Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Merrily, Oct 8, 2007.
Ooops! I seem to have silenced the thread! Hey Merrily, did you get the boat out yet? I have a Bahia test sail set up for tomorrow and the afternoon forecast is for 15-20 Knots out of the North. With sea temp a mere 8 degrees (C of course) is will be a full wet suit job I fancy! (And it will be a beat back to port but you can't win em all).
If the sailing comes off, I will report here.
We were adding the trapeze wires and had an "uncontrolled descent" of the mast and broke a plastic fitting on the vang. So no, we have not had the boat out. We have ordered the part through APS and are waiting to see how service will be from the UK.
Bad luck with the vang fitting - I hope you get the part soon. Is there a lesson for the rest of us here? Let us know how that goes.
Here is today's forecast. The sea is only 8 Deg C so wet suits are the order of the day, and I hope I get to test sail the Bahia this afternoon.
N 17 knots
Wind northwest 10 knots increasing to 15 early this morning then veering to north near midnight. Fair. Waves 1 metre or less.
Outlook..Light northerlies backing to southwesterlies.
And that will do me just fine! Now if only the sun would shine then life would be just about perfect.
I have spent the better part of 2 hours writing a long and detailed description of my test sail of the Laser Bahia. For just a moment, I skied off piste when asked to find a hotel . . . . blah blah blah. Bugger! The whole report has vanished - and I was nearly back to harbour!
OK. This is the abbreviated report. We are in Toronto (north shore of Lake Ontario). Wind is blowing from the North at 15-20 Knots and close in is very flukey thanks to the city.
Rigging takes almost an hour because the expert is teaching me as we go. I reckon you would be hard pressed to do it under 45 minutes unless the standing rigging is already in place. (It will be at my dinghy club). Even the technology is impressive to such as me who has not seen a modern boat since the early 1950's! We had cam cleats, but jam cleats are new (and easy) as are ratchet blocks, reverse boom vangs, kickers, downhauls, outhauls, cunninghams, in mast halyards - hey, this stuff is fun for the technogeek (I might be one). You even use the forestay as a temporary rigging device and then bin it once the roller furling jib halyard is in place. Things have changed!
My wife has just looked over my shoulder and asked if this has meaning. Well OK, perhaps all I should have said was that after about an hour we had the mast up and properly supported (stays), the jib in place and furled, and the main flapping happily in it's proper place.
Launching is a one man job on the simple supplied dolly.
Sailing out of harbour is a couple of broad reaches (main and jib) and then a full on downwind effort until you hit the US of A (OK, we didn't go quite that far). First impressions are that although this is a relatively heavy dinghy, it is quite tippy and twitchy and you need to pay attention. Sailing downwind puts very little side pressure on the boat so you discover that the hull is naturally unstable within certain limits which in turn enforces a certain discipline in terms of crew positions. This will certainly make me a better sailor. I can't blame all the moves on the flukeyness of the wind! After getting to the point of "heel nervosa", the boat seemed to decide to give you some breathing space and let you get sorted out. At no time did I think we were about to capsize despite my clumsiest efforts!
My expert captain, still reaching and doing a gazillion knots suggested that we launch the genny. I came back with a request to drop (sorry -furl) the jib first. So a ham fisted minute later, there we are under main and genny and a furled jib. Now doing a gazillion and two knots!! Wow!! What I learned was not to bring in the genny too much. Let it fly to the point of luff and the surge of power is quite remarkable. No kidding, you can actually feel the boat accelerate - I never knew that was possible. Awesome! I am actually sitting here at the keyboard and smiling as I think of it!
Tried a couple of gybes. Nothing easier except that it will take me loads of practice to move at just the right moment. I think (but am not yet sure) that I moved too quickly. As the boom flicked by my head (no danger, it is quite high), I leapt in my agile 61 year old way to the new weather side. Bugger, the boat is now leaning in to wind. Funny feeling - not what was expected. Never mind. Time will give me a debonair insouciance.
Are you still with me? Her indoors says that I am no longer making sense!
Well by now we are almost hitting America and it is time to beat back home. Skipper (and company president - er sorry - President) asks if I would like to take the helm. Yes please!
Sailing in to wind is the same in a dinghy or the Queen Mary, lots of spray, lots of bumps and lots of fun. This is something that even I understand. Mind you, I have glossed over the bit where I had to drop the genny before turning in to wind. Something got stuck. Not sure what but my 225 lbs was needed in full to retract the wee beasty in to the clever bow tube. Genny down, now under a relaunched jib and main.
With the strong fickle northerly as it was, the main was best handed (as opposed to setting it with the jam cleat). My mentor tried to teach me to hold the tiller extension in my forward hand - along with the main sheet, thus freeing my aft (other) hand for serious shorting the sheet manouvers. It probably works for professionels but mostly gave rise to a whole lot of laughs at my implausible ineptness! More practice required.
(Wife says this is incomprehensible gibberish and I should come to bed).
Anyway, as I tacked back home, I gained confidence in the boat and even a little confidence in my ability to handle it. As we approached land, the wind got flukey again and I had a choice between developing my six pack and working the mainsheet. I went for the sheet! Still havn't got that forehand tiller jazz!
OK Honey - I'm coming! (She still reckons I am not making sense).
Bottom line - I placed my order for a Bahia this evening. I hope to get it within three weeks. I hope to single hand it sometimes but will use the Dacron mainsail rather than the Mylar that I sailed today. I have a whole load of learning to do. Like a race car or a fast jet, it is not quite comfortable yet, but eventually, I will take the grandchildren out with confidence and I can't wait!
Before committing this to a post, I have re-read it. Honestly, I am not a salesman for the company. This is not a hype. I am certainly not a racer or a professional sailor. I just bought a Bahia! Whoopeee!
This is good news for us that you found the boat so enjoyable. We suspected it was so but have only had ours out in light air. I will tell my husband to aim for debonair insouciance when tacking. It makes perfect sense to me!
We just purchased a Bahia also, we take delivery sometime this week. Basic plan is (relatively) stable trainer for young kids/family and something fun(ish) to race beer cans. Yep I'd love to race OD, but getting the kids hooked right now is a priority
I'll post a sail report once we get it out on the water.
I have been reading the postings and am also just about to make a Bahia investment did you buy your boat? how did it go?
Everyone seems to be looking for a day sailer that will also give them some real fun did the boat live up to this?
We have had a Bahia since July 4th and it is a total blast. In gentle condidtion (less than 15 Knots and steady) it is an excellent daysailer and family funboat. My 2 year old granddaughter has been on it together with 4 adults. Also, up to 15 knots it is great for single handed (but single handing the genny is quite a handfull)!
Above 15 knots, up to say max 25, it is a total 2 to 3 person blast. I opted for the "normal" Dacron sail and the other day I was glad of the reefing ability as the full mainsail overpowered the boat on beam reaches in about 20+ knots. The result (until we reefed) was to turn the boat up in to wind (weather helm) and there was nothing we could do about it. (That is two heafty guys over 400 lbs total).
There is a google group called the Bahia Owners at
There you will find a couple of minor problems and their solutions - overall, I'd say the boat is great. I am certainly very pleased with ours. It takes us between 30 and 40 minutes to rig it and be on the water. I have the dolly on a trailer and car launch it at our club ramp. Easy to do single handed. I hope all that helps. Feel free to contact me through the Bahia owners group if you have further questions.
Thanks for the reply.
I had read your previous posting and it was after reading it that I actually settled on the Bahia.
I will check the owners web site out.
I was looking for a modern dinghy that would give me and my freind some fun and thrill sailing but at the same time allow for my wife and two children to come out on other days. Not easy to find something to do all and I was a little worried that the Bahia might let me down on the fun side.
I will collect the boat next week and hope to be out the following week end.
I will let you know how it goes.
PS I live in Ireland very near the central lake system on the river Shannon plenty of room for sailing.
Just noticed that there are 2 round rubber seals on the bottom of the hull on either side of the centre board. What are these seals for? When in storage they remain wet. How can i seal these if they are seeping in water when sailing?
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