Saturday, April 25, 2009

First Trip in the New Boat

Normally I sail with my good friend Mark Zimmerman.  We haven’t been able to sail much since Hurricane Ike.  Ike sunk his last boat, Yesterdaze.  (I hope to post some of the details of our sails on Yesterdaze when I get a chance.)  Anyway, Mark has purchased a 37’ Irwin ketch rig named Jus Crew ZenJus Crew Zen needs a new engine and we don’t get  a chance to sail as much as we used to.  The engine is a sore subject with Mark.  Understandably so.  He purchased Jus Crew Zen under the condition that the engine had been rebuild by a mechanic and just needed to be reinstalled on the boat.  While preping the engine to be reinstalled, Mark fired up the engine and it threw a rod permanently damaging the engine block.  He later found out the engine wasn’t rebuilt by a mechanic like advertised.  The guy that rebuilt the engine didn’t correctly tighten the rod bolts causing the failure.  So now he has a boat that he can’t take out and will have to wait until he can afford a new engine before we can do some serious sailing again.

About a week ago, Mark had the idea of getting a tow out to Galveston Bay so that we could take Jus Crew Zen out to see how she handles and what other things would need to be worked on before we start doing some serious sailing.  So on Saturday, April 25, 2009, we did just that.

Close to 11 o’clock Jim Dobins from Barefoot Babe gave us that tow out to the bay.  Mark, Dianne, Matthew, Jason, Korrie, Jennifer and I all got a chance to see how she sails for the first time.  All in all I was expecting to find some major issues that would keep us in port a lot longer than anyone wanted.  I am glad to find out that I was wrong.  The only real thing that will be keeping us in port is the engine.  Sure, we found out that we would need to change some of the rigging and upgrade a few of the older systems, but nothing major.  Once he gets the engine, our biggest concern will be getting use to the ketch rig.  You see we are both use to a sloop rig.  For the non-sailors reading this, a sloop rig is a sailboat with one mast and two sails (one on the mast and one up front).  A ketch rig is a sailboat with two mast with sails on each mast and one or two sails up front.  With the extra sails, we found out that we are going to have to experiment with the sails to find out which sails to raise for the different wind conditions.  Today’s issue was with the mizzen sail.  The mizzen sail (the one on the rear mast) kept us going on a course based on how it was set.  We would try to change course and the mizzen would bring us right back to the course it was set.  I’m going to have to get use to changing the mizzen trim in order to make changes to the course.  Normally I would adjust sail trim as the helmsman was changing course, but it look to me like the mizzen would need to be changed prior to the course change or at least changed first.

Below I’ve included the GPS trip log and some pics from the day.

First Trip In the New Boat

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