Sailing with an Axle

27 April 2012 | Seaford
23 April 2012 | Seaford
21 April 2012 | Seaford
18 April 2012 | Seaford
04 April 2012 | Seaford
03 April 2012 | Seaford

Friday night sail

27 April 2012 | Seaford
Second day out and about on the boat. Learned a few things about the boat, about the family on the boat, and about life.

Lets start with the conditions. Forecast was a nice 15knts coming from the NW, actual was 15-20knts at the mouth of the creek, and from the east.

The tiller tamer worked like a charm. It fixed all the problems I had with the rudder wondering. I also tossed a bungee cord on the tiller to help hold the rudder in mid position while motoring along.

I drove the boat down to the marina and arrived at 3:00. I had the boat ready to put into the water just as the family showed up. I had some trouble with the furling jib, which I think comes into play later during the sail. All in all I think I can get the rigging time down to about 45 minutes. The biggest tasks are tightening the rigging and inserting all the cotter loops, and rigging the main sail, it is large.

Got the boat in the water, cranked it up. The funny part is it ran out of gas right as we dropped the lines from the dock. Little tank, lots of run time. I think I got about 2.5 hours of actual motoring along on the boat at full power. The spare gas can in the cabin came in super handy. Filled it up and away we went..... long story short it was not an enjoyable experience for everyone.

The added wind, the boat heeled over, my youngest daughter didn't enjoy it at all. Add to it that my first mate (my eldest daughter) got confused with my instructions and with the lines. Needless to say, we bagged it after a few minutes, but in the process the jib did a lot of flapping and smacking around. While nothing was getting damaged, and there was no real issue, it was/can be scary to some one who is new to sailing. We finally motored in, and put the boat away for the evening. My wife stayed behind (GM took the kids home). We had a good time talking while I cleaned up the boat. She peeled off half the old owners stickers..... soon we will get the hull sticker less, buffed to a shine, and a new name..... that ceremony should be lots of fun....

So what did I learn? First, I should have some sort of check list for rigging the boat, dropping it in the water, and off we go.

Second, when sailing with a raw crew I need to give them a run down of what is going to happen, and listen to their expectations. If I had done that, I would have put a reef in the main, and not even pulled the jib out for the day. While slower, it would have kept the boat on its feet and kept everyone smiling which was the goal for the day.

SO what did I learn about the boat? Well, she is quick, and can be quick. She is also tender. She pops right up on her edge, but once there she was steady. With some weight on the rail, she will really clip along. I can only imagine what it would be to pop the kite on a day like today. Nothing like that will ever happen if I don't have a couple of experienced buddies with me.

All in all, not a great day on the water, just need to still get it figured out. I just hope it can still eventually be a family fun time that I have always wanted

The Friday night on the water was a great time though. My wife picking up the girls, me getting the boat ready, all of us setting off as soon as they are out of school. Hopefully this is something we can take with us at our next duty station.

No day sailing

23 April 2012 | Seaford

Didn't get to go sailing, and it turned out to be a beautiful day. We had planned on cancelling due to the weather forcast of thunderstorms and rain. Those didn't happen, sports games ran long due to weather.... All in all a bummer. Can't wait for next week, I have two new crew possibly lined up, and AM and NI should get to go.

Still no photos

Short day out

21 April 2012 | Seaford
Going to take the two big redheads out today after the soccer game for a quick sail. Hopefully, it all works out. I am going to go back to Back Creek. Maybe in the coming weeks when I have a buddy to help me I will give Wormley a spin.

Right now I am just worried that the ramp is a little steep and i will get stuck with the boat in the water and the trailer/jeep on the ramp. With a buddy, I would have the use of another truck to help get pulled out.

With the new tiller tamer installed last night, I hope to have a good time with the reds today. It should allow me a chance to leave the helm to AM while I pull up the sails. She is getting so good and driving us along, and cranking up the engine quick. She is pretty ready for an emergency at this point.

With the wind scheduled for SSW we should be able to sail right out of the slip, out into the two creek sound, and possibly out into the York river.

It will be AL's first day of sailing! Hope she likes it.

Bought a tiller tamer

18 April 2012 | Seaford
Last week I had duty, much to my displeasure. Sunday was filled up making sure that the house was ready to go for potential renters.

Later this week I hope to install the tamer, and give it a spin on the boat.

Weekend chores are minimal, and right after soccer practice my daughter and I will race over and get the boat ready. The rest of the family will meet us at the boat dock and then off we go for the first family day out.

I am going to try a new boat ramp. Wormley Creek. It looks a little steeper, but the jeep should be ok. The only issue I see right now is that it is narrow, and there are a few small branches overhanging ramp entrance. I think they will be ok. The benefit of this ramp location is that it is a much shorter motor distance out to the York river.

Hopefully we will bring a camera and get some pictures to put up on the site as well.


Hunter 216 and its VERA rudder

06 April 2012
So I have given alot of thought to the fact that when I took my daughter (9) out sailing in light winds, I could barely step forward to the cabin without the boat wondering all over the place. If it falls off course just a little the leading edge catches the flow, and continues to swing the foil. Currently, you can not leave it unattended. In principle I think Hunter got it right with this rudder for a trailer sailor. Simple, clears out the transom for swimmers, and creates lots of space in the cockpit. In practice I think it might be a little to neutral.

Looking online, I have found multiple websites that state no more than 20% of the foil should be in front of the pivot point.

I don't want to build or construct an entirely new rudder, that is cost prohibitive right now. I am thinking of figuring out how to cant the rudder back more. If the tip is farther back I hope to reduce its tendency to swing of course.

Have any Hunter 216 sailors or other boats addressed a problem like this?

Shake down cruise

04 April 2012 | Seaford
Today my daughter and I took the new boat out for a shake down cruise.

The wind was light to little, but all in all a good day to take her out and figure out the new boat.

It took about an hour to rig her once we got to the dock. I hope to speed this process up. The biggest thing slowing me down is having to crank down the stays each time, and then to place the cotter pins.

Once she was all rigged up, we pulled her down to the water. The good news is the tires on the jeep barely need to get wet in order to launch the boat.

We got her out on the water. I must admit the hydraulic jack that pulls the swings the keel up and down is very slick, worked like a charm. The vera rudder is novel. I am not sure how much I am going to appreciated it. Two things that immediately stick out are the fact that it can't swing up if I run into shoal water, and once under what sort of balance does it have.

Under power the boat scoots along very well. Either turning her with the rudder or just using the motor. Under full throttle she pushes a small wake, the motor not working to hard.

Once we got out in open water, the main came right up the track, the jib spun right out. The day was very light (< 8kts) so knowing if she was light on the helm or not will have to wait.

We sailed some, popped the Asymmetric out on the pole just for fun (barely enough wind for that).

Drove the boat back into the dock, she slid right up on the trailer. Again, only the tires need to get wet. I think I need to add a step along the trailer arm to walk along.

Once we started taking the rig down, the stays are still an issue for speed. The other thing is, I need to figure out a good method to pack up the main sail at the dock. I just loosely folded it up because it is so large on the boat, and shoved it in the car. I waited until I got to the yard to spread it out and fold it up nicely.

All in all, not a bad day to shake it out, and find any bits that needed fine tuning.
Vessel Name: Shiloh
Vessel Make/Model: Hunter 216
Crew: J, K and the Reds
About: A family of five in the boat
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Shiloh's Photos -

Who: J, K and the Reds