We took my brother's boat out on Saturday. We had originally planned on sailing out around 7:30 AM, however, my brother overslept and was two hours late. I used that time to install a new Perko switch (and it did take me two hours, give or take 15 minutes to tend to children's needs). That made a significant difference in available battery voltage as well as cleaner operation. Anyway, we left dock around 10 and headed out into fair winds and water (winds around 5-7 knots at that time). Mike gave me the helm and general "skippership" of the craft. We sailed around for a while, describing a diamond shape, by heading north first to the upper firing range buoy marker. On the second leg we performed a MOB manouver. The third leg was a challenge as the breeze had picked up a bit - probably around 12-15 knots at that point. We were heading back in generally, although at that point we were really south of Breezy Point Marina & and the channel marker. As we tacked our way back up to the buoy, the breeze picked even more, generally around 15 knots or more with up to 20 knot or more gusts. Waves 'round 2 feet, but not bad. Heeled the boat in the gusts quite nicely - sometimes o'er 30 degrees (loads of fun!). That also made for some havoc in the cabin
. We were close-hauled and well into the wind on some of the tacks - I'd say about 15-20 degrees off the wind, which is about as tight as one could be without luffing. The switching breeze did make for interesting recoveries. The last leg to the buoy to round up and head down the channel saw a nice SW breeze that almost gave me enough power to sail into the marina, but a few boat lengths into the channel it switched again and I wasn't able to hold course without motoring up.
Some things I noted about our trip: the boat has a serious case of weather helm - one good puff and she turns right up into it and sometimes getting her back into line took a hard-over helm to get some response; she also has a fine sailing line, get off it and recovery is right difficult at times; the angle the sheets make to the winches sucks beans - have to find a way to raise the sheets to make a fairer entry to the winch as they slide off the bottom and get tangled; the snatch blocks suck - they groan under strain and it ain't pretty; going to get cam cleats to hold the sheets after being winched (our current cleats are not quite right for the sheet size); looking into self-tailing winches; looking into a vang; looking into a flush for'ard hatch as the sheets sometimes get caught on the hinges of the current hatch arrangement; have to get better at reverse motoring - she doesn't like that direction one bit.
At the end of it all, my brother has now allowed me full use of the boat whether he's there or not...yay!
/s/ Jon C. Munson II