Saturday, 8 June 2013

miniHari. Now you see it. Now you don't.

First trip of the season is a chance to test the new tender - a Seahopper Crafty Scamp, a folding dinghy a snip over two meters long.  Over winter it's had two coats of deck paint inside, and I've made some modifications in the forepeak to get it to lie along  the port side  when stowed...

Trickiest from a stowage point of view has been the oars and mast,  which are both two meters long and competing for space with the coolbox under the cockpit.

First impressions?  Well..

Setting it up on deck took some planning. There is no flat space big enough for the boat.  In the end we put it across the cockpit with one each side which worked very well.  I'm not sure how it would be in a channel swell but in a sheltered archipelago it's going to be fine.     

Rowing, it is very light. One up it sits high and turns on sixpence... but the downside of that is that you need to keep attention to your course. Then I  had a bit  of trouble keeping the oars positioned at the right length.. partly lack of practice, and partly that I've yet to put any sort of collar or binding on them.

Setting up to sail took a while... including a few first time tasks.  The biggest puzzle left now is the best and easiest way to secure the mast.

Sailing was fun if a little frustrating at times. We were in an enclosed bay with the classic 'winds.. light to variable'.  Adjusting the rig- the front of the sail need to be tight to keep the gaff high  and give the right shape when sheeted in. Likewise the yoke for the mainsheet  block was too long to start with. I shortened it a lot out on the water.

Upwind was hard work.. a lot of drift to leeward meant a lot of tacks and the daggerboard pops up which doesn't help.  (Two holes and a little bungee should fix that at least :-)

Overall, fun to sail.. if you can still squeeze into a bathtub.