What's new

First Voyage

SteveP

Member
After purchasing my mod 1 over a month ago I was finally able to get it on the water this past weekend (April 6 2013.) A friend owns a home on Lake Anna in Virginia so several families went to camp out (some in the house some in trailers, winnibagos, etc.) in the yard. My brother keeps his pontoon boat there and there were three others with power boats. Mine was the only sail boat. Given that the lower part of the lake is fed from a nuclear reactor the water was around 74 degrees. Unfortunately, the air was only around 45-50 on Saturday morning. However, there was a good steady wind (8-10 MPH) so we set out to launch the boat. With my son-in-law as crew we launched onto the lake. My brother followed us around with his pontoon boat in case there was any mishap. Since the winds were strong and this was my first outing I opted to go with the main sail only. We had a great sail even without the Jib! We were conservative and only came close to capsizing once when we tried to tack and didn't shift sides of the boat fast enough. Although we recovered fairly quickly and didn't go for a swim. We were out for about an hour and a half and had a glorious time.

Later in the afternoon I took the Capri out again but this time took the Commodore with me. I will relate that story in my next entry, but suffice it to say that the second outing was both more exciting and less fun.
 

SteveP

Member
As I indicated after having a successful first voyage I was excited to get back on the water. As I stated in my earlier post we were part of a group of several families (friends and relatives) with their boats (ours being the only sail boat.) After reading the forums here I had purchased a 3.5 HP outboard for the Capri which came in handy on the second voyage. The winds had calmed down significantly by the afternoon, so much, that I felt safe trying both the Jib and the main. When the Commodore and I set out for our sail I decided that I had better make sure the outboard was working since I wasn't interested in paddling back from the middle of the lake. I got the outboard started and we got out away from the dock under power. I shut off the engine and we quickly picked up the wind and tacked for some distance out into the middle of the lake, at which point the winds pretty much died. It was a pleasant afternoon so we drifted a bit with the power boats and Jet Skis providing some wake to keep it from getting too calm :) The other families we were with eventually got all their boats launched and headed towards the damn and power plant. Since there wasn't much wind we decided to start up the outboard and follow them. This is were the learning part of the trip begins.

We were cruising along pretty well with the outboard running at a fairly low speed. The 3.5 HP is definitely more than enough engine to move this little boat. We still had the Jib and Main up since I was hoping the wind would pick up and we could sail some more. The trip across the lake took about 1/2 an hour. We stopped the engine a couple of times and sailed when the wind picked up but it never lasted very long so we went back to the outboard. With the outboard running I pointed it straight ahead and directed the boat using the tiller. That allowed me to sit further towards the bow of the boat which tended to level off the boat better.

In order to get to the damn that separates the upper (cold) part of the lake from the lower (warm) part of the lake you have to pass under a bridge. This is were the learning really starts:

1) the mast is taller than you think
2) the bridge is lower than it appears
3) the Commodore is more forgiving than expected :)

As we approached the bridge I throttled back the outboard to approach as slowly as possible. I checked the height of the bridge and it looked like we should just make it under. I was wrong. As we got to the edge of the bridge the top 3 inches of the mast came in contact with the lower part of the bridge. I heard a sound that made my heart sink but I didn't have time to worry about how much damage I had just done to my "new" boat. The bow of the boat moved up into the air and the stern went down and began to fill with water. Without thinking, I reached back and pushed the outboard hard to the starboard. The boat immediately responded and came about. As we motored away from the bridge the bow came back down and the water drained out of the cabin. I shut off the outboard and inspected the shroud lines and the mast for any apparent damage. Since we were going so slowly it didn't appear that anything had broken (although the sound of metal on metal that we heard a few minutes before sure sounded like the mast had broken in half.) After making sure the boat was not damaged I then turned to the Commodore. I thought, given this is her first voyage I would be doing a lot of solo sailing in the future. She looked at me and said: "That was quick thinking to turn the motor." I was relieved to say the least.

We headed back to the dock sailing whenever the wind picked up and otherwise motoring back in. On the way back home the Commodore asked where we would be going on our next sailing trip. :) :)
 
Top