Friday, April 22, 2011

Sailing at last!

My wife and I had Wednesday off and it wasn't raining, so we took Ravn for her inaugural sail. It was great!

She (the boat) behaved like a lady, moving smartly under her small standing lug sail.

I know what all you sailors are asking: "Does she go to windward?" The answer is, I think so. The wind was 10 to 15 knots but the hills and valleys caused it to clock around 180 degrees in 100 yards, so by the time we made it through a tack, the wind was from a completely different direction. I also didn't have a downhaul rigged until about the last 20 minutes of the sail. I think once I get her tuned, she will go to windward, after a fashion, just as Atkin said.

She really shines on a reach and a run.

Yes, it was that cold, but still a great sail.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Depoe Bay Wooden Boat Show

Last weekend the little coastal village of Depoe Bay, Oregon, put on it's annual Wooden Boat Show. Ravn was one of the attractions.

A Pacific storm blew through the day before with gale-force winds and constant rain. Here on the Oregon coast the only real rain storm is horizontal rain. Saturday dawned calm, cool and cloudy but the forecast was for no rain and it held through the weekend.

Depoe Bay claims to be the world's smallest harbor and I've never seen a smaller one, so maybe it's true. It's secure: protected from wind and wave by huge basalt cliffs with a small entrance called the Hole in the Wall.

I was hoping to take Ravn on her inaugural sail before the show to work the bugs out, but the Pacific storm prevented that. With the confined space, fluky winds, strange tidal currents and an audience, I decided to postpone that event. This week, for sure!

I didn't take many pictures. For a good slide show and a video of events at the show go to my friend Doryman's blog.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rudder and tiller

Since I changed the keel on Mr. Atkin's design I needed to change the rudder too. I did try and keep the area about the same, which makes for a big rudder. It also significantly increases the draft, but only when under sail.

I made the rudder from a beautiful piece of mahogany that was 23 inches wide. It was a gift from my carving teacher after I helped her move. I kept cutting on the shape until it looked about right. Then I rounded the leading edge and feathered the trailing edge.

After I finalized the shape and attached the two cheek pieces, I decided to add a little carving to memorialize the skill my carving teacher passed on to me. I found the scroll and leaf shape amongst a much more complicated Viking-era carving. It seemed a perfect complement to the graceful shape of the rudder head.

The rudder is pretty quick to rig, with the rudder hardware from Duck Trap Woodworking. I thought it might be difficult to do at the dock, but it is, in fact, easier than while the boat is on dry land. The buoyancy of the rudder helps. You can hold it with one hand and drop the pin in with the other.

The push-pull style tiller and reach arm are made from ash. The reach arm has a through tenon that goes in a mortise in the rudder head and is held in place with a wedge in a mortise of the reach arm. The wedge has a marline keeper on it, but I made an extra wedge just in case. The reach arm is seized to the tiller with more marline, which I tarred with Stockholm tar. The tiller is about four inches longer (74 inches) than in the plan. I figured I could cut it down if the extra length isn't needed.