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!