Sunday, May 10, 2009

Three, twice.

Holy Galloping Goldfish Batman, 14.2 knots!

That's how fast a Corsair Marine F28R trimaran will go in 16 to 18 knots of wind on a broad reach. While Deb was off with two young guns, crewing a racing boat on a different part of the lake and sailing from a different marina, I had the chance to sail the Tri with friends from our marina. Thor (the boat) made the 6.5 NM run to the dam in about 40 minutes, screaming fast by sailboat standards. At one point we were gaining on a power boat buzzing down the lake. After the turn Thor (the Captain) let me take the tiller (my first go-around with a tiller helm) and we rocketed back up the lake heading for dinner. About two-thirds of the way home the steady wind started to build, the boat dug in and I watched the knot-meter climb from 11+, past 12 & 13, to finally settle down for a few minutes showing we could cover 14.2 nautical miles in 1/24th of a day; a new record for me. The stern on the F28 sits close to the water. Just shy of actually making a rooster tail, the stern wake loomed up higher than where I was sitting. But like all multi-hulled boats we were sitting nearly straight up, heeled less than 5 degrees. What a hoot!

Not so the mono-hulls all around us. They were listed over hard with large areas of their bottom paint exposed to the sun. Some friends on Magic Dragon, (a MacGregor 26?) somehow got heeled over so hard that they broached too. With the boat nearly on its side in a classic knockdown and sails filling with lake water, the mast failed just at the spreader bars. The boat came back up, friends from a nearby boat help them secure the tattered rigging, and they limped back into the slip with a new style "A" frame sail plan. No one was hurt but it was a scary moment on our usually quiet little lake.

Deb made it home late in the afternoon, wet, cold and pretty excited about her day. I'll let her tell the tale but it included broaching a couple of times herself; something I have yet to experience. After dinner we went for a night sail on Friend Barry's Albin; a truly classic mono-hull that can also fly. (I'm sure the boat has a name, but since it isn't painted on it anywhere everyone just calls it "Barry's boat.") I was part of the foredeck crew, hanking on the jib (he has a newly installed deck light that sure makes things easier during a night head-sail change) and then helping rig a big asymmetric spinnaker sail for the second part of the dam round trip. For a while I sat below to get out of the cool wind. I was braced on the windward settee facing a small cabin window while Deb caught a nap on the leeward bunk. (Racing boats is hard work!) The water, lit by the reflections of a full moon, flowed past as the boat heeled hard over under the drive of that monster spinnaker. I nearly nodded off myself while listening to the sounds of a boat running at full song through the waves. It was magic.

This morning we had Nomad out for a bit as well; making it a tri-boat as well as a trimaran weekend. The winds were light though and the core bugs (don't know why they call them that) were out in force, so we called it a short trip and headed in.

Next week by this time we should be getting our first taste of full time (for a few days anyway) living on a catamaran. I don't think we will top 14.2 knots though.

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