Roger (crew member and boatbuilder) and me had a very good day out yesterday. It was raining in the morning when we started and nobody around to take pics or footage but this wasn’t our first concern that day, as it was the first real test for us. But at the end of this day ? yes - it is a pity not having had the chance to shoot pics and clips. I know that everybody is waiting to see some footage of the boat foiling. I promise to do that asap.
Roger finished the work on mounting the new rudderfoil (which we lost in Cowes during tests) Sunday morning. We went sailing right away. In the beginning in maybe 4-5 kts of breeze. When sailing upwind in conventional mode (boards up) with just two crew light like Roger and me (2x70kgs) you need the trapezes from lets say solid 5kts. The boat sailed with the right heeling angle does 6.5kts and more upwind easily, in 8kts of true it is starting to plane also upwind ? But it is early days and we didn’t have a lot comparison (angles, speed of other boats etc.) as weather was truly bad. We had the lake just for us.
At the upper end of our pond wind increased a bit - maybe 8kts - and we went on the foils doing 14kts easily and later when breeze got up to almost 10tks we had 18.3 kts max on the counter and constantly over 16kts. The boat does fly steadily and it is not even really difficult to sail it on the foils with the right heeling angle. But you have to drive it very carefully - not much deflection on the rudder. Doing this you are able to fly it almost exclusively over the heeling angle if wind is more or less steady.
In the beginning it was a bit scary as we always sailed a course where we didn’t loose height but even a bit to windward ? more like a windsurfer - and with sails too full i guess. Then we tried the code zero ? the power in that sail is incredible even in this decent breeze. After half an hour the whole rig was slack again.
We went back to the mooring because a line to move the mainfoils broke and then we winded down the main shrouds and went out another time. Lighter wind again but then it came back with maybe 8kts. The task this time was to sail downwind as deep as possible fully out on the foil but with just main and jib. I was driving and both of us on leeward side of the cockpit. I was driving the boat like my father was driving his 5.5m yacht ? sitting on the cockpit floor, tiller in my hand (not the tiller extension). A very funny and strange feeling in the beginning :-)
We clocked phenomenal - and more or less steady - 17.5 kts - with not much power in the sails anymore also thanks to much flatter profile i guess. We had a run of about 2km and maybe 700 m we didn’t touch the water once ? no porpoising at all and if - during a moment of some instability (wake of a steamer for example) - the scow shape exactly does what it is supposed to do ? little bump in the front section of the boat, loosing around 3kts of speed and back up again. 3 seconds later you are up on the old speed level again. Acceleration is also something you have to get used to - incredible.
Truly great and comparably easy to handle, we sailed just the two of us the whole day. And we also saw that this boat may be used in many different configurations ? with the same amount of fun as the platform is so stable and it is leaving hull speed in almost no wind. It looks to me a bit as having the performance of a skiff on a platform you may need for the sailing school. Of course - this is a bit exagerated but you sure know what i mean. Some may call this boring ? but it surely is not.
People looking at the boat sailing from a distance came to talk to us when back on the mooring. It was a surprise for them to see a monohull - they expected a catamaran.
The boat already works amazingly well considering that this device is just coming out of the box?Hugh again did a marvellous job.