Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rosebud goes for her trail sail!

Rosebud being rowed away to negotiate an submurged marina and shoreline (see lamp posts)
Going to windward in F4

Becalmed. Rowing back in for lunch.

Those rocks behind me are the "quemados" or burnt ones. They are approx 3km from where I am and bang in the middle of the lake - this is the latest submurged corona of the volcano; last erupted 1910!

After capsizing into a particularly dirty bit of the lake (where loads of ex-hurricane detritus was still lying around) I managed to get a quite nasty infection which has prevented me from going boating at all.

On the 27th I did managed to get Rosebud out again for a proper test. In the morning the lake is like a mill pond, and then the “Mistral” starts at 2pm on the dot and finishes around 5pm. So I did a potter in the morning to see how she performed in light airs and then the plan was a bash at sailing her in the afternoon.

The morning session proved a lot more successful than last time. The first thing I did not capsize!

I was already aware of her tippyness and was extra-careful. Her lack of wetted area makes her a good rower though; she pulls through the water effortlessly. Shame she is not more stable as she would make a great tender on that basis alone. Setting sail, in almost a dead calm, I was too surprised. Once I raised the dagger board and rudder to reduce drag, I could get a fair bit of speed even in a F1/2 or so downwind – certainly faster than a swimmer. Handy thing a fast dinghy in light winds; I suspect that maybe the rather large sail was going to be handful in a blow.

I did a test tow behind the inflatable and she towed like a dream; I was very impressed. Hardly any wake and very buoyant. Tracked well.

This was tested later on in the afternoon. Going out in a F4/5 she was nightmare to row to windward. Waves hitting the front transom stopped the boat instantly: I suspect that this a problem with any pram dinghy though. I needed to row though as I could not sail off the makeshift pontoon as there were too many underwater instructions to content with. The rowlocks were also too big so my oars kept jumping out of them; I already have closed ring type on order. I was very impressed that even in F4/5 that no water slopped though the dagger board case!

Anyway, sailing to windward is not her strong point. She can go to windward a bit, but I don’t seem to have managed to set the sprit right, and consequently it sagged giving me no leading edge. Downhill she is tremendously good fun; I bet she could overtake similar sized prams. Very tippy that is true – but that does test the sailor. By sitting aft she surfs well and the only real problem is following seas entering the semi-circular transom cut-away or aft quarters.
All in all for $1,000 in materials, a bit of dedication and hard work, she really is worth the effort. My one day sailing really got me going again and I look forward to her next outing at Easter maybe. With the rig issues sorted, an icebox loaded with a good picnic, she provide me a great days exploring – something to look forward to.

Tips/Things I learnt:
1. Drilling holes into bamboo does not work – lashings slip too. Setting lashings in rough sawn grooves and coating in epoxy seem to work.
2. Attach everything to the boat –during a capsize everything will float off. Have a bailer onboard ALWAYS!
3. Need some sort of waterproof kit bag.
4. The transom cut-away is too low. The tiller would have been designed to go over the top of the transom. Also, a sculling notch would have been very handy (as I lost one oar twice).
5. Would be good to have drains to buoyancy tanks as they do condense and water gets in.
6. Need to add hardwood trim to tops of transoms as there is significant wear where stored upside down
7. She does need floor boards that are level – with hinged section to allow bailer to get it.

Next update oon RoseBud at Easter time I hope.


Blogger ATHENA's Travels said...

Bailer, on little athena(don't know anyother name) we use a big car sponge to get the last bit up! no flaps, the sponge jams in the bailer, when not in use!
Does the light come on @ night so you can use it for navigation.
Not sure about the rowlocks but if you hold the oars/blade @ the wrong angle is will definitely pop!, horribble iff both go @ the sametime, have stitches to prove it!

2:45 PM  
Blogger Allan S said...

Nice post. I enjoyed reading about your trials and tribulations...sorry about the infection though.

I am very much interested in a home project like yours, I would like it to sail, row AND motor though I suspect it wouldn't be the best performer in any of the three categories...lol

Really enjoy your blog....Allan

1:19 PM  

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