Tuesday, September 18, 2018

____________________ THE LAUNCHING OF 'SCOUT' ____________________

After a concentrated period of work involving spar making and the fitting of numerous bits of crucial hardware I was able to grab a good weather window between periods of roaring gales and rivers of rain to launch 'Scout' and try out the lugs'l rig for the first time. It was a pleasant and enjoyable occasion.

'Scouts' sail has been made from an old mains'l that was given to me by my father many, many years ago. A qualified upholsterer he was more at home in a sail loft than an upholstery shop. He worked for Lloyds Sails and Saddlery here in Whangarei and rescued an old tan bark coloured mains'l from the rubbish bin. Cut down from its original shape it has made a great little sail for 'Scout'.

There were only a couple of teething problem; the dagger board jambed part way down - I am working on the fix for that at the moment and the main sheet jamb cleats are too small - which I will replace with a couple of big old cam cleats I purchased years ago.

I was pleased with the sailing performance. She sails well both on and off the wind and the sail area is just right for the type of sailing that is intended for 'Scout'. I was able to sit down low and comfortable on the floorboard slats and when the wind picked up I was just as comfortable on the side seats. This is the kind of sailing I am looking for in this type of boat - sitting comfortably inboard and below deck level without the need to hike out to keep the boat on an even keel, but with enough sail area so that performance is not compromised too much. A great little boat for exploring bays, inlets, rivers and islands.

With her simple un-stayed mast she is quick and easy to rig and un-rig, making the whole experience hassle free.

As I type this it is raining hard and blowing half a gale. As soon as there is a break in the weather (which includes a good sailing breeze) I will be off scouting around in my diminutive little cruising boat.


Kate said...

Oh! What a perfectly joyful wee vessel! I really love her. Thank you so much for sharing your work. She would be so at home in the estuary where I house-sit... Behind the Ohope Beach spit... have a look on Google maps.

Barubi said...

Is the top row of reef points a left over from the original sail, or can you use them to change how the gaff sets?

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Welcome back..!

Dan Gurney said...

A proper little yacht. Looks like a lot of fun to sail. Is Scout self-rescuing?

Kate said...

Did my message get left? I have been having trouble with Safari, and have changed to Chrome.
Just wanted to say what an absolutely delightful wee boat she is! I want to go sailing in her, IMMEDIATELY!
You have done a terrific job!

Alden Smith said...

Kate - I don't think there is anything wrong with your Safari or Chrome, I have just been a little distracted working and haven't been checking for comments on my blog - sorry about that.
Thanks for your generous comments regarding 'Scout', she IS a delight! and I have been having a lot of fun sailing her.

Alden Smith said...

Barubi - Yes, that high row of reefing points are left over from the original sail. They might come in handy if I have to really reef down if I ever sail in a hurricane!

Alden Smith said...

Steve - Thanks. A break from Blog posting has helped me concentrate on a number of things including completing the work on 'Scout'. Summer is on the way and I want to do a lot of sailing.

Alden Smith said...

Dan - I presume by 'self rescuing' you are asking if she can be righted, bailed and got sailing again in the event of a capsize?. I hope so!
'Scout' has two buoyancy chambers, one in the bow and one in the stern. If she became completely filled with water I think she would float with my weight on board enabling me to bail with a large plastic bucket that I carry. For small ingresses of water I use my kayak lift pump which I have found works very well.
I think perhaps I should test the boats buoyancy close to the shore in calm weather - just in case! If there are buoyancy problems I could add some blocks of foam under the main amidships seat.