I got a text a few days back about a friend who was looking to buy a boat to live on. Having done a little research into that topic myself, I thought I could help him out. First thing was first: Pat had to go sailing.
So that was the first goal of the Shanty Yacht Club’s celebration of #Sailstice2015!
Goal number two was to finally test out that two stroke motor.
We survived the trip, and I’m here to report back for all you sinners out there, as the Stranger would say.
Let’s start with goal number two, the outboard.
For this boat, the outboard is great! After I set it on the bracket, opened the fuel valve and vented the top she fired right up. First or second pull. Since its a two stroke its pretty light, which is nice when handling it and getting it out of the cabin to run. At half throttle, Jim said SailDroid told us we were doing five knots. Not bad. That’s about twice as fast as the trolling motor will push her. By that point we were pushing a pretty good bow wave as well, so we must have been close to the hull speed. Or maybe Pat’s weight on the bow was just bringing us down. I don’t know.
The only downsides are that its a little fuel hungry, and its pretty loud. In fact, we ran it out of gas after a few minutes and had to throw the trolling motor on the back. The switch went smoothly though. I’m always nervous hanging hundreds of dollars worth of equipment out over the water. I really should tie a safety line.
I think what I ultimately want to do is extend the bracket out to the port side a bit so I can hang both motors on there when I want to. Nothing too major. Just a bit. A foot or so past the current bracket should do it.
Onto the second goal: Pat’s sailing.
Pat is a great guy. I don’t think I’d actually seen him since high school back in the late nineties. So its been awhile.
For his first time out, he did great. Jim assisted him in raising sails, and then in trimming the jib on each tack. Pat chose some various destinations in the bay, and headed toward them. He’d read a lot about sailing already, so he had everything pretty well in hand, and knew all the terms that I didn’t bother to learn.
As we headed toward the West Mission Bay bridge we did hit a bit of a snag.
I wanted to sail under the bridge. I’d just seen a little sunfish do it, so I figured my much bigger, heavier, and crappy-pointing-er boat could make it. Why not? Well, the wind was not helping. It was blowing pretty good, and directly perpendicular to the bridge. Like 90 freaking degrees. Also, the skipper is self taught, and not really that great a sailing tactician. But we gave it a go anyway.
I think we sailed back and forth about 20 feet from the bridge about 3 times before we got to a point where I thought we could tack and point well enough to get under the bridge. Some of the most difficult maneuvering I’ve ever done. We had Pat on the tiller, and Jim on the sheets. I hung out over the lee side to get the boat to bite more with her big tubby flat sides. Between the three of us, we got through.
Got a little tight though…
After that, the day was easy peasy.
On the way back towards Campland about 2 o’clock (or 1400 in nautical terms) we were passing Dana Landing when I spotted another sail. It was time to investigate. Sure enough, there was a Potter 15 heading out with a guy and two gals onboard. My ratio is never that good. I hollered that he had a nice boat, and he replied that he thought it was about four feet too short… haha… Potter humor.
A long downwind sail back to Campland ended the day.
All in all, not a bad way to celebrate the #SummerSailstice!