I happen to have a small lake located 1/2 mile from my home. Tonight after work, the wind looked good so I took Hagoth on a date.
Here’s what I focused on:
Launching and retrieving
Parking (placing Scamp in irons)
Single handing all operations
Balancing the rig
Let’s go through each of these issues one at a time.
Launching and retrieving:
It works best when you don’t forget to secure the CB in the up position, especially on a concrete ramp. This was quite a circus. Once I got the CB raised, the boat took off downwind, forcing me to jump aboard. This left my car at the ramp with the trailer half submersed. (Sun bathers now raising an eyebrow) I found myself wildly swinging between both tacks with a half filed ballast tank and a fowled mainsheet. After several wildly out of control near mishaps, I sailed back up wind, running aground on the sandy beach, where I could secure the boat while I parked the car.
Hmm. Let’s be smart about this. This time, I jumped aboard while pushing off and immediately dropped my anchor in 3 feet of water and played out 20′ of line. This was instantly like hitting the pause button. I was now totally secure in 5′ of water looking over the rig in a calm controlled fashion (sun bathers now taking another sip of their beer) Thank goodness for anchors, I’ll never day sail again without one.
Once I had fine tuned things a bit, I weighed anchor and let the boat drift off shore before dropping the CB and sailing away. I then commenced sailing for several hours before coming back to shore.
What I learned:
I love having 2 bow lines secured at all times. These lines gave me control over the boat when launching off the trailers.
Make sure your CB is secured in the up position before launching.
The anchor allowed me to board the boat and drift into deeper water, which helped fill the ballast tank. It then held me securely while I topped off the ballast tank with more water.
I loved having the anchor rigged and on the ready. This saved me much frustration. Also, the retrieval line system worked like a champ.
What I learned:
I will always sail with an anchor. It saved me a lot of frustration.
It was so nice to have it rigged and ready. Otherwise, it would have been futile.
The retrieval line system worked as advertised.
The Home Depot tool bag made line stowage a cinch.
Parking Scamp in the wind:
I never really felt like I knew how to park Scamp prior to tonight. Here’s what I learned. You first need to stall the boat into the wind to burn off hull speed. You then fall off the wind so that the boom is coming across the cockpit on a 45 degree angle. Now, throw the tiller leeward. This will literally stop the boat, effectively parking on the water. This was such a marvelous experience that I just stopped everything and observed what was going on for several minutes. As the boat falls off the wind and attempts to gain speed toward leeward, the tiller anchor the hull and forces the nose to point back into the wind. This causes the boat to loose energy and stall. This in effect causes the nose to fall again leeward, repeating the process all over again. This is such an amazing thing to observe. I was totally mesmerized watching the boat go through these repeating steps while I did nothing but watch and predict her motions. If you have never done this maneuver, you must go learn it, practice it and own it. It’s just amazing to see and feel these physics in action.
What I learned:
I will continue to practice this maneuver over and over. It’s an amazing trick to have in your tool bag.
I truly believe I could cook a hot meal while in the stalled state.
I never knew prior to tonight how to pause sailing to this level. It’s truly a remarkable maneuver.
Single handing all operations:
This is one of the reasons why I have settled on a Scamp sailboat. Cuz, my wife and kids are often busy and uninterested in sailing. If I had a larger boat that was difficult to handle, I wouldn’t have gone sailing tonight. But, with Scamp it was no big deal. I hooked up by myself, launched by myself, sailed by myself and retrieved by myself. There is something very satisfying about going through these procedures by yourself. It builds your confidence and increases your competency.
Balancing the rig:
Part way through my sail, I became aware of the excessive amount of force needed to keep the boat on my desired point of sail. This was so simple to correct. I brought Hagoth into the wind, dumping the pressure off the canvas, dropped the sail, readjusted the pick points on the boom and yard, hoisted the sail and sailed away. Like magic, the excessive pressure was gone. More sail in front of the mast decreases weather helm. Simple, quick, easy and effective. I’m learning to love the balanced lug rig.
I fell in love with my scamp tonight. I sailed for just over 3 hours and learned so much. Yet, there is so much to continue learning with this boat. I love the size, the stability, the rig, the simplified rigging lines, the anchoring capability….the list goes on and on.
It all happened today. This morning at 10:30 am, Hagoth officially launched into light 5-8 mph winds off the coast of Rigby Idaho.
Check it out:
I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot with this build. There were so many changes I wanted to make, so many small but important tweeks to get the boat and rig the way I wanted. I’m tired, but I’m happy and very satisfied.
I’m now very close to launch. But, there still remains a myriad of task to work through prior to sailing.
Let’s look at some of the last minute rigging details:
Lazy Jack are essential sailing tools. Learn how they work and you’ll love them. Never figure them out and you’ll hate them. I opted for 4 legs to my lazy jacks, 2 up front and 2 behind. The jacks are tied off at the top of the mast to prevent the jacks from pulling through the pad eyes. They travel down and wrap around the boom/sail bundle and clip back onto each other. I use a small brass ring and fastener to accomplish this. The jacks are sorted and attached prior to raising the sail and make handling your sail much easier. Don’t be intimidated by them, there worth the hassle. Now when I drop my yard, it all comes down in a single plane and stacks right on top of the sail. Boom baby!!
Anchor lines need to be run and on the ready in order to be of full benefit. Things happen way too fast for last minute rigging and deploying. With this in mind, I wanted a simple yet effective way to store, deploy and retrieve my anchors.
Howard Rice has described a technic for running the anchor lines that I will follow. Please search the SCA Scamp Forum for the full detailed description, there are several diagrams showing the process. This post may be hard to understand without a basic understanding of the lines and how there run.
I now need to deploy the anchors and see how the entire system works in the real world.
On my last Scamp, I had to bend down on my hands and knees to effectuate the center board. This was always an issue, especially in shallow water when you wanted to be standing up watching where you are coming into the shore.
Derek Gries, from the Scamp forum, suggested I rethink this arrangement and do as he has done.
Here’s Derek’s setup:
After thinking about it for like 5 seconds, I decided Derek had the right idea.
My setup is shown here:
These small yet significant alterations make the overall process safer, cleaner, simpler and more enjoyable. A organized sailor is a relaxed sailor.
A hearty thanks to Derek for this most excellent idea.
It’s always a challenge to transport sailboats. You’ve got the rudder handing off the back, mast, boom, yard and sail with which to contend. There’s boom gallows and elaborate ways of utilizing the gudgeons. There’s straps and boat covers that get in the way. And, then there’s the vibrations from the road taking a toll on your gear.
Before we jump into the mast, yard & boom challenge, let’s secure the boat to the trailer:
All straps clear the hull and don’t rub the paint as I travel down the road. The boat is rock solid and doesn’t shift a bit at highway speeds and bumps. The torsion axel keeps the ride soft and springy. Have you hog tied your boat today?
Now for the mast, yard and boom:
Pros of this system:
No carrier to build
No carrier inhibiting my access to the boat
No carrier to remove prior to sailing (like when you build boom gallows)
Sail bundles are easy to reach from the cockpit
Cons of this system:
It will be a little more difficult to remove the boat travel cover with the bundles in place
I love things simple. Sailing cannot get too simple. Anytime you can remove parts and have fewer things to touch, your life gets better as a sailor. I’m very pleased with this ultra simple approach to what seems to be a rather complicated issue of how to carry your mast, boom, yard and sail.
I decided on a flat bed trailer some time ago. The flat bed allows for easy access to your boat, as you can walk around the perimeter loading gear. They also allows good access to the bow eye and deck cleats. This comes in handy when loading and unloading the boat off the ramp.
As I went looking for the perfect fit, I realized it didn’t exist. But, the basic drift boat trailer came very close to offering most of what I wanted.
Torsion axel for silky smooth ride
Galvanized steel so it won’t rust
Welded together as opposed to bolted together
No rub bow design
Long tongue, but not overly long
Aft roller for easy on/off
Well, here it is:
I’m on the homeward stretch and I can feel it. I’m now giving this project everything I’ve got to get it done. I really want to quit building and go sailing.
Outriggers for the trailer to hold my mast, boom and yard.