Monday, February 05, 2007

Sea Trials...Take one...Action!

We loaded up the boats on the trailer for our first sea trials today on Lake Wheeler to see how the boats paddled and try out some different configurations. See a short Video Here. It was VERY windy today (steady 15 with gusts to mid 20s in the morning and calming down some in the later afternoon). We got out to the lake and rigged up the boats on the beach. We still don't have the seats, lee boards, rudders, hatch hold downs, masts, sails or cockpits installed but we hope to fix all that soon. For today it was just a necessity to see them get wet.



The boats were rigged up pretty quickly and we proceeded with our official christening ceremony. (In case you were wondering, the speech can be found online with a quick search) The boats are now officially named "The Rise" (yellow) and "The Fall" (orange) in keeping with our team name.


I performed the ceremony with witnesses present (Cheng and Brian, some sailing friends). We hope for good fortune and safe sailing during the EC. Cheers everyone. After the christening, we suited up and shoved off. The first thing we noticed was that the boats like to tip from side to side a lot when completely unloaded and paddling was done at about a 10 degree bank to the water. Again without seats and real cockpits it was hard to get an idea of how it will be for real and we most definitely need to get those rudders on.


She paddles into the wind fairly easily but turning into the wind was another story. This was not a surprise, we have a lot of area on these high side panels. Here is Chris and Mike doing a pass by the shore. You can see the angle of the hull to the water. With loaded boats this will decrease to some extent. We may end up extending the ama pylons but we are going to do more experimentation with the sails and masts and amas like they are before making major design changes. We also joined the two hulls in catamaran configuration and found this to be much easier to turn in the high winds. This will be our most advantageous configuration for sailing. We left the amas on shore for the first test but there was plenty of room for them.


After our canoe trials we decided to take more advantage of the windy day and so we took out one of the NCSU sailing club's Flying Scots for a quick sail. See the video of us on the Scot here. It was very windy but with 6 guys in the boat we didn't have much trouble holding it down and we had some sweet downwind reaches completely up on plane in the high winds.

After sailing, we packed up our mountain of booties and spray suits. Chris was at war with his spraytop for quite some time so I thought I would snap off some pictures of him instead of give him a hand. I couldn't resist. He did eventually escape. We found that the amas could be transported above the hulls using the crossbeam supports since they are fairly convenient and leave space underneath for sails and masts in the future.

All in all a great day at the lake. We learned a lot about how the boats handle and are anxious to get everything else done so we can GO SAILING!



Thanks for reading! Thanks Brian and Cheng for taking pictures and helping us carry stuff down to the water.

12 comments:

dstgean said...

Test

dstgean said...

Hey guys,

Lookin' good. The tri will definately tend to slap unless you load the boat so that both amas will touch the water. If that doesn't happen, the chop will cause the boat to rock back and forth. A flat mottom really doesn't make any difference since my Ulua does the same thing.

Going with the stub mast that Gary dierking specifies would be a nice setup, although reefing would then become more challenging. Using one of the carbon fiber windsurfer rigs, or one from a manufacturer like the Escape, Catalina, Raptor, Hobie, etc where the sail roller furls around the mast with a Hoyt boom or the Raptor idea which suits your fabrication skills and time frame would work great. You'd need to get 4 windsurfer masts to make it work, but having sailed the Raptor 16--it would be ideal! In addition with a bit of Aluminum tubing, you could make do with a shorter windsurfer mast as well. How long is the luff of your sail? Windsurfer masts come in 550 and 590 lengths.

Dan

Alan Stewart said...

Hey Dan, thanks for the advice. We want to get about a 15 foot luff out of the head of the C-scow sails that we have. Our masts are 15 feet long so we thing we can make due with a 4 foot extention piece that sits down in the boat and accepts that windsurfer mast on top. We plan to have a windlass at the base of the the mast to help roller furl. We were thinking about eiter a hoyt boom or a boom with a collar that hangs on the tack of the sail and could spin around the outside of the mast when it is rotating. We have 2 good masts, 2 hairy masts that need clearcoating and one other I think. This might be enough for everything we want to do. Any idea how the windsurfer mast will hold up under a large sail like ours will be in this decidedly un-windsurfer like configuration?

dr. jack said...

The "slap" dstgean speaks of is just one of the negatives of trimarans. Even if you fill the main hull with lead, a swell will still cause the boat to "slap". The best solution is to accustom yourself to it.

The boats look brilliant! I am very pleased to hear that they paddle well. The heel to one side or the other may turn out to be an advantage in paddling (less drag to have two hulls in the water than three).

Stiff winds always make paddling tough, no matter what you are paddling, so I wouldn't fret about that too much. That's where the youth and training comes in.

I can't wait to see them sail.

dr. jack said...

Happy Birthday Chris and Matt.

fasthazard said...

Thanks, Jack. Surprisingly enough, the boats paddled great in the catamaran configuration. We were able to make OK progress even upwind. Especially since we are a dependent team (and thereby have to be near the other boat at all times,) we may benefit from being catamaraned most of the time. The big plus is that even in the best of cases, two separate trimarans will have two hulls and two outrigger in the water. The catamaran setup has only the two main hulls. So total drag is reduced plus our total stability is increased (w/ 10' beam, equal weight on both sides, etc). We can still use the trimaran setup when/if necessary, and even shift the crossbeams to extend one outrigger (in a tacking proa configuration) to gain more bouyancy effort.

Hopefully we'll be sailing soon!

dstgean said...

You won't know how the masts will hold up until you add some pressure. Dr. Jack is right about the slap. You might be just as well off with 4 paddlers in cat mode or for that mater two paddling, two resting when the wind leaves. These boats paddle well.

The best rig is one you can easily reef when you think the boat needs it. As such, the luff sleeve mast roller furling will make your questionable strength windsurfer masts last as long as you are paying attention. The holopuni does it with jaws like a gaff, but at boom level. The Raptor 16 has an even slicker way to do it without your version of the Hoyt boom. It is an aluminum tube with a second tube welded to it at an angle that parallels the foot of the sail. The mast revolves in the aluminum tube to reef the sail while the other welded section maintains outhaul tension with a second apropriately sized boom (second windsurfer mast) This setup should make best use of your masts and with a couple of blocks and some aluminum tubing available anywhere. The setup needs a luff sleeve sail, a reefing line, and an outhaul. You can even make the aluminum tube raise the mast up enough to give the luff length you need.

Dan

dstgean said...

You won't know how the masts will hold up until you add some pressure. Dr. Jack is right about the slap. You might be just as well off with 4 paddlers in cat mode or for that mater two paddling, two resting when the wind leaves. These boats paddle well.

The best rig is one you can easily reef when you think the boat needs it. As such, the luff sleeve mast roller furling will make your questionable strength windsurfer masts last as long as you are paying attention. The holopuni does it with jaws like a gaff, but at boom level. The Raptor 16 has an even slicker way to do it without your version of the Hoyt boom. It is an aluminum tube with a second tube welded to it at an angle that parallels the foot of the sail. The mast revolves in the aluminum tube to reef the sail while the other welded section maintains outhaul tension with a second apropriately sized boom (second windsurfer mast) This setup should make best use of your masts and with a couple of blocks and some aluminum tubing available anywhere. The setup needs a luff sleeve sail, a reefing line, and an outhaul. You can even make the aluminum tube raise the mast up enough to give the luff length you need.

Dan

dstgean said...

whoops double post

dstgean said...

Are you using innertube for the aka to hull lashing? I would recommend some straps for tying the boats to the trailer or even a ratchet strap to make sure you have strong and easily fixed setups. Remember the main hull will have A LOT of twisting forces transmitted through the lashing of the hull to the akas. The amas otoh need only to stay in position and is a great place for light line, innertube, or other easily servicable setup.
Dan

Michael said...

We used bike tubes to lash the akas to the vakas, and the amas to the akas. We were using only one tube for each aka-vaka connection; it held, but we should get some more tubes to double the lashing.

It was suggested by Carlos Solanilla that we find a better way to secure the amas and akas than just rope lashing. The tubes right now are good because they are essentially looped on each end and the have some give and take, plus they are grippy.

To trailer the Wa'apas we lash the amas and akas to the vakas with the bike tubes, and then use rachet straps to hold the vakas to the trailer. We've though about rachet straps for the aka connections, but we're not sure what the best method is.

dstgean said...

Once you get the rig on the boat you'll see the need to use something like kayak straps or rachet straps. those have a bit of give but not much and are super strong. That's what Holopuni uses. Look at the forces involved with the wind pressure on the hull in a freestanding rig--all twisting especially on a beat or a reach--and that will be transfered through your chosen lashing material. Innertubes are fine for the amas but not the vaka.

Dan