Friday, August 20, 2010

Fantasma on Kluane Lake

Some video from Fantasma in the Yukon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cruising Kluane Lake

Back to the Yukon for a few days of sunny cruising on Kluane. A wonderful breezy day sandwiched between a couple of relaxing light wind days and lots of sun and unusually warm weather. There were times we thought we were in Baja.

Things we learned: Sailing with the removable hatch off in light winds creates a lot more room. You can sit/stand on the foredeck underway when sculling. She will carry full sail upwind in 12-15 knots. Indeed, she needs the power to point. Easily handles 18 - 20 knots & chop off the wind. Very comfortable. This is a fun boat that inspires confidence in breezy weather.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1st Sailing Trip - Valdez, Alaska

We launched in Valdez for a week long trip on Prince William Sound. Rainy weather was not atypical and it was calm. Kate and I sculled and cooked ashore the first night then slept on board after realizing that the site we hoped to put our tent on would be perilously close to underwater at 1 a.m. We had timed our trip perfectly to catch spring tides!

We slept cozily aboard while Fantasma floated to her anchor overnight and we woke up on the hard again in the morning. The flood floated us off after a casual breakfast into some nice upwind sailing in about 10 knots. More sculling and some light wind work into Shoup Bay. No camping ashore here due to the spring tides and thick vegetation. We put an anchor over and cooked and slept aboard. A little cozy moving equipment around on board but very do-able.

Did I mention it has been a rainy summer on the Sound and was raining almost the whole time? The forecast for the rest of the week was for rain and light (no) winds. We were learning to scull well enough, but it is slow. 2 knots when you are working at it, a bit less if you are loafing.

OK, that's enough dampness for now. We sculled the 7+ NM back to Valdez and headed for plan B. Kluane Lake in the Yukon. PWS is spectacular but we will be a bit more discriminating about the forecast and the tides when planning our next trip.

We learned how to scull and worked out basic anchor handling. We really loaded her up with weight, heavier than ever before and she loved it. Really, she sailed the best ever, more stable, more weatherly, with just the right amount of weather helm upwind. We knew we could both sleep aboard comfortably, but we that 2 of us anchored out could have a pleasant overnight aboard, even in the rain. One small issue was that in this cool humidity, the windows condensed water and required almost constant wiping to maintain visibility. I haven't installed the forward vent, so that didn't help, but I don't think it would have prevented the degree of condensation that we experienced.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sculling Trial

The yuloh came out well. A couple of shots from the first sculling trial. Really the first time sculling for me. Felt like I was getting the hang of it after a few minutes but lots of room for improvement. At least I can move the boat around in a calm.

The yuloh handle projects off the bow when stowed. The blade lays on the tapered side deck.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Making the Yuloh

Have formed a yuloh from Matt's plan for the Paradox yuloh. Interestingly, the plan calls for the yuloh to be curved with 30mm of camber. I laminated a couple of tight grained douglas fir boards together to form the curved blank. After trimming the laminated boards to dimension on the band saw, I took the trimmed off scraps and laminated them back onto the blank to build up sections that were a few mm under dimension. The blade area needed to be a few mm wider and the handle needed to be a few mm thicker.

Here is the squared up blank with trimmed off strips laminated on to build up the low areas.

Yesterday I shaped the yuloh with a hand plane, a fairing board and a sander. Then filled some nicks and sanded the yuloh today. The photos don't show the ingenious shape of the plan. I put it on the deck of the boat to see how it will stow. (blade alongside the deckhouse). I fits beautifully. The curve conforms perfectly to to the curve of the deck. How did he do that?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stability Trial

With the ~220 lbs of steel plate ballast secured to the floor, it was time for a stability trial. The video shows 2 trials with the mast below water level.

In the first trial, there are also a couple of sand bags (~ 2 x 60 lbs = 120 lbs) lashed to the floor in addition to the steel plate (6 pieces, ~ 220lbs total).

The second trial is without the sand bags, steel plate only. The difference is pretty subtle.

We also did a couple of tests with me in the boat (no video) and from my view it didn't seem like there was much difference in observed stability.

It is noteworthy that I was able to enter the boat when the top of the mast was in the water. The cabin coaming was still a few inches out of the water even with my weight on it while entering. If the boat were heavily laden, this might not be the case, but the hull would likely be even stiffer in that condition.

The boat is pretty tender when upright but stiffens up remarkably when heeled. The second trial was in deeper water. The boat stiffens up even more as soon as the deckhouse is in the water. It is a very noticeable increase. You can see in the video that I was trying to push the mast to the bottom but was not able to do so. All very encouraging.

Note also that in these first trials, the sail is down. In a real knockdown, the sail would be up, there would be more weight aloft and the rig might catch water and dig in as the hull is pushed toward it by wind and waves.

Back in the Water

Fantasma is finally back in the water after a long winter! We had her out on Chilkat Inlet near Haines, Alaska for some light wind sailing over the weekend. I am still refining some of her features and capabilities.

I have been having an issue with the boat developing the light weather helm it should have when on the wind. At Matt's suggestion, I trimmed 75mm off the rudder (oh, I hated doing that!). That did seem to help just a little bit but hasn't solved the problem. Next step is to fit a gripe (wood strip) on the forefoot. I will post on this and the results.

The other development is that I have secured the steel plank ballast to the floor with a couple of 1x2 hardwood strips along the interior of the chine in the cabin. (I get some pictures up of this too).
This allowed some basic stability tests to be done this weekend.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Fantasma is snowed in!