|Vessel Name:||Meta Fog|
|Vessel Make/Model:||Baba 30|
|Hailing Port:||St Paul, MN|
|About:||Just me and my family|
Meta Fog has been resting in her cradle for a few years. But she's not decommissioned yet! My family and I are going to give this little cutter a new lease on life, and we hope to have her in the water before midsummer 2019!
This weekend we took Meta Fog out of the marina for the first time. We had a great trip!
Meta fog sails like a dream. She's heavy and not particularly nimble or quick to come about, but she handles pretty well in my inexperienced judgement, and sails like a dream. Like a dream. . She's so well balanced, several times I forgot the auto pilot wasn't engaged and she sailed herself for quite some time before I noticed. The cutter rig is a lot of fun to sail, tricky as it may be to tack.
I found my Rocna Vulcan anchor to be easy to set and good holding in sand bottoms and light wind. I have little doubt that it will continue to perform well in more adverse conditions. We anchored our second night out in about 30 feet of water - more than I would have dared with the nylon rode in my previous boat. But the 1/4" chain and Vulcan 15 held us in place just fine.
I was able to get the dinghy to hold air just fine. The screw on caps were clearly more critical to the bombard than they are on the PRU-3, but once snugged in, the dinghy has not leaked appreciably for a few days. I did manage to break an oarlock - the plastic was clearly brittle from the sun, and I suspect this dinghy wasn't rowed much as the oars are short and clearly meant as an auxiliary power source to an engine. Before I use the Honda 2hp 4 stroke that came with the boat though, I need to get the dinghy registered with the state of Wisconsin or face the potential wrath of Wi DNR.
I had a little trouble with the head. The anti siphon valve has been dripping icky water down onto the floor in the head cabinet. I tried to open it up and take a look - that was a mistake. Then I had a bit of cleanup to do. I suspect either the valve isn't functioning well or the holding tank might just have been full, which it did indeed appear to be when I had it pumped out upon returning. I need to continue experimenting with it. Otherwise, the head has worked wonderfully well with no leaks. Hurrah, first head plumbing project was a success!
The big complaint online about the boat's performance is making progress to windward in light air, and indeed I struggled to make it upwind in about 3 knots. But otherwise the boat sails quite well. I was very impressed! It's responsive to the helm and has a good solid feel when the waves push her about. We find the accommodations comfortable and think we'd probably have space enough for indefinite cruising, assuming we didn't take along too much stuff. The galley worked well, the engine did swimmingly, and overall, we're very happy with the boat so far. Good job, meta fog!
This week we got the mast back on Meta Fog.
After some initial difficulties resolved by bleeding some air, I've had very good luck with the engine the few times I've used it to move back and forth to the launch / mast stepping crane, so I'm gaining confidence in that system. The electrical systems seem to be working well too. I've added a solar charge controller by Victron that is bluetooth enabled and can show charge and usage power, which is pretty neat ( though I'm not running the load through it yet). The data verifies that the 50 watt panel can keep the batteries topped off without an AC charger, with light use. I alread swapped almost all the lights for LEDs and there aren't many high current systems (the tiller autopilot is probably the highest draw) so I'm hoping that means the 50W panel is enough for some degree of independence from the AC umbilical cord.
In sadder news, I'm afraid my came-with-the-boat 6' bombard inflatable is not staying particularly inflated. I couldn't locate any leaks, but it has been deflating throughout the day since I filled it this morning. I have a newer PRU-3 dinghy I can use instead, but it's bigger and heavier, so I was kind of excited about the bombard. Maybe I can patch it, or maybe those little over-the-valve-plugs are more functional in this model than they are in my PRU-3 where they appear strictly cosmetic . We'll see. The awesome looking 2hp honda that also came with the boat ran fine for me when I tested this spring, so as soon as I have a dinghy I think it will also be ready for a sea trial.
So, haven't been sailing again quite yet, but soon now!