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Leon's boats

Page history last edited by Leon 13 years, 1 month ago

January 2011:

The boat has finally been used for its designed purpose. I spent a week with the boat permanently rigged on the riverbank and went sailing, fishing and motoring every day. I spent a night on board in a little dome tent on the trampoline. The little Honda seems pretty good so far, but the bracket I built for it places it a bit too high. The motor puts a fair but of torque on the crossbeam, which it is not really designed for. This area will need some work. Overall, I remain happy with the boat. There are many refinements to be made, but these are all about reducing effort needed to transport, rig and sail the proa. Some pictures:



     The boat on the riverbank. The paintwork/general finish looks good if you stay this far away.



     These side-hung rudders were always going to be ugly and drag-creating, but they were quick to build and are fairly effective. The next proa will probably have something different however.



     Loaded up with day-cruising gear.



     This is fairly precarious, but the water was like glass so I got away with it a few times. I like keeping the open flame away from the foot-well, which could      potentially hold some petrol fumes now that I have a motor.



     Urunga at dusk.



     My rather inelegant camping setup. This was pretty functional. I learned that anchoring in very shallow water prevents you from sleeping because every wave bashes the boat against the bottom. You then have to get up at midnight and cut your hand on an anchor chain trying to move the boat in the dark.



     Motoring up the Kalang river in a glassy calm. Very pretty, apart from the noise of an air-cooled outboard.



24th of January, 2010:

I took the proa for its second sail today. Light wind, crystal clear water.


22nd of February, 2009:

I went sailing today, at the Bellinger River Sailing club which logically lies on the Kalang river, on the NSW north coast. Here are the photos, with notes. Let me know if my photos are too large or numerous and i'll economise.

  The long suffering SEAT bears the burden.


The assembly and rigging took a while, probably only twice as long as a simple (not too race-complexified) beachcat. This was the first time though, there were many little jobs that won't need doing next time.
By the time I finished the fleet had arived, only four others today. 2 Hobie 14s, a Maricat 4.3 and an A Class.
Here's a photo of the trampoline. There are two bamboo poles in sewn sleeves, and the other edges have lacing eyelets which I didn't bother with today. Under that mud is nice clean grass and white sand.


I paddled out and threw the anchor in while I sorted the sail. I wanted to get off the mud. The recent flood has made the channel much deeper than I expected, causing my anchor to drag. The outgoing tide caused a fierce current toward the rivermouth, which is about 1km away.
I hoisted the sail, but the wind was to light to control anything. I did a hasty shunt to avoid an anchored fishing boat, but I wasn't getting anywhere except downstream.
Nice conditions for a stand-up paddleboard, except for the disgusting flood silt and brown water. I should point out that the lower estuary here is supposed to have clear, blue water, and nice sandy beaches. Today was unpleasant, but I wanted to try my boat.
Ross and Klauss demostrate the delights of the silt. The consistency is like grease, knee deep or worse, and with lots of sharp debris in it.

After a minute or two it became clear I was heading for the ocean, so Bill and his fluffy dog gave me a tow back to the mud-beach.


An hour or two later a nice breeze had come up and I tried again. I was across the river before I was organised, but the boat sailed itself while I fiddled with lines and rudders.


Here I am looking at the leeboard, not steering or even holding the sheet.


I kept going back and forth across the river, stopping in the mud to shunt. This one doesn't look very controlled.


Starting to get the hang of it. This thing is so easy to sail once shunting is done. I can steer several different ways, with or without the rudders. I'm not using the leeboard here because I had damaged one of the mountings. The tide countered my leeway perfectly in this little stretch of river anyway.


How suave! Shortly after this I suavely fell in the water after the seat board I was standing on gave way under me due to a glaring design flaw. I was relying on the strength of the plywood laminations. Raucous laughter from the sailing club veranda ensued, it was lunch time and I was the entertainment. Some stainless screws fixed the breakage temporarily.


Parked on the mud bank to let the fleet pass. The afternoon race was pretty spectacular, a tight little course in front of the club due to the low tide.


It's even passenger friendly.

All in all it went pretty well. Everything worked, nothing worked particularly well. The conditions prohibited a more extensive test, but I learned about enough flaws to keep me busy. I won't sail again soon due to study commitments, but hopefully can find time to refine a few things.


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