After the launch on Sunday I spent a couple days working through the final rigging for the mainsail and getting a few more small daysails in to test the setup properly.
It was a real pleasure to have all the blocks I made fitted and feel like the proportions I chose were appropriate.
It all came together nicely for the maiden shakedown daysail on Wednesday.
Everything went quite well except that the centreboard was quite tight in the centreboard well when I tried to lower it. It would appear that the extra layers of paint on top of the graphite epoxy finish might have been a little superfluous and causing me grief.
So I removed the thwart to get the centreboard out the next day and saw exactly where it was a touch too wide.
knowing that these parts are well hidden and have lots of epoxy coats. I sanded down the paint and re-installed it in the centreboard well.
I’m now ready for the planned first voyage out to go camping in Howe Sound on Friday with the family.
My friends Justin and Anne-Sophie have been working feverishly over the last few weeks to launch their two person Merry Wherry. They named it “Ohé Matelot”.
My daughter was particularly excited to be part of the inaugural launch. She helped roll the boat down from the Grin technologies headquarters down to the water at Hinge island park on the south shore of False Creek.
The most impressive things were the beautiful four part paint scheme of the hull and the LED lights imbedded in the hollow cedar and fir oars.
“Ohé Matelot” comes from a French song that all children learn
One thing I noticed participating in the launch was that although the sea wall brings people close to the water it keeps us high above the high tide line and in most places separates people from the intertidal zone. Hinge park is one of the few places in False Creek where one has access to the water. I think there is an opportunity to provide more access to the water and opportunities to launch small watercraft on the water’s edge in False Creek.
The idea has been brewing in my mind for many years. I’ve been pondering a way to reconcile my love of simple self propelled travelling with having two young children. I want to be able to share the experiences, while not inoculating them from every wanting to do it again when they are older. So my wandering mind has settled on a plan that will satisfy many requirements.
I would like to build a small wooden sailboat.
Seaworthy enough to sail up and down the inside passage from Vancouver to Cortez Island and maybe even up the inside passage up to the Broughton Archipelago or Prince Rupert.
Capable of taking my whole family with camping equipment and food for several days
Able to sail in light to strong winds
Able to be rowed comfortably by one or two people when there is no wind.
Capable to accommodate sleeping aboard when in still water with a canvass boom tent and plenty stowage for equipment and food.
Beachable, so that people and equipment can easily be brought to shore in remote locations.
Can be stored on trailer on land or in the water
A small motor well or mount when conditions and distances warrant.
So these parameters in themselves do narrow down the possibilities somewhat. But the key determinants of narrowing it down to a smaller list might be the subjective design qualities. The intangible special sauce that mixes function and form into a beautiful seaworthy sailboat. The final element is one of size, how small is too small for a family of four? Would an open boat on a typically rainy west coast day be too miserable for my family? Does the boat have to have a cabin or could we manage without?
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