There was a lot of discussion about whether the PD Racer would plane.
position of the Australians (ie us) was that they had enough sail and
were light enough and if handled firmly enough ... "they probably
would". But what handling methods would be necessary?
So here was the strongest wind we had sailed in, so...Follow the story! Went for a sail today up the river here.
out of wind because the river is narrow and there are lots of trees on
either side partway up - so wasn't able to keep pace with the outgoing
tide - but wiled away a couple of hours very nicely catching the
catspaws, making a bit of progress and then losing it when the wind
died or when i hit a mudbank or rock ledge with the centreboard.
Pleasant sailing indeed. _____________________________________
On the way back came out of the trees and the wind had picked up a bit.
Probably very close to a solid 12 knots with short puffs a couple of knots more.
Anyway - a couple of times I was on a beam reach, caught a puff and the boat accelerated onto the plane briefly. Much
of my life I have raced fast planing dinghies and sailing canoes so
today - definitely on the plane - maybe for about 10 seconds each time.
wake - little rooster tail off the rudder. Stern wave moves about
6ft behind the boat - this correlates to a speed of around 4.5 knots
which also correlates quite well with the speeds others have been
getting on their GPSs
If there had been a few more knots of
breeze the PD Racer would have been solidly on the plane so am looking
forward to more wind (forecast tomorrow along with thunderstorms).
too that the river here is quite protected by trees down one side and
buildings down the other this a/ Cuts the wind velocity and making
gusts short and sharp - not good for planing b/ Keeps the water flat -
good for maintaining boat control easily.
Certainly did notice
some of the bow digging behaviour that some of you have mentioned - it
certainly happens if you don't trim and steer to the puff quickly
enough and a move back about 8 inches along the side of the boat at the
same time as hiking your body hard to keep the boat just a little short
of dead flat.. But if you get it right and the boat accelerates
lifting its bow high so theres little risk of sticking the nose in.
Get it wrong and the boat pigroots badly
PD Racer is certainly the most sensitive boat I have ever sailed as far
as for and aft crew placement. A few inches too far forward and
the bow digs a bit making noise and making waves (creation of waves, sound and
turbulence indicate the loss of energy that could be used for driving
the boat if they were eliminated).
You can see all of this happen in the planing video
- the bow drops into the water with the start of the gust, then I move
back -the boat accelerates and the bow comes up. Its not a
"flat out" plane by any means - not enough wind or space - but yes it
I found myself sailing it much
like a catamaran - move as far forward as possible without the flat of
the bow actually hitting the water.
Lateral weight is also
important as much heel will cause either the bow or stern transom to be
immersed causing splashing and/or turbulence. _____________________________
can look out of the window here and see the PDR with its sail rolled
around the mast lying on its side to stop it from blowing over if the
wind gets strong tonight.
Hope it stays strong for tomorrow morning - tide will be high to increase the length of the runs I can make.
Sadly Biting Midge has gone back to work - so no photographer OR camera.