Tuesday, January 24, 2017

____________________________ FIRST SAIL __________________________

''Slipstream' and I went for our first sail together today and I couldn't be more pleased. She is an absolute joy to sail - easy on the helm on all points of sailing and quick and easy to maneuver.

Compared to the Starling, tacking is a lot easier because of the higher boom clearance and as the central sheeting system has no part of the mainsheet aft of my sitting position there is nothing to get tangled around my neck or shoulders when tacking or gybing.

The sense of spaciousness in the cockpit is palpable. I can move around easily and when running flat off downwind I can sit on the side decks as opposed to kneeling on the cockpit floor as I had to do in the Starling as my weight had the tendency to capsize the boat to windward.

Although there wasn't a lot of wind for this trial sail, in the gusts I get the sense that even in a fresh breeze I am not going to have to go through the contortions of an Olympic gymnast to keep the boat upright.

Moving 'Slipstream' and her beach trolley on and off the road trailer was easy enough and because the wheels of the beach trolley are pretty much at the trolleys central balance point the whole outfit is light and easy to wheel around.

Hopefully all these happy signs mean that I am going to be able to sail 'Slipstream' well into my dotage........ and happy is the operative word ...... when I came ashore I had a smile on my face much, much, much bigger than Texas.

.................... Oh, and I nearly forgot, 'Slipstream' and all her many sisterships are in every Zephyr Class owners opinion definitely the best looking small centreboard sailing dinghies ever designed.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Top dog! Delighted for you..

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Steve - it's all good so far.

Paul Mullings said...

That's it you're now smitten for life....
PS Hope to see you Saturday?

Alden Smith said...

Good word choice Paul - Smitten for sure.

Yes, dependent on a few issues, I hope to be there Saturday with or without 'Slipstream' - preferably with.

Dan Gurney said...

A very handsome rig, indeed! And I'll bet your big smile completed the picture. Congratulations, Alden.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Dan - "A thing of beauty is a joy forever" - and I can attest to the fact that this is even more so if you can sail it as well.

Andrew McKay said...

Very Jealous of you getting a Zephyr, all the guy in the Waiuku Yacht club where trying to talk me into getting one.
I'm exactly the same on my starling kneeling in low winds or sailing with the wind at your back, can get uncomfortable when you have a few stray bits of sand in the cabin, killer on the knees.
All the best.
Andrew McKay

Alden Smith said...

Hi Andrew. In the first few months of racing my Starling I damaged what's called a 'Bursa' (fluid filled sac) on one of my knees - very painful and took a long time to heal. From that time on I would stuff a large piece of foam up the legs of my sailing suit to protect my knees - without that protection I would have done both my knees some real damage - so be careful! If you end up with a bursa problem - stop until the fluid in the knee goes away (could be weeks) and then only kneel on your knees with proper protection.

I don't have a kneeling problem with the Zephyr because the boats big enough for me (at 95kgs) not to have to kneel when sailing downwind (even in light airs).

I would highly recommend a Zephyr as a step up from a Starling. The expensive is worth it (although I didn't pay a lot for my Zephyr - Under $5000). I see reasonably priced Zephyrs (some that need a little bit of TLC) coming up on TradeMe all the time.

I am the only Zephyr doing the Tuesday night racing at the OYC but I am very glad I resisted purchasing a Laser, mainly because the Zephyr is so nice to sail AND I will be able to sail on into my dotage with this size boat.

All the best, and let me know if you purchase a Zephyr --- Alden