Wednesday, June 17, 2009

sicky w00t

There are currently 200 confirmed swine flus in QLD at the moment. Today at 1:30pm I got the sniffles. Acting out of the greater good for my fellow man I quarantined myself.

Totally unrelated, at 1:00pm, as predicted the seabreeze kicked in,15kts from the SE.

By the time I had the had hooked the trailer up my sniffles were gone (an obvious false alarm but you can never be too safe) and proceeded to the yacht club for the boat's 7th sail.

The weather was absolutely perfect. I it was the best sailing experience I can remember. The boat was reasonably easy to get into the air. After a while I was getting the confidence to see how far to windward and down wind I could push it. By the end I was starting every tack on foils. I was surviving 75% of low riding gybes. The closest I got to a foiling gybe was getting to the centre of the boat pointing dead down wind before ditching it.

So things I immediately need to work on.
  • For most of the day the boat felt really unstable in heel. I think this was all my fault tho - a combination of not moving my body in and out enough, and trying to steer, or sheet my way back to a comfortable heel. I am very surprised how little help sheeting and steering is, especially compared to displacement boats.
  • I am still not sure how to use the twist on the tillerx. This is compounded by me yet to know which direction to turn it to achieve lift. After the sail I think I need to consider it in terms of "bow up/bow down". I will draw arrows on my hands indicating which direction to rotate to achieve bow down.
  • An MG and 29er came out while I was out so I got the opportunity to try chasing them up and downwind. When the boat was working properly it was faster than both, however I was loosing so much ground messing about trying to find the take off angle. I need to learn which sit at prior to take off.
This was my first sailing experience I can remember where I didn't want to get off the water. Other on occasions the wind has died, or I got tired, or cold, or bored. Today the wind was perfect till last light, I was tiring but the boat was so easy to handle that i could just go on and on, working too hard to get cold, bored? not a chance. If I had nav lights I would still be out there.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Beavis and Butthead spring to mind after yesterday's little problem...

I felt like a rock star when I met Markla at the club. The boat was rigged and I was told to get changed because I had first sail! yay! Conditions looked a bit on the light side but with the stiffer wand linkages it would be a good test day. Also the club were running short course practice races so there were rescue boats and plenty of other dinghy's around (this would later prove to be embarrassing).

Anyway, long story short, the boat was very sluggish and after the second capsize over the transom I realised the bungs had been left out. Markla had also realised this from shore and sent one of the rescue boats out with a spare. Managed to get back into shore, empty the boat (which took forever) then send Markla out for the rest of the arvo. It was a bit of a dud day due to flooding the boat, minimal wind and shifty and gusty wind to boot.

Atleast we both got some air time and didn't break anything, the new parts worked well. Lesson learnt, even wannabe rock stars need to check their bungs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Zappy Wetsuit

Could this be used as a training tool? Markla faces backwards on the moth too often and forgets to flip the battens in the light stuff, a quick zap should train him well! Now, where to place the electrodes...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lazy Evening - New Wacky Design!

Just some ideas modelled up on a lazy evening at drag reduction is the name of the game.

Hull is probably a bit too facetted for some ppls tastes, but I like it. Haven't done any drag or take-off assessment of it but I suspect it won't be a front runner.

Iteration 2 will probably run the aft mast support fairing down the sides instead of to a point for structural reasons. Also considering extending the wings fore and aft with a round tube cantilevered from the plank, maybe some netting between them and the hull for a bit more security! It isn't really practical just yet. There'll even be a bonnet for your lunch and keys and a mount for your GPS!

Anyway, off to Markla's for some boat maintenance and maybe a sail this arvo, weather pending. A freak storm just popped up over Brisbane which has put a dampener on mtb plans. The new alloy gantry was put together yesterday, new mast step and base inserts are ready to be installed, alloy cradle is ready for assembly, and I'm sure there'll be some discussion on the new wand linkage ideas. Watch this space.

(Edited title to be exciting!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

193 hulls!

That's how many we've put to the take-off test recently, all variations of flat bottom, deep V, round, hard chined and soft chined hulls. Early results are in but we're refining and reviewing them atm. Haven't decided if we'll make the results public, but they will be incorporated into our next hull design in some form.