Review of 2014
June 2014 Vardo
The second Vardo was launched in early June in St Augustine. I visited this boat in December and was very impressed with the boat and builder. As always launching was an "interesting" time, but it made it unscathed and sits nice and high on its marks.
the photo comes from his blog HERE
After his first couple of sails he wrote "Sunday was the annual St Augustine Father's Day race. It was a beautiful day for sailing and the first time I've been fully out the inlet onto the ocean since I've lived in St Augustine. We were not actually entered in the race, but started about 1 min after the cruising fleet. Some of those boats had bad starts so were no very far ahead when we started.
I have no GPS at present or knot meter so was rather unsure of how we'd match up. It was quite odd to be literally wobbling along between vertical and maybe a few degrees heel in the light winds of around 6-8 knots to windward and overtaking boats.
I kept feeling like "we'd really have something" with another 5 knots of wind. Of course my current mainsail is about 70 sq feet smaller than drawn and the jib roughly 50 sq ft.
But long story short, we lost a bit on the top 2/3 of the beat on right hand shift but rounded the windward mark just behind two 38' monohulls that had made good starts. Mind you, all were cruising boats like the Vardo, but ones that race regularly.
On the beam reach we immediately passed the Hunter 386 and closed with the Hinckley at the gybe mark. The wind strengthened on the final leg which was almost a run under jib and mains and we had gained almost 2 minutes on the Hinckley on the final leg.
Overall, I was quite happy with how we matched up especially the ability to hold lanes upwind in the light winds. I would imagine in a strong breeze we would have been relatively much faster upwind."
He later said he was fitting a proper sized mainsail and genoa, which will certainly improve performance.
JUNE 2014 DUO
We launched our 10ft Duo dinghy in April, but only had time for a short row before I left for the UK. Since my return we have been busy sorting out the rig and the inflatable collar. Even a small boat takes time to sort out, but we are getting there. Plans are now available and as I write this 10 sets have been sold.
When we return to the USA we will be fitting a set of "dinghy dogs" (see photo below) instead of the beach rollers we are currently using. Although expensive they will look better and mean we can keep the rollers for their real job on the Strike 15
JUNE 2014 WIZARD
Not a new launching (I sailed this Wizard a few years ago in S California) but a new owner, who reported "Richard, thanks for such a fun design! Don't let anybody say a Wizard is slow - Saturday sailing in Southern California out of Marina del Rey, heading up the coast past Santa Monica. Wind 12-15 (whitecaps just starting to form)
Upwind @ 10 kts, downwind with masthead spinnaker @ 16 kts!"
May 2014 Strike 16
Comments from a Florida builder "Mr. Woods’ plans are very easy to follow and I it’s possible to build this boat in a side or backyard.
What do I like about this boat? I like having the ability to just buy a derelict Prindle catamaran, half buried in the beach, for next to nothing, then being able to just cut the amas in half and use all the equipment, including the rudder, for this new trimaran.
The ride on this boat is very, very dry. The main reason I built this trimaran was to take my wife out, as she does not like the wet ride of my proa, or the small catamaran I have.
The ride is fairly good. As with most trapezoidal designs, there is some slamming when the weather picks up and the waves get bigger and you are going upwind. On the plus side, the boat surfs very nicely. There is plenty of space for a weekend gear and provisions, and you could sleep inside of the boat if needed.
I have an outboard cradle, but haven’t used it yet … I do not have to as just paddling is very easy.
I think the best days on this boat are when we can take a bunch of people on board and it still sails decently. I have 3 kids, so although a little bit cramped, we have sailed with 5 people at a very decent speed.
Being a trailerable boat really opens up possibilities to explore all over Florida, on both coasts, and through all the Florida key chains and the Everglades Park.
May 2014 Strike 15
A report from a French Strike 15 builder (a slightly modified boat)
"Newly launched Strike 15 Citronette had its first testsail on 06 and 07 May. She was very well balanced, light and responsive, a real pleasure to helm. The first day with very light wind she sailed consistently at 7 kt . The second day with more wind, she sailed consistently at 9 to 10 average speed, with maximum 10 s average speed of 11.5 kt (no anemometer record in the close vicinity, but my estimate is around 9 kt average wind).
My feeling to windward was very positive, with average speed comparable to A class cat. On a beam reach I had the feeling of a drag hump to go over 11 kt, compared to my A cat, but it is only a feeling as I had no opponents. The sailing school manager of the club, on the water, reported me he was puzzled by the boat speed with not much wind. Congratulations Richard, Strike 15 is a good vintage !"
May 2014 Vardo
Just an up date on Alona Blue, she is 99% finished and we sail her at least once a week. We have been doing some Island hopping and sunsets and she sails great! I am so happy with her performance and handling. I have 6ft head room and a beautiful Cat............. I could not be happier........!
As you know I stretched her to 36 feet and to compensate I had the jib cut to 140%, she is very balanced on all points of sail. We will continue to finish the details that we want then sail the southern island of the Philippines.
You must feel good that you have helped to create yacht deigns to give so many people their dreams to live...........