Sea Trials

June 9, 2017   Hours spent building to date:  3,744

Took Ray out today for a short sea trial.  It was a good day for a run since the wind was up and we had 2-3 foot seas with whitecaps.  At about 10-11 knots, we were able to climb through very easily, and when we got caught between waves and slammed down, the boat felt very solid.  In some boats you get sort of a bass drum effect when they slam a wave — bang and then a lot of reverberations.  I felt Tardis was parting the waves instead of slamming down on them, which given that the deadrise (bottom angle) is pretty shallow is a good sign. Downwind was a piece of cake.  But the pilothouse does act a little like a sail — 10 knots upwind becomes 13 down at the same RPM.

The boat is still very light with no water in the water tanks, no poop in the poop tank, and no stores or anchor gear.  So she still seems a little skittish and I am on the bow thruster a lot.  I find steering an outboard at low speeds very tough — with no rudder you just don’t have steerage when out of gear.

Early days, but the engine is running great.  I got frustrated with Atlantic due to the lousy spring we had, incredible amount of work they had to do, and parts delays.  But I spent a lot of time today studying the install, and it is neat as a pin, with every wire and every fitting exactly as it should be and tied down tight.   I couldn’t figure out any way myself to run the controls without holes in the deck, but somehow Nick the installer did it.  I thought there would be lines and hoses running all over the place, but look at the picture — three small fittings in the splash well and one big one, and that’s it.  I think I did a pretty good job on my end of the systems installation, but I had no time pressure and probably spent 100 hours studying, fiddling and actually putting in the gear.  Nick knocked off his end in 19 hours.

I think the 90 was a good choice.  I am not going to have to really push the engine hard to get the speed I want.  With all the gear I have on the boat (and will be adding) a 70 would have had to work pretty hard.  It’s unbelievable how quiet the engine is with the door to the cabin closed — I found myself pushing up to 4500 RPM and 15 knots on the trip from Westbrook just because the engine was so quiet.  I really need to study the manuals and figure out the service intervals, etc.,  so no more rides for a while. It’s so easy to think a boat is like a car and you just turn the key and go, but that’s dangerous thinking on the water.

Trim is good so far and it looks like Mark got the waterline just right.  We’re down a little at the bow, but with water in the aft tanks, that should even out.  Listing a tiny bit to starboard due to the batteries and steering pump, so I will have find some heavy stuff like tools and liquor to store to port.  Running trim is pretty flat, which was a worry to me with the big engine and high prow.  Long Island Sound is full of heavy, overpowered boats running with their noses so high up in the air that vision must be a real problem.

Only one exciting episode so far:  I put a small barrel boat on the door to keep it shut prior to installing the door hardware.  The vibration out on the water shook it shut, so when I asked John to go out to the cockpit to take pictures, we found ourselves locked inside the boat in the middle of Long Island Sound.  Eventually John was able to hang out a window with a cutting board and knock it loose or we might have had to smash ourselves out, or more likely just stay out on the water until we died of embarrassment.

Coming off the trailer

In the slings

Floating at last. That’s Nick, the guy who did the extremely neat install.

Me at the wheel — the boat is a mess, but good enough for a short jaunt. Registration in my back pocket in case the Marine Mounties want to take a look.

The Evinrude  ETEC at speed. Probably the last picture before the engine box goes on. Note the clean install — everything is below decks, so I can seal things up and keep out the water.

John at the wheel.

Journey’s end.




4 comments on “Sea Trials

  1. Friedbert Hennemuth
    June 10, 2017 at 4:59 am #

    Congratulation Paul,

    you have done a fine job.

    The colours and the farnished wood give a beautiful picture.

    We are still working on our LUNA and waiting allways for your posting´s.

    There are some new pictures on our website

    Friedbert and Monika Hennemuth, Germany


  2. Conall Stapleton
    June 10, 2017 at 6:59 am #

    Congratulations…she looks great


  3. Jim Favors
    June 10, 2017 at 8:38 am #

    One journey ends and yet another begins, come on over to Lake Michigan and or the North Channel!


  4. Bob Hauser
    June 22, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    Excellent job and a nice blog to boot. Thanks for letting us follow your voyage.


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