sailing seen from beach..

Posted by Petewp on Aug 5, 2005

I always take a long my Nikon 8x40's when I go to the beach. I love em', fully multicoated - edge to edge, the works , tack sharp - but I take them to the beach to observe the distant boats - often the ones sailing around a local island no more than a mile or so out. Kayakers often are to be seen here with half a dozen an averege in an afternoon. Yesterday though, it was a person sailing a Laser...

I'm always envious of a Laser owner, that is if its a decent Laser, nimble and fast, with a hull that isnt a cracked springboard beat to hell from too much abuse. I watched the intrepid little craft tack into a decent 10+ - maybe 15 knot breeze out there, leaving one shore to what seemed like an immense distance as the small smoothly triangular sail grew fainter and more misty as it pulled away. My sailrig is still in the construction phase so this vicarious kind of "sailing" is all I have for now!

At anyrate all things went well and when the little craft literaly whipped around a green can bouy doing a perfect 180, my envy was heightened. No way in hell do I imagine my WR180 ever turning anything faster than the Titanic hitting an iceberg. Some nice qualities about that straight keel and round multichine bottom to be sure, but it isnt reflected in the turning. In that light any course involving cones or bouys to negotiate like this experienced sailor just pulled off would leave the standard Laser, even sunfish pulling way ahead.

When the poor guy flipped however, a fairly unspoken attribue of the multihull system became clear. Sure its a fairly straightforward righting, he/she? spent maybe a full 5 minutes -7 miuntes before headway was made again, but make no doubt some of that nimble turning that was saving so much time just went into the trashbin.

A Laser overall is still the faster over a course needing some clear turns and cutbacks, as is a Sunfish, but its not without some setbacks in higher winds and heavy chop. Atleast to what seems like the averege sailor.

The run back the bay seemed to be 7 maybe 8 knots as figured out from a timed transit of a bouy. Not bad.

Petewp [Sitting in his Beachbum chair]



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