We invited our neighbors, Dan and Jen, to the boat. The weather was deep into the realm we call "sporty" — wind was about 15 kn, gusting into the low 20's. It was supposed to slack down to 10 kn later in the day. Summary: 15g20>10.
Sporty conditions aren't for newbie boaters. Dan and Jen have some boating experience. Since it includes whitewater kayak, SUPaddleboard, they're unlikely to be put off by some waves and splashing around.
Sporty conditions aren't really our thing, either. That's why we took so few pictures.
We dawdled: a lengthy tour of the boat; a tour of our end of the marina.
We anchored sort of near the Calvert Cliffs. The chart shows a sudden shoaling from 10' to 3'. We stayed well out in the 10' area. The bottom there seems to be harder than other places in the bay. Perhaps it's scoured by the current from Tracey's creek and Rockhold creek. On short (5:1) scope, we dragged a bit.
At first, I was thinking of trying single-reefed main. But. At the last minute, I decided that might be too much, and went for mizzen and stays'l. We poked our way along for an hour or so, a little under-canvassed, but happy to be sailing relatively flat.
We tried to tack. I thought we might be able to swing from a beam reach all the way around to the other reach. I'm now sure that Red Ranger can't make that big a change in direction. The right thing to do is to grind the mizzen all the way in to get as close-hauled as we can.
It might even be possible to push the mizzen to windward to force the bow around. If I had two more people comfortable pulling ropes, I may try that some day.
After stalling out entirely, we gybed around. It's easy to do under "jib and jigger" because the mizzen is so (relatively) small. I can pass it from side to side while standing on the after deck.
Later in the afternoon — 15:00 ish — the wind finally started to slack off. We pulled out the Yankee.
CA pushed the boat speed to 7.1 kn on a regular basis and 7.2 kn when the residual 20+ kn gust hit us.
This is about the fastest we've ever sailed. It's getting close to hull speed (~8.2 kn) Since high tide was 3:30, I don't think we had much current added in to our speed.
Trimming the yankee under those conditions is difficult. It's almost impossible to turn the winch. I found an on-line sail power calculator. I plugged in the P, E, I, and J measurements for a Whitby (13m, 4.5m, 15m, 5.6m). LP for our yankee is 90%. This nets out to 1100 pounds of force (510 Kg). Half a ton. That seems to model what I was observing.
I think it's CA's skill at the wheel made it possible. She says the new B&G instruments are a huge help. Specifically, the rudder position indicator. Previously, she'd fight the wheel, presuming that it was somehow her fault Red Ranger kept pointing up into the wind. Now she can see how much rudder she's got: this means she can have me adjust sail trim to better balance the helm. Less fighting means more forward motion. It's like getting a new boat. Seriously.
Sun Shades and Awnings
After a great afternoon with friends, sailing. CA made the sunshade-windscoop for the bow.
The idea is to keep direct sun off the V-berth as well as catch the breeze when we're at anchor. It rigs quickly and wraps up into a tiny bundle of fabric when not in use. We think this will be very handy when the conditions are too sporty to sail.