I need a rudder that won't drive me crazy
Like the song says, I need a lover, I mean rudder that won't drive me crazy. Put my new to me boat in the water for the first time today. I have no idea why this boat has a rudder. It doesn't work. There were times that I had the rudder turned as far as it would go one direction, and the boat would just turn in the opposite direction. I was definitely moving forward, but the boat had a mind of its own. The only way I could steer the boat was to unpower the jib.
Its been since high school that I have sailed a boat with a jib, but I never remember having such difficulty steering a boat. I sailed my HobieCat for years, and of course it is very responsive. This boat might as well not even have a rudder. I messed with the traveler position, the boat was unsteerable with the traveler all the way up. I could only gain partial steering with the traveler all the way back. Even then, I had to have the jib sheet fairly loose. There no tell tails on the sails which doesn't help either. Part of the problem was, I was sailing on a puddle of a lake that the wind changes direction every 15 seconds. I really felt like an idiot for a long time until I finally figured out what the boat wanted. Still, something isn't right. When I dropped the jib all together, I seemed to be able to steer much better. I would have thought if the sail was misbalanced, with the jib down, it should be misbalanced the other way, but it didn't seem to be.
I also found this boat will not sail upwind at all. I was trying to get to one end of the lake, and it was just an impossibility. The boat would just stall out. It is also VERY slow. While I'm used to the Hobie, this boat just seems unbelievably slow. I think the next time out, I'm going to try the Hobie sail. Its 6" shorter, but is 115 square feet, compared to 85 square feet on this boat. Hopefully that will also help my steering some. I wonder if some of the steering problems are a result of the boat being so slow.
RL 24 NEW to me April 25th 2014
AFC 17' 2+2 (sold in 2012)
Sunfish project boat
Sailing a large boat on a small lake is very tacky.