Proa testing Sunday 7th May Lymington

It looked like there was no wind at all when were at home 10 minutes away working in the garden and the forecast looked very low indeed but we headed down anyway as I wanted to try fitting a tiller extension for the starboard side and remove the central short one which was being painful. I also wanted to get some measurements to make up some little pockets to store drinks and so on.

I had also just put three large holes in the outrigger and fitted water tight hatches and wanted to see if they worked ok. The bulkheads are every 50cm with holes in to allow unrestricted airflow and each free space has plastic bottles and foam for safety bouyancy. However, a few holes where I had moved the mounting plates for the frame hadn’t sealed and in the last run there was small cup of water sloshing around.

I thought it would be best to open them to let air around anyway but then seal 2 bulkheads so it is divided into thirds with 2 compartments with safety bouyancy still. I sealed the bulkhead holes with fibreglass tape and epoxy which had set fine. The small screw hoes from the test mounting plates I drilled out with a countersink bit and filled with more epoxy.

Would they keep the water out?

Another lovely day

Well it was fantastic, light wind W / SW, a bit variable with a couple of systems converging over us and the tide was completely out. We had some major hassle getting the main sail up, just kept sticking for no reason. After some pain and help from a fellow club member we got ready to pop out.

We had actually remembered the GoPro and had the phone set up in the battery box to record it this time. I was using the head harness for ease but we will need to use the extension off the boom ongoing I think.

We headed out into the channel sedately then headed down the river and gain could easily get the jib roller free which was irritating – we need to review this going forward and work out what is stopping it. Lesley had to go forward and manually start it then it was fine. There is a knot underneath that might be catching but I thought I had sorted that….

Anyway, as we got towards the main breakwater we could see a lot of traffic was coming in so we kept left as we thought it would give us more room but as we were about to turn right into the next section we were too far out the main channel and we dragged the daggerboard close to one of the large channel marker posts. We depowered and managed to get it free but had lost memntum and timing and ended up being stuck on the left.

As we then headed round another cruiser coming in two abreast helpfully gave us no room and with shallows right there we were head to wind and not happy. We then cut across to get a little bit of room and did a further tack as a cruiser coming in turned around to mess with his sail again leaving us with not a huge amount of space.

We avoided him then picked up some speed as the ferry started coming into the final approach. We had seen it and had loads of room so tacked away as it gave us a loud toot on its horn. We then came back round and finally started to move along nicely, the wind giving us a really nice drive as we went past the ferry with a number of people looking at us quite confused.

As usual we had the “aren’t you missing a bit” comments of course from our beloved sailing fraternity. As we speeded up we saw the Lymington Lifeboat coming back in with a large cruiser attached and we scooted past them while they watched on. Several pounds worth of botched together lash up whizzing past many, many thousand of pounds worth of loveliness. Gave us a chuckle – we might be on a piece of old tat but at least we were powering ourselves.

The short chop was splashing up loads – just as I asked Lesley how she was doing when were on the port tack, a huge splash went up and over her going straight down her neck. This appeared to cheer her up no end I think, but I am not good at interpreting facial expressions and she assured me afterwards that that was not her “cheered up face”…… This was caught by the GoPro luckily and shows how much she enjoyed it.

We didn’t have a lot of time free so we simply aimed for one of the larger bouys out in the solent and then turned around and headed back in.

A steady stream of traffic was heading in and we caught up a couple of motor cruisers and then followed them back in. Interesting with one where we were surfing their wake and we had sit well back to stop the front dipping in and having the leading edge of their wave go over the front of the boat.

I will be putting a simple piece of decking over the top at the front to reduce the water flowing and splashing over. It also did show again that we have a bit too much weight forward with the outrigger positioned as it is. I will move the outrigger frame back 50cm for now by adding on some new attachment plates further forward on the outrigger and probably remove the smallest rear 50cm bulkhead and then refibreglass and reinforce the transom.

The next outrigger iteration for the otherside then will be 4.25m long with more bouyancy aft as well as with a wider flat underside at the rear to exhance the ability to sort of plane or at least reduce the heeling. This will also help keep the nose up a little while still giving loads of bouyancy up front to satisfy our safety concerns.

When I replace the main hull, the front cross beam will be further forward to make the weight distribution of the outriggers better, giving a bit more trampoline space and then enable me to fair the crossbeams in and make the frame folding as well.

The journey back in then was very nice and as we turned left in towards the main brekawater we accelerated past he motor cruisers back up into the main river while they went off into the first marina on the left.

We sped away from the other boats behind us to give us plenty of room to cross over and come in nice and safely to the launching/landing area which worked out really well with Lesley getting the jib furled and hopping over the front into waist deep water while I dropped the main and that was it: job done.

We were surpised there were so few other sailing boats out and about – perhaps they thought the wind was going to be too low as the weather forecast were predicting 4mph gusting to 12 but it was another almost perfect day for us as we learn both sailing and the boat.

Hopefully next week if I can find the time I can get on a longer trip with the LTSC dinghy cruising group – Lesley possibly won’t have time but I might be able to get a random person to crew for me, or possibly sail and I will crew.

The following weekend then might be a cruise to Newtown Creek with the DCA if I can get the reefing sorted in time and the weather looks VERY good.

The only downer was to find the GoPro just stopped randomly as we sent past the ferry so we have no footage of the trip back in which was great.

GoPpro Footage

Map and GPS data

Thanks to the phone and battery box update actually working, we got full GPS data for a change and didn’t drown a phone….

Total distance: 6515 m

RaceQS View of sail

The .gpx file can also be uploaded to RaceQS .com to give a cool 3d view RaceQS

of our short potter about.

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