Monday, October 22, 2012

Day Sail

New Bern, NC

One of the benefits of wintering here is easy access to the Neuse River and day sailing.  Unless it is very rough, or very cold, the Neuse is a nice place for easy day sails.  I've blogged before that I'm a bit dismayed that as cruisers, we have lost the pleasures of day sails.   Cruisers are always going from place A to place B.

Yesterday, George and Carol took us for a day sail on their boat Traumeri.  It was very nice.  Gentle winds, and comfortably warm inside their enclosed cockpit.   Libby and I were both surprised at how much more comfortable it was with an enclosed cockpit.   Libby also tried a hand at the helm.  She didn't do well.  Libby has become so accustomed to a tiller, and a heavy boat with full keel and skeg rudder, that she was caught off guard. She oversteered with the wheel, and Traumeri slewed all over the place.  The rest of us all had a laugh at her expense.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, here is the story.  Boats like Tarwathie are optimized for so-called blue water sailing.  That means ocean crossings.  Several factors go into blue water design, but the biggest one is that the boat design is optimized for going in a straight line.  At sea, one typically steers a straight line for weeks at a time.  It helps a lot if the boat holds a straight course by itself.  The design tradeoff is a very big turning radius and a slow response to steering.  Racing boats and light weight boats, by contrast can turn on a dime and are very responsive to steering.  The downside is that they won't hold a straight course easily without use of that steering.

Thanks much George and Carol.

1 comment:

  1. < I've blogged before that I'm a bit dismayed that as cruisers, we have lost the pleasures of day sails. Cruisers are always going from place A to place B.>

    Boy! Did you strike a nerve! You know our little boat Pogopelli well enough. You saw us in NY this spring. We never got the main out of the bag the entire trip. Not even on Lake Erie! We just came to Pensacola from Chattanooga. We put the jib up one day up on the Tennessee River. But yesterday, on a "lay" day from an anchorage just west of the Pensacola pass, we actually just went for a sail. Kicker out of the water... all the laundry up... managed 6mph on a reach (even with our old baggy sails). HEAVEN! Now we've had our fix and can go back to driving Pogo from A to B. Do it all you can, guys!

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