Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Official Wa'apa Outrigger Sailing Canoe Splash Post

Finally got a good sail in.

I took Friday off of work to hang out with my cousin Tim that was coming into town. Unfortunately he got stuck in Florida, but I kept the day off to finally get a chance to splash my Wa'apa outrigger canoe under decent conditions.

With the weather being sunny skies, hovering in the mid 80s temp-wise and winds at 8-10 MPH, it was perfect to be out on the water. I got on the lake about noon and sailed until 4:30PM. Plenty of time to put the boat through its paces.

Finally a decent test sail!

The canoe sailed so much faster than I'm used to sailing in the old sailing dinghy. I literally covered five times the area of water that I normally do in the dinghy, in the same amount of time. It was great! I had the GPS on my iPhone on for half the day and got up to 6.19 MPH. I'm sure I went faster as I became more comfortable in the boat, later in the day. The wind had also picked up a bit by the time I decided to call it a day.

I saw plenty of fishermen on the lake, but only one other sailboat. A sunfish or minifish that got on the water about 3pm. it was piloted by a couple in their late teens or early twenties. At one point they had a pretty good capsize and I sailed past to ask if they needed a hand. After swimming their boat to shallow water, they got it righted and the sail untangled.

Last week, I broke the boom jaws at a point where a bolt passed through, so I had to hammer the rest of the jaws off and lash the boom temporarily. It worked just fine and may get left that way. The only thing I may change in the coming months is the possible addition of a stub mast sailing rig like in Mr. Dierking's book or like what's usually found on the Malibu Outriggers or changing it to a regular lateen altogether, sailing it upright like racing sunfish do. It wouldn't look much different, but I could drop the whole sailing rig instead of brailing it and then paddle the boat, if the weather got to be more than I could handle. Right now, it's really heavy, so pulling it out of the mast step and partner are out of the question, while underway. And there's also a lot of windage with the sail brailed. When being blown onto shore or other hazards, that could bite me in the rear, later.

The sailing oar was nice to keep the nose into the wind when I rounded up to blow ashore and disembark. It was also exceedingly handy for pushing the nose of the boat through a tack. I can't emphasize how easy it made it. You basically just row the stern around. Very nice and being in irons is a thing of the past.

(I have no idea why I look so concerned in that frame of the video. Kind of funny that Youtube chose that for the icon.)


popeye1 said...

Hi Trevor. I live 2 1/2 hours South of you and will make a Wa'apa starting in July. I'm semi retired and should be able to make it all this Summer. I am an artist/blacksmith by trade. I will be sailing mostly on Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes. Wouldn't mind communicating a little about mine when I get it running. I built a Sunfish type boat and sailed it around Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior in the middle 1960's, built it when I was 16 in 1964. I put a sail on my canoe, but wnt an outrigger!
Cordially, Bob Patrick

Trevor said...

Hi Bob!

Good luck with the build! It's a fun sailing boat and should be quite a sight down on either of those lakes. Mostly johnboats, bass boats and pontoons down that way, I imagine?

That's pretty much how it is up here, as well. I get funny looks just driving across town with it on the car roof.

Anyway, yeah, sure! Keep in touch. Maybe I can meet you down that direction later in the sailing season. Also, there's a big sailing messabout in Eufaula, Oklahoma in early October. You should think about going.

popeye1 said...

Hi Trevor, Looks like the messabout is out for me this year. I am contracted to demonstrate blacksmithing and teach a workshop for the Build of Metalsmiths in Minnesota at that time. As I have been gone too much this year, I would rather sail, but I have had this commitment since November.