Another sailing report, finally!
Our power went out twice in the last couple of days with serious storms, but fortunately at 6:00 this morning, the weather was just right!
I set up the outfitter with the jib and set the sidekicks to the highest position. I had the boombat in the main. I sailed solo with my rock set in front, just like the picture in a previous post. The wind was 10-12 mph, with an occasional gust reaching around 15. It is a little tricky managing the rudder, the jib, the main, and the wind meter, while reading the GPS on my wrist all at once, but I think I managed it enough to get some reasonable data.
I averaged 4.5 mph, and was able to hit 5 mph with 12 mph wind.
It really handled nice and really felt more like sailing than when just using the main. It's a rush in an outfitter going that fast, as the barge of the Hobie mirage fleet gets loud, pushing water, when it goes over 4. I would be really interested to see what a narrower, lighter yak would do with a jib.
When running, I could get 4 mph, sailing at an angle to fill both sails.
1) With these higher winds, it's not ideal to attach the jib to the shrouds. For one thing, I was using the figure 9s in a way they weren't designed to be used, with a line coming in from the side, and it was a hassle to get the jib secured to them, as the figure 9s would twist with the extra force. It also makes the tension on the shrouds difficult to balance, as the off wind shroud does loosen a little with high winds, which is the shroud that the jib was attached to, so then the jib loosens. Next time I will bring the jib lines back to the seat eyelets and use their own figure 9s. (a cam cleat may soon be in order).
2) I liked the boombat. It could still be a little less stiff, as I think it may keep the main sail too straight to be optimum. But when I was messing with the jib, I could let the main go, and it wouldn't ripple and crack like a whip, which happens without the boombat. Because of the jib attach issue I had with the shrouds, I needed to spend 20 seconds or so adjusting it when tacking. But once the jib was in place, and the main was tightened again, the yak really took off! You can feel the force when the jib fills.
3) It's extremely important to have shrouds with the jib in 10+ mph winds. There was a lot of pressure on the mast, and I think the shrouds help a lot to reduce the pressure and the bottom of the mast. I think the height of the attachment area I have on the sail is about right, as it allows the tip of the sail during gusts to flex and spill the air, preventing damage. The last mod I did, attaching a line from the strap to the top of the mast was a success, as there was no damage in the strap area even with the higher forces. The jib was also acting as a forestay, so that also helped keep the mast in position.
4)I think it helped to have the sidekicks at their top position so that it did allow the gusts to spill without flexing the mast too much. But I haven't tried them in the other positions, which I usually use when only using the main.
5)At the end of my trip, I had trouble turning right. The last time that happened, one of the stow-n-go lines needed to be tightened to keep the rudder in the slot when down. If the rudder has any play and gets out of the slot, the rudder will rotate up a little when trying to turn right while sailing. I'll need to check that out again. I'm tempted to put a pin in the rudder to keep that from happening. Has anyone else had that trouble with the sailing rudder?
1) To go any faster than 5 mph, I think the boombat may need to flex more, and possibly the sidekicks would need to be set lower, or I would need to lean more to keep the sail angle more upright. I felt in control the whole time, like there was some margin for adjustments.
In previous journeys, when I didn't have the jib, didn't have the boombat, and had the sidekicks set to the medium position, and had shrouds attached to the top of the mast, under higher winds (15-20?) I have been able to push it to 5.3 mph, but the main sail was begging for mercy.
2) I had the jib just tied to the strap on the mast, but I might need to be able hoist it instead. If the winds got stronger, I don't think it could just wrap it in front of the mast...I would need to take it down.
In summary, this was the most fun I have had sailing my outfitter, and it started to feel more like a sailing vessel than a wind-aided pedaling yak.