Have finally had all the stars line up. My wife went to an all day cheese making course, I did not have to work, the tide was going to turn at 3pm and there was a nice north east sea breeze blowing, albeit gusty.
Launched Awinya in a sheltered creek/drain in reality, and headed down stream on the tide with the wind behind. Gusts hitting me from the trees along the banks. Spent the whole time in a bit of a funk, reefing, unreefing, looking around.
Eventually got into the main river and finally worked my way out of the tide (2-3 knots at times) and up into a broad section that had good wind. My confidence built very slowly and eventually put up full sail and was really sailing along on a broad reach at a good pace. All good.
Headed back down and turned up into the main river and worked my way down river into the gusty breeze. I finally worked out that having all the sail up and my 90kg wedged into the corner of the seat was the best way to do it. Sailed along really well and she pointed well making good tacking angles.
You will see in one of the videos that the rudder really carves a bow wave but it is not the end of the world. I guess will have to eventually do something as it is pretty loud in your ears. Sounds like a boat behind you the whole time.
I did manage to totally tangle the patent roller reefing setup about 200m from the ramp at the end of the day. It required going ashore to fix so instead just paddled it the last bit. I learnt my lesson that you should reef early and think things through. The main problem is that the topping lift on the outboard end of the boom needs to be altered so that there is a bigger heavier bit of stainless holding the reef rope higher and upright all the time. As it stands, if you don't have any load on the sheet block which is attached to the same fitting then you can get the whole thing rolling up with the sail as you reef. You have to be vigilant; watching that, the rest of the sail and the rocks that were getting v close. I am warned. I have added a photo of the arrangement to show this.
All in all a great day. It was a long time coming but I really enjoyed the whole day. The other thing to add is that the 'oversized' centreboard really adds to the stability of the boat in the gusts. It really slows the rotation around the long axis of the hull.
I'm delighted to hear you are satisfied with her performance and to see her going so well. Would the swivelling boom end work better if you extended the stainless plate an inch or so and put an angle in it so that it clears the boom then lines up with the pull of the topping lift?
As for the rudder, how about an alloy metal stock, or even temporarily is there enough 'meat' on the wooden stock to plane down to some sort of foil section? That would prevent it picking up the water coming off the back of the hull.
I actually intended that the waterline should just plane off the underneath of hull at the sternpost, but I can imagine, in anything of a seaway at least, the stock picking up the stern-wave. I had also never considered putting a skeg on this hull, reckoning it was long and thin enough to track well and be more likely to show a reluctance in coming about and other tight manoeuvres.
I have 'actioned' the stainless fitting for the end of the boom and will see how it goes. Should be heaps better as it is a lot heavier at the bottom. Might get the sander and round off the end of the boom to a circle too.
Will ponder the rudder after Xmas I think. I have a bit of travel on in the interim and am getting Allecat the Core Sound ready for the Tawe Nunnugah Raid in January.
I know what you mean about the skeg but I just wanted to make sure she would run straight on a wave. I don't want to broach it in a wind/tide chop.