Here are some observation, followed by some newbie questions...
I received my new sail, turbo fins, and rudder so had to try them wind or no wind. Unfortunately no dagger-board-yet.
Turned out by the time I got my carbinerer and block from a local shop as several of you recommended the wind had picked up.
Approx. 15 knots,2-3 inch chop overlaid on 2-3 foot short interval swells. A whitecap or two. Made for a good test.
1. I was surprised how high I could tack with no dagger-board, just the turbo fins in the down position.
2. I don't recommend luffing downwind in that high a wind. A gust inside the harbor almost ate me. Maybe Sidekick and dagger-board will help, but it's pretty easy to tack anyway with the fins. Why risk it.
3. Think I'm going to wait until the Sidekick gets here to try trolling with the sail. In the meantime I'll use it to get out to the FADs.
4. Except inside Keauhou Harbor where it was a bit gusty, once at sea with a steady breeze I was impressed how easily the Big A handled. I think one can pretty much use a clew cleat (the two squeezie things) and handle any excessive heel using the rudder. Placing both cheeks over the CL also helped.
5. I'm thinking with Sidekick this baby could handle double the recommended wind maxout of 10 knots. Knowing my risk factor, I'll probably try it at least once.
6. Trolling while sailing. Say a fish hits and I release the mainsheet to immediately luff and turn toward the fish. After it's initial run I have to get the mast out of the way.
I could possibly change my mind on getting the mast down with some sort of collapsable umbrella hinge(discussed on KFS) as mentioned by Offroad/Apalach? It took me 20-30 seconds to just scoot up, release the downhold bungie, unship the mast and roll it up. I struggled to get it put away in the holders thou. With Sidekick stability I could cut that figure way down.
5. However I'm thinking with the hinge idea why not just drop the mast on-top of one of the Sidekick amas equipped with a spring clip. The hinge would just be angled to drop the mast on the opposite side of your rod. Would be neat and fast if combined with the manual self furling gismo posted on the Hobie thread by an assuie I believe.
6. So you can see it was relatively easy to take the mast down at sea. Put it back up fairly easily also.
7. I quickly found out that when stowed the mast and sail could form a water catch even though the forward end was raised high. Solution - stash with butt of mast forward as the sailed is furled tighter at the bottom.
8. Some questions though.
8a. What's the best way of folding the sail for storage in the sack provided?
8b. what's the little clip in the clew area? To hold a bungie when the sail is furled?
Gotta do some more testing with a rod onboard to see how mainsheet might screw up rod,& fishing line. Also I have been using a 14 foot piece of bamboo as an outrigger to skip baits. Think I can rig a line on the sail mast to do the same thing. May restrict me to a long run on one reach though due to line problems. We'll see.
This was only a 25 minute test. I know I'll change my mind as I go along. Any tips from guys that are ahead of me using sail power to troll?