Posted by: fullandbye | January 21, 2008

cold cold cold

I realized that there is a theme running throughout my weekend plans for the next few weeks, and that theme is “cold”.

This past weekend: SCUBA diving in 40 degree water in a wetsuit.
This coming weekend: Snow camping at Mt. Rainier.
First weekend in February: Circumnavigating Vashon Island on a 27′ boat with an open cockpit (tentative).
Second Weekend in February: Washington Caucuses on Saturday. Possible dive or sailing adventure after that. Possibly diving or sailing on Sunday.
Third weekend in February: Century Ride to Bellingham on Saturday. No plans for Sunday. Possible dive or sail.
Fourth Weekend in February: Teaching a weekend intensive sailing class. On the water in a runabout all day Saturday and Sunday.

Cold cold cold.

I also forgot to mention this: After I returned my rental gear to the dive shop yesterday I ended up going sailing with my friend Adrian (our faces were still salt-stained). We took out the Lightning and it was my first time taking it out. Lightnings are fabled as one of the three American classics of racing boat design and I can totally see why. They are elegantly simple, offering lots of control over a relatively simple sail configuration. Their hard-chined design makes for somewhat tender primary stability, but really excellent secondary stability. It also makes sailing to weather really efficient because once the chine is dug in it wedges the boat into its groove and resists leeway really well. The hard chine also allows for greater speed while heeled as the waterline lengthens while wetted surface decreases. In this respect it is like any other hard-chined boat, but it manages to achieve this effect with very little freeboard. The weird, low-aspect rudder is responsive, but is so large that sail balance become really critical in order to avoid rudder drag caused by excess weather helm. This makes for very intense and cerebral sailing if hyper efficiency is desired. But even with the bulky rudder, the boat sails nicely with less than perfect sail trim. All in all, a fabulous design; fast, responsive, and an absolute pleasure to handle. I look forward to helping CWB restore their lightning, and I intend to sail the WYC lightning quite a bit more in the future. Come to think of it, its responsiveness to small changes in sail trim and demanding crew involvement coupled with its decent stability and relative ease of handling make it a pretty good choice for teaching or bringing out guests who are interested in a very participatory crew experience. Any takers?


  1. *hand raised*

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