I’ve had Moga completed for about six months, but before today I’ve only had it out three times on a vacation and that was just for pleasure sailing. For a while I’ve wanted to get hard data on how the boat performs so I can better plan some camp cruising adventures for next summer. Today seemed like a nice day, possibly one of the last opportunities of this year, so I set an out of the office auto email and went sailing.
By this point things were getting a bit old. What little wind there was had shifted to directly where I wanted to go, and I had about two hours of sunlight left. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have time to sail back to the point, so I did the unthinkable and lowered the rig to start rowing. The long straight section between hour 6 and 7 was me rowing at about 4mph. I definitely had some help from the tide though, so maybe actually 3-3.5mph? Anyway, the wind started to return a little, so I put up the rig. Unfortunately, the loop at the peak of the sail came undone and dropped into the water, so I had to sail with it scandalized for a while until I could make a new loop of line. That explains the track, no drinking I promise! The sun was getting low, so I decided to head for a friend’s house and leave the boat docked overnight. No pictures of this section as I was kinda done.
So there it is, the first data gathering sail over a fairly long day sail. Hopefully next spring I’ll do some more of these to get a better idea of the boat and its capability. I will say that this trip reinforced my opinions about it from sailing it during vacation. I think it’s a super capable boat and my sailing ability is the limiting factor.
The next day I motored the boat five miles around to Windmill Point. Steve (the guy who helped me fiberglass the hull) also brought me a British Seagull 40 Plus he had but never used. Today was the day to put it to the test so I first gave it a thorough overhaul. I cleaned the spark plug, changed the lower unit oil, and mixed up some new gas for it as it’s a two stroke. These engines take an eye watering 10:1 ratio, but I am running biodegradable oil and plan to convert it to 25:1. I wrapped the starting rope around the flywheel and gave it a pull. The engine roared to life and I let it run for about 10 seconds before cutting it off. Steve says he last started it 3 years ago, so I guess it’s true these little engines are indestructible.
Anyway, I mounted the engine on the boat’s transom and got rid of the excess sailing accouterments before leaving my friend’s dock.
After getting the engine mounted and fired up, I took off. These engines are direct drive, so you need to be pointed in the right direction and ready to go. Everything went fine for seven minutes when the engined started losing power and then sputtered to a halt. I wrapped the starting cord around the flywheel and go it going, but it soon died again. I kept this up for two or three more times before I realized I’d forgotten to loosen the gas tank vent. A vacuum was building up and fuel wasn’t draining properly into the carburetor. With that issue fixed, it was smooth running all the way to the boat ramp.
The next issue to sort out was the boat’s trim. I had to sit relatively close to the stern to reach the motor’s tiller. This put the bow up rather high and made the stern squat down in the water which causes a lot of drag. So I lashed an oar to the tiller as best I could and sat up on the main thwart. The boat balanced much better, although I couldn’t tell much difference in speed. I also played with the throttle a bit so it wasn’t an apples to apples comparison.
As I approached the boat ramp I had one last issue. When I tilted the motor up, it started leaking fuel into the motor well. It turns out I’d forgotten to tighten the fuel tank vent and should have let the carburetor bowl run dry. Oh well, next time I’ll be prepared. So with that my trip was officially complete.
Wide open, the engine pushed the boat about 6mph. At slightly less than full throttle it was more like 5.7mph. My boat is 15′ long, so its hull speed should be 5.8 knots, or 6.67mph. Of course my bow isn’t plumb so the waterline length is a little less, so I’m probably going about hull speed. At a certain point more throttle just means more noise, so it’d be interesting to see what the most efficient throttle setting is.