Michael Storer Boat Design


More wind for planing and polytarp sails in stronger wind


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A day with more wind brings more planing and some observations about the performance of polytarp sails in stronger winds.

We never ot hold of a GPS while we were sailing each day.  It would be really interesting to see just what speeds we were getting up to - or could get up to with a bit more wind, a larger spread of water and a slightly stiffer mast.

Yep - I feel the original masts were a little bit too flexible - the new MK2 Mast for the OZ PD Racer is about 40% stiffer than the original ones on our two boats.

Today there is a bit more wind.

10 to probably just on 15knots in the gusts.

I have just spent the last hour or so sailing backwards and forwards trying sometimes managing to meet up with a gust before getting too close to the opposite bank.

The boat planes very nicely indeed - in 15 knots on a reach as soon as there is enough wind pressure for me to put my feet under the straps and lean out from the side of the boat even a little to keep it flat - as sooon as that happens - planing - no problems at all.

Flat wake stern wave well behind the boat.  The bow lifts up in the air mightily and we're off in a welter of spray.

All we need is 15knots or of breeze and a reaching course and we'll plane for miles and miles.

No photos or movies at this point - Midge is away and has taken his camera with him for business purposes.  And one of the neighbours has a GPS but is not home at the moment.

I am up here for another week - so will have to organise the GPS - there has to be a good strong breeze in that time doesn't there?

At one point the stern wave was about 12 to 14 feet behind the boat which correlates to a speed of 6 to 6.25 knots - but that method of calculating is toooooo prone to error ("looks like" 12 to 14 ft).

So bring on some breeze and a GPS - might even organise to move to the lake down the way for some record runs.

One other upshot from the stronger wind sailing is that everything is handling the additional load beautifully - I was more worried about our lightweight hollow mast more than any other component and it seems happy to flex just the right amount.

Our polytarp sails are OK on a reach or a run, but upwind in 15knots they are starting to stretch badly as the gusts hit and become quite baggy - boat still goes OK - but must be losing 3 or 5 degrees in pointing.  The resume their correct shape when the gust ends.

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