16 July 2008
I finally got my Raptor done. I have all the controls to shape the main now and it is really fun in the light air we have here.
18 August 2008
It has been a busy summer. After sailing my boat with the 22' mast I found out that I would be overpowered while on a reach with wind speeds over 6 mph and would have to reef. I also had so much sail aloft (even when completely reefed) that I had a hard time going to windward on a starboard tack, as the boat wanted to flip over and I could not get enough speed to use the foil. This was when the seas were lumpy and the boat was at the balance point. Leaning on the sidecar to prevent flipping was no fun. I was doing 5 - 6 knots straight downwind with the sail fully reefed!
I decided to shorten the mast to 19' and reduce the square top in size. I went from 112 sq ft to about 100 sq ft. I have test sailed it and now it is easy to control and reef in the windier conditions. It just flies downwind and the foil is not needed. Upwind I use the traveler to get the boom to the center of the boat. Then using the downhaul and outhaul and I really flatten the sail and can turn another 6 - 8 degrees upwind.
This winter I will add some turning blocks to the traveler system so I can pull and cleat the traveler instead of having to pull the line forward. I found the track and car on the boom the best way to adjust leech tension and to be able to reef quickly without any lines in the way. It took a few years and different sails sizes to get to where I am now but this is just about ideal. Some ideas worked and some did not.
7 September 2008
I finally finished everything I wanted to do on my Raptor. The last modification was on the traveler system. Previously it was too hard to adjust while sailing. When on a starboard tack during the Dam Race last week I had to cleat the main while adjusting the traveler and consequently flipped the boat. I was able to right it and be back in my seat in less than a minute but it got me searching for a better way to control the traveler. This is the result.
I sailed today with steady winds up to 10 mph. Using full sail the mast started to bend about halfway up and the square top blew off nicely. By reefing the sail as seen above (second left) the