So I was finally able to get out to the lake to check on the boat and get some sail time in. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been out there on my boat. I was out about three or four weeks ago when I crewed on a J/105 racing sailboat. I’ve been invited back to crew it on recurring Sunday afternoon races, so I’ll certainly gain some more sailing experience as well as racing experience.
First thing I did when I opened the boat today was check the bilge. Not bad with only about 2 inches of water considering we’ve had some pretty good rain over the past several weeks. I did notice, however, that my ever-elusive v-berth leak is not completely gone. It’s certainly much less pronounced, but I did find evidence of minor leaking. That leak has been the major deterrent to finishing my interior refit. I’ve got to figure out how to get the interior dry before I start adding things inside. More on that later….
So I was thankfully able to get some sail time in! Started up the outboard motor which, by the way, continues to run like a champ! Pulled the starter handle once and she fired right up! While the motor was warming up, I checked the rigging, took the sail cover off, prepared the furling jib and released the front dock lines. Karma patiently waited while I did all this, of course. Wait! What am I thinking? Lol. She wasn’t patiently waiting, she was following me every step along the way…from bow to stern, port to starboard, she was right there with me! 🙂
Here’s a photo she wanted to take after we were well underway.
Finally got underway and was relieved to have 9-13 mph winds and no one else on the lake within sight. I actually achieved the fastest speed this Hunter has made so far [with me]. According to my GPS I achieved 6.83 mph which equates to 5.94 knots. The hull speed on the Hunter 25 is around 6.25 knots, so I got pretty close to max speed. Some of that higher speed comes from a pretty good heel angle. I maintained about a 20 degree heel angle for quite a while on my initial tack.
I did notice my headsail has a tear in it that I’ll need to repair soon before it gets worse.
About an hour and a half into my sail Karma and I started to get hungry. In the past I usually just wait until I get back to the dock to eat, but today I decided to try something I’ve never done…. the heave-to maneuver. I remember talking about it in my sailing class, but we never got around to doing it, so I was hoping I remembered all the steps involved.
I was on a port tack, so I let the bow fall off through the wind and let the boom swing to a starboard tack orientation. I didn’t release the starboard jib, rather just let it stay in place and backwind it. I put the tiller all the way over to the port side and almost all forward movement stopped. Everything became very calm and I was only drifting slightly in the wind. I checked my GPS and I was drifting off the wind at only half a knot speed.
Karma and I ate a fairly quick lunch, probably about 7 or 8 minutes, then I recovered from the heave-to very easily. I simply released the starboard jibsheet, hauled in the port jibsheet, loosed the tiller and we were off on a starboard tack. See photo below.
We sailed for another hour and half before docking again. Logged just over 9 nautical miles in just over 3 hours. All in all it was great sailing day! Here’s a little video documenting today’s sail. Enjoy!