Re: CYOA - Re: Columbia 8.3 questions
- Sailing in light air takes some effort. Also, some boats are good at it, some are not. Some high performance boats, like the J-24, are light and have foils that stall easily. These are difficult to keep sailing. Others, like the Etchells 22, have a little more weight and the foils do not stall as easily. A good light air boat has fairly broad foils and enough weight to drift under control from puff to puff. Apparent wind is very important for light air sailing. Any forward motion multiplies the wind, but likewise, loss in speed is compounded as well. It is important to keep the air attached to the sails so trimming must be done gently and smoothly. Crew motion cannot rock the boat. Always cleat the sheets off. Very light sheets, (I use 1/8" in the really light stuff), are OK but never hand hold the sheets. Rudder motion must be at the minimum. The ideal is to slowly correct one's course using sail trim. Sails should be trimmed medium flat. Too much belly and the air cannot follow. Lots of wool tells taped to the sails help to visualize air flow over different areas of the sails. Clear air is also essential. The wind shadow trials a boat about ten mast heights so try not to be down wind of another boat.
Challenger # 74, "Ouroboros"
Los Lunas, NM.
I have an 8.3 and this is my first year of sailing her. This boat has the original sails which will need to be replaced this winter if finances allow. I sail her in fresh water on Lake Ontario and many, perhaps too many days in light winds. She handles great with main and genoa. I am inexperienced but learning and I'm surprised at how fast she reacts in a light breeze. I see many other sailboats of various manufacturers not moving and their sails luffing while I'm at least moving forward. Obviously when winds die to 0 knots, I'm also sitting but overall I love this boat and what it can do. I've also had it out in 15 knot winds and again she handles beautifully. The fastest I've seen her do is 7 mph as per GPS, tacking in a good wind. Certainly not a racer but a fantastic cruiser. Never have I regretted buying this boat. My experience for what its worth.