In mid September my wife and our parents went down to Ocracoke Island for a week long vacation. We stayed in a cottage on Lighthouse Road and had access to a dock at the southern end of the harbor, so of course I brought my sailboat. It was a pretty windy week, but I did manage to get out on a long daysail. I ended up going 41.6 miles to nowhere in 8.5 hours. My average speed was 4.8 mph and I hit a new top speed of 9.2 mph!
My wife and I are down at Atlantic Beach in North Carolina on vacation and on Saturday I went on a daysail to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse on the South Core Banks. To get there I circled Shackleford Banks which meant I had Moga out in the Atlantic for a few miles. There were tons of boaters though, more than I’ve ever seen. I went 32.7 miles in 8.5 hours with an average speed of 4 mph.
I’ve been messing around with making a topsail for my boat lately, and it’s finally been nice enough to go for a sail and give it a try. I went 18.3 miles to nowhere in particular, although I did get a picture of myself from a traffic camera.
It’s been too hot to sail lately, but I did take a friend Steve’s Snark out at a July 4th get together. This boat is 11′ long and made entirely of styrofoam. It is surprisingly fun and quick to set up and it’s got me thinking of a car toppable skin on frame sailboat someday.
My buddy and I both sailed it and our combined 380 pounds was just a bit over the max capacity of 310. We had water pouring over the bow at every wavelet and the boat twisted a fair amount. I later took it out about a mile and a half into the Rappahannock with no problems.
Apparently you could mail order the boat for $88 and the carton flap of Kool cigarettes. Free shipping!
Recently I went on a 34.3 mile daysail around the Mobjack Bay starting from the boat ramp on the Ware River. My average speed was 3.8 with a max of 6.9 mph. It was a pretty good day, although there were a few hours of rowing and drifting when the wind gave out.
Last Saturday I went on my first overnight beach cruising trip from Windmill Point to Tangier Island and back. It was 68.5 miles and my average speed was 3.4 mph. The winds were light and contrary, but sailing went fine. My camping setup is woeful, so that will need some improvement. I learned a ton on this trip too with a near miss on a lee shore at night.
Last Saturday I went for a daysail that ended up being 40.7 miles from Windmill Point to Reedville and back. It took 9.25 hours at an average speed of 4.4 mph and a top speed of 8.1 mph. It was pretty windy at times, but my winter improvements all worked well.
Earlier this week we had some nice weather so my wife and I took Moga out on the first sail of the year. It was just a short 3.5 mile cruise down the narrow Mill Creek, but it was enough to see that all of the improvements and repairs I did over the winter are working well.
Today was calm so I decided to try out my improvements with a test rigging. I’m pleased to say everything is working great! I’ve made toggle robands for the mainsail, a long pennant for the peak which runs down the sprit to a cleat by the heel, the snotter tension leads aft, there’s a toggling snotter arrangement, and a few other various time saving measures.
All rigged! I hope I can get out on the water soon.
My original snotter was a little too complex for its own good. It was all one piece and cow hitched around the mast, which was good for minimizing the number of lines needed but it was super awkward to rig and unrig. So I decided I’d make something with a toggle to make it easier, and a separate snotter line that stays attached to the sprit. I’ll cut the tail off once I’m sure this version is working, and I might add another seizing below the loop and a third above.
Here you can see the snotter running from the heel of the sprit up to the low friction ring on the toggle arrangement and back down the mast to the mast parter where it turns aft to a cleat on the centerboard case. I’ve also addd a long line to the main’s peak which runs down the sprit to a cleat near the heel. I originally had the cleat on the other side of the leather, but it was too high to be convenient.
Here’s the snotter running through a beehole in the mast partner back to a cleat on the centerboard case. I got rid of the mechanical advantage I had last year, but this still seems to work ok. It’s pretty close to the limit friction wise though so I’ll have to try it out on the water to make sure. The other cleat is for a boom downhaul which I haven’t fully decided how to run yet.