Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Long Time, No Post

It's been a long while since the last post. This fall we had the opportunity to get three i550s on the water here in Madison on Lake Mendota.  We had very light conditions, but managed to get four races in over a short weekend.

Ron Bowman of Lunatic Fringe took home the coveted "Epoxy Cup" with three bullets.

Below area a few pics from the weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Will it float?

We successfully launched Alchemy for the first time on two weeks ago.  We got the sails up and cruised around for twenty minutes or so before the rudder cassette failed.  It turned our that the combination of foam covered with carbon that I used for the gudgeons was not sufficiently strong even in moderate breeze.

So the maiden voyage was not completely successful.  I ended up carving out the foam and replacing it with oak.  This may have been overkill but I know that the rudder cassete will be bulletproof.

I ultimately covered the oak with a layer of carbon uni running parallel to the to the oak and two layers running at +45deg and -45 deg to the oak.  We relaunched this Saturday.  Traci sat this one out and instructed my dad and I to "go try to break the boat".  I love the encouragement!

The beeze was about 6-9kts.  We had a really nice sail.  The boat was surpisingly fast up wind in that breeze with just the two of us on board. It felt like we nearly got the boat to plane upwind at one point.  Nearly, but not quite.  Down wind was equally pleasurable, after we got a few rigging issues sorted out.  First the cams for the pole deploy and tackline did not want to stay closed.  i will need to change the lead on these slightly.  Then the spin sheets turned out to be a bit too short.  That allowed us to do exactly one jibe---which was hilarious.  on the following long jibe, we had a good chance to try to get a feel for the boat.   Things felt pretty good downwind. There was a bit of a tendancy to round up in the puffs, but that was more about my feel on tiller.  As we progressed on that board, my ability to anticipate the puffs and steer down increased.  The speed gains seemed to be good, although we did not have a reliable GPS (MotionX on an iPhone does not do the trick).

So we have a few things to iron out this week and we will be back at on the water again soon!

Monday, June 21, 2010

PHRFect? Maybe, maybe not...

The i550 now has a rating in Lake Michigan PHRF! The magic number is 120. Yes, it seems rather low. My guess is that the committee in their infinite wisdom decided to rate the boat fast since they weren't sure WTF they were dealing with. Hey, at least they took the step to rate the boat. Good on them for that. We will see how she goes with the club racing here in Madison. PHRF ratings for new designs are naturally in flux.

I expect the certificate by mail tomorrow and will post it here for everyone's reference.

In other news, Traci and I are finally getting settled into our new house so actual work has resumed on the boat.  I've got the rudder cassette re-fitted, the hiking straps mounted, and the keel wet sanded and ready to go on the boat.  we will likely try to get the boat hoisted next weekend to mount the keel.

We're back!!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Show Time!

Kevin McDaniel (builder of Pipedream) and I were asked to display our boats at an event at Crowley's Yachtyard in Chicago in conjuction with epoxy manufacturer West System, who is also building an i550.  We had lots of folks show interest in the boat, and several were already familiar with the boat an came to the show to see them.  Pertty cool!

All in all, it was a really great day for the i550!  Hopefully we will get a few more builders in the Midwest.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Long Winter's Nap

At long last, I pulled the boat out of the storage unit today. Temps were in the high 40s here in Madison, so (with Traci's help) I stepped the mast and hoisted the jib to nark for the jib tracks.

On to drill and fill and redrilled for the jib tracks and finish up a few other miscellaneous items so I can be ready as soon as the lakes thaw!