel grass said
the tide was running out at a good clip, (hint: if you can see the
eel grass, your about to ground that 63' daggerboard,) so we headed
up to begin our windward leg. The wind came up a little as my wife
pushed the tiller to leeward and I hardened the sheets.
As I said before, based on my reading, I fully expected our beat to
windward to be series of slow, wet, and futile reaches back and forth
across the north end, before we gave up, beached the boat, and
hitched a ride back to the car. Happily, this was not to be.
The scooner pointed! Did she point as high as bendy-masted,
jib-headed, sloop with kevlar sails? I don't know, you don't see too
many of those on Lake Montauk. But she did go to weather, and rather
smartly too. With the dog snoozing amidships, and Mom, Dad and Maggie
on the rail, she heeled a bit on the stronger puffs (12 knots maybe,)
but we never felt the urge to luff up or easy the sails. I widened
the deck to 12 inches; not only does this make a nice wide place to
put one's nice wide ass, but it lets you put the rail in without too
much worry. I suspect she's float on her ear without shipping water
(a big change from lil'winnie which goes from sailing to sinking the
instant water starts coming over the gunwale.
What I really enjoyed was the way she'd heel a bit, then release and
surge forward. When I looked back, I saw little whirlpools spinning
of the rudder and a pair of little wave training coming off the
corners. They receded surprisingly quickly, especially considering
the the light wind.
I haven't done any rigging of the sheet other than to tie them off to
the booms. I want to get a better idea of where I want thing to be
before I put anymore holes in the deck. I think Bolger's layout has
as much to do with avoiding spending money at the chandlery as
handiness. I'm all in favor of that, but I have bucket of salvaged
bits and blocks. Might open up some options.
One thing I did that didn't work: The cockpit coming. It looks nice,
and would certainly offer a deterrent to any water on the deck that
thought it might want to roll into the boat. But it's too high, cuts
into the back of your thigh uncomfortably. Not enough to ruin the
day's sail by any means, but it needs to be fixed.
She's a beautiful boat, and by my reconning, easy to build. Not
really any different than the teal, just bigger. When I saw her on
the lawn, flying her canvas I was satisfied. The rest is just gravy.
CRUMBLING EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
134 W.26th St. 12th Floor
New York, NY 10001