Tuesday, July 21, 2015
I had a great Saturday morning sailing with a friend (R) on a wooden boat he built from scratch ever since I have known him (7 years or so). It is a 18.5 ft. Eel, a yawl designed by the marine architect William Garden. I helped R twice (just a little bit), a group of friends helped once to turn the hull, and another time to put her on the trailer, and it was an absolute pleasure to see her floating and in such a beautiful shape.
Let me tell you she was a pleasure to sail, and it felt like she was going faster than what the hull speed would indicate. It felt faster than my 25 ft. boat when we are going 6 knots, but then we were much closer to the water in this boat. But yes it was absolutely delightful to sail.
We were sailing in the Poquoson River, which is a great river for smaller boats, kayaks and canoes. R was still trying to get a feel for his boat, This was the 4th time he had taken her out for a sail and it was an honor to be invited. We had a steady 10 knot wind (estimated by us) and we occasionally had the rub rail touching the water. R told me he collected all kinds of pieces of lead, like lead shot and pieces of gutter and alike, totaling 300 lbs, and embedded them in epoxy to make the keel (he did not want to melt lead in his garage; what makes sense). Other boat techniques he described included the manufacturing of a hollow wooden mast, all to save on weight, to make it light and easy to handle on land and on the water. So yes it is a light boat and again it sailed super nice and very light on the tiller. I had a blast being out on the water.