Monday, 5 September 2016

Awinya Sails





Great news from Australia. I mentioned a while ago that Rob Blackburn was building his version of Katie Beardie in Australia see Katie as Done Down Under.  Well he has now launched her and reported back as promised.  

I'll let Rob tell it his way; 






Awinya was launched today and I must admit to mixed emotions. I was fearful she would not sail, would be by the bow and have lee helm. No problem. Perfect balance and you can steer her by rolling her one way or the other with the rudder neutral. So that was a relief. 

Light winds, sheltered bay and my sailor daughter Cate, to help me launch. So conditions were perfect. 




Rig 
Light winds but the overarching feeling is it should have been bigger. We will see how it goes with 15 knots 
Roller reefing worked perfectly. 
Helm is perfectly balanced 
Interesting that the narrow hull does not respond like a catamaran… (he jokes) Gust hits and the boat heels, without much increase in speed, shift your weight, boat powers up etc… One needs to have served a Laser Dinghy apprenticeship to handle this in bigger winds I think. 
Put some tell tales on and made it easier. 
Rudder 
Seems as if the rudder cheeks etc I built is too big/low in the water and as soon as you get a bit of pace on the noise/turbulence starts behind you. First world problem I know. Not sure if it is worth the effort to alter. 
Pedals are noisy. Very noisy. Will try silicon spray. 
Needs a rudder stick thing to steer by hand too. 
Paddling 
Seemed much easier to use half the kayak paddle ie one blade on one side. 
I have a longer Hobie paddle which does not split in the middle to try next. 
Seat needs to be higher to enable full paddle I think. Will modify maybe to allow the seat to be lifted up against a stop, ¼ inch rod with plastic tube over?
Felt heavy to start with but as day went on it became a sail:paddle ratio in my mind of 80:20. Less paddling the better really, it is really a canoe to sail and then paddle only as you must. 
Centreboard 
Works really well 
Could be a bit big but... 
Seems to give good stability by reducing rolling, 
Points really well when you get it going, ie start off about 15deg off the close hauled position and then as you get some lift on the board, steer up and away it goes. 
Up and down mechanism all good. 
Tracking 
Perfect. 
Slow to tack if wind is v light 
Long and narrow would suggest that this is to be expected. Also fairly big skeg installed by the builder would be part of this issue. 




Canting Seat 
Really good as you do get sick of sitting on a lean. 
Think I should trim the edges a bit and glue some white melamine on inside of canoe to make it move easier up and down. 
Downside is that it looks as if a demented spider has been at work with all the ropes in the cockpit. 
Overall. 
It does exactly what I thought/hoped. I had a great few hours sailing around in skinny water totally absorbed by the boat and the day. Simple to launch, simple to rig and just fun to sail. 

See you all later with some photos from Fraser Island. 
Rob 

Well Rob's not the only one who was mighty relieved. 

CW and I wish Rob many happy adventures in Awinya. 

Rob's success has given me a sharp dig in the ribs, well actually it was CW who gave me a sharp dig and pointed out that Katie has never actually sailed with a main, so watch this space for my version of the Paradox stylee roller reefing.  
Well don't watch too closely as the Tooth Fairy and I are off for a while to enjoy La Dolce Vita.     Caio Baby! 

3 comments:

Alden Smith said...

I love this post - what a beautiful little boat - the only improvement I would make would be to put a yawl rig on her (Canoe Yawl Madness is my self diagnosis LOL).

Port-Na-Storm said...

Canoe Yawl Madness? Watch this space.

Rob Blackburn said...

Had a quick 90 minutes the other day in Awinya again. Still smiling and really pleased that I can Reef/unreef from the arrested position.. well worth the effort of building.