Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sailing Season Wrap-up and other goodies

YES, we finally did get sailing on September 18th!

Here, you can see it was a beautiful calm day; almost too calm.

The next day, not so calm, and officially the end of our very brief sailing season.

The previous sailing day, fortunately, went very smoothly (practice makes perfect). No rigging problems, a smooth launch, no dock/boat mishaps, and a nice leisurely cruise in light winds. The electric trolling motor behaved for leaving and returning to the harbor but my trolling motor experiment is now concluded and I have decided to purchase a small 4 stroke outboard for next spring. Right now the Tohatsu 3.5 HP long shaft looks to be my first choice.

Here is proof that we were actually on the water, a nice view looking forward from the cockpit.

Another view looking forward but with a bit more wind in the jib. The harbor is visible in the background.
Proud captain enjoying the mild late September weather. You can see the rope for the tiller lock I purchased. More details later in this post.

On our next sail I plan to bring my camera which has a wide angle lens and hopefully shoot some photos that show more of the boat. In our limited sail I was impressed by Pocketship's handling and stability. I am anxious for spring now to test her out in some stiffer winds. Our plan is to arrange to have an experienced sailor help us out on our first spring cruise to gain some sailing confidence.

And Now Some Things I Learned This Year

1. You need to be careful re-trailering the boat to make sure the keel lines up with the keel trough on the trailer or doesn't slide/float out of the keel trough. Next spring I am going to increase the height of the keel trough by adding a 2x4 to the existing sides.

2. Wherever, possible, all hardware should be through-bolted instead of just screwed in. I had screwed in fairleads for the gaff halyards pop out from the strain of hoisting the gaff. Now, they are bolted through the cabin roof and are much stronger.

3. Instead of having to purchase a $50 track stop for the main sail a regular $1.30 track slide can be used that is simply tied to a cleat on the mast.

4. A tiller lock is definitely handy.  I purchased the Cansail TillerLock. Only $39.95 and made only of stainless steel and navy brass, no flimsy plastic parts like found on many other versions. Installation was very easy. I just put in 2 small padeyes (through-bolted, of course) at the stern of the cockpit seat sides and attached the rope on one side with a simple clasp if you want to remove the tiller lock rope quickly for more room in the cockpit.

The tiller locks in position easily and quickly and was very useful when motoring out of the harbor or hoisting the sails.

This is probably the last blog entry until spring. "So True" is all winterized in her portable garage which hopefully protects her from a long and cruel Manitoba winter.

Some random thoughts...

I have been following the progress of several other Pocketship builds and have found that their trials and tribulations are very similar to my experience. Reading the blogs brings back fond memories.

I am contemplating building a 2 person kayak next year to keep me out of trouble. Mill Creek 16.5 plans are on their way as I write this post.

Photos of the first Pocketship fleet are available here.
I am interested what outboard is on the newest Pocketship because it appears to have a extra long shaft that does not need an outboard motor bracket on the transom.

The Pocketship prototype was only 150 miles south of me this summer in Fargo, North Dakota on its Mid-West tour. Originally, I thought the closest it was getting was 500 miles away in Minneapolis.  Well, maybe next time we can meet up to have the first international Pocketship fleet.

1 comment:

Paul said...


I have been following your adventures with longing from afar. I did want to point out the benefit and, really, necessity of having the sails firmly fixed to the mast and booms before hoisting. It makes all the difference. I saw and read you were having some issues with that, but I guess the sail stop you bought for $1.98 (good work) will take care of that. Love your pictures.