I can report a successful launch today. The boat performed very well.
My friend Marty, a neighbor who has owned and sailed a number of boats, had monitored the build and encouraged me throughout the process. We launched at Spruce Run Reservoir in our home state of New Jersey. At the ramp, I was relieved to see that the water stayed on the outside of the boat. Casting off, Marty initially took the helm.
Very light Force 1-2 winds had us going slow most of the time, barely maintaining steerage, sometimes not. Unfortunately, we had no photographer, and were so preoccupied with rigging and sailing that we took few photos and no video. I’ll rectify that on the next excursion.
The few breezes we had provided delightful performance. The boat seemed to point well to windward, side-slipped very little on a reach, heeled only a bit before stiffening up and moved well in the light breezes that occasionally popped up. In short, it did everything it was supposed to do, and did it well. I can’t wait to try it out in a more substantial breeze.
As for the boat’s personality, it’s not tippy or frenetic. It’s a bit noisier than I expected – bow slapping wavelets to windward – leeboard gurgling like a quiet brook – but the noises are soothing and you can hear exactly what the boat is doing. It’s a peaceful boat to be in . . . and that’s the point. I am really looking forward to more varied excursions.