Another couple of hours this afternoon in a nice breeze of 10-20 (with some higher gusts.) The addition of the new wand makes all the difference in the world. No hull slap and some nice height. I had put some marks on the struts at 8 and 16 inches above the horizontal. With the wand adjustment today I was consistently sailing (in flat water) with the top line a couple of inches above the water -- so the horizontals were about 14" below the surface. Not M2 range but a whole lot better than I was able to achieve with the wippy wand. Both the mainfoil and the rudder horizontal were at the same depth, and the boat felt good. Thanks to Bruce for the suggestion of long and stiff; it seemed to work great. I have another four inches I can extend the wand and I thought about experimenting, but I wanted to get some measurements first.
I have to agree with Chris' recent post about trying to keep the wand paddle on the surface. Things did feel a little wonky when the wand was completely clear of the water, and often a sudden crash resulted. The breeze was real puffy (there were moments when I wish I had the mini-rig, maybe gusts to 25??) and I had a couple of instances where the rudder stalled and the boat just wouldn't come up in the slight lull. I'm going have to try sitting inboard a bit off the wind when it's honking. I also found that what works well in flat water doesn't when it gets bouncy. When I snuck around the tip of the spit there were waves rolling in from the Chesapeake on the order of 2-3 feet. I'm working on a ride height adjuster and hope to get it installed in the next week or so.
I had tightened up the worm gear as best I could. The addition of the stainless plate below the gudgeon helped remove some slop there. Of course, with everything beefed up the weak link had to appear somewhere else. And sure enough, the rudder horizontal was loose when I came back in. It's a good thing I didn't loose it! So, some more boatwork this evening. I hope to sail in some fresh water on Sunday - the Chowan River where my in-laws have a vacation cabin. If this breeze holds it will be nice to sail where there's no salt and sand...
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