Okoumefest 2016

It was the middle of May, time for Okoumefest. The weather guessers had predicted horrible weather, but it was actually a nice day. The gap between cold fronts was wider than predicted, giving everyone a chance to go out on the water. This is the scene from the beach, with Hvit Skygge out far beyond the demo area. Since this was the first time Hvit Skygge was joining the CLC family on the water, I was giving folks the chance to try out what a Faering Cruiser was like (an action I was to eventually regret).

The WoodenBoat logo, incarnate. Or should that be inlignate?

Running before the wind.

A distracted sailor on a reach.

This picture needs some explanation. It's a demonstration of just how robust and forgiving the Faering Cruiser is. First, notice how the sailor is sitting on the cabin top and the boat isn't dumping him into the water. Next, between the people and the ballast, the boat is carrying about 800 pounds. Add in the weight of the boat and the total package is over half a ton. Note also the single-reefed sail which has not been trimmed to a nice shape and is almost dragging on the foredeck.

In spite of the weight and inefficiency, at the time of this picture Hvit Skygge had snagged a mooring ball, pulled out the anchor and dragged the whole mess for over a mile. That balanced lug sail is a very powerful rig, indeed. This incident makes me think that if I ever lose my day job, I could hook up an oyster dredge and go plow the sea.

The front finally arrived late afternoon. Okoumefest was called 2 hours early for safety reasons. Since the dock was right in the eye of the wind, I decided to return to the dock on oar power instead of sail. Here the sail is furled, the lazy jacks are balanced against the downhaul and the whole thing is stabilized with the sheet. This setup immobilizes the boom, sail and yard against the forehatch. The water ballast tanks have been pumped dry so the total weight is half of what it was in the previous picture.

Even so, rowing into a 10+ knot wind against the tide was a lot of work. The wind was catching the sail rig and both acting as a brake and inducing a roll. Rowing in a straight line wasn't too bad, but turning, even with the aid of the rudder was difficult. When I had to turn broadside to the waves, it felt a bit scary. It turns out, though, that there is a lot of secondary stability in that hull form. The boat was handling the conditions better than I was. Once I realized that, it turned into a challenge. The trick was to think of Hvit Skygge as a big kayak and everything made sense,

So I got back to the dock, got Hvit Skygge onto the trailer and was tying it down in the parking lot when the 60 mph winds hit and the heavens broke open. Okoumefest 2016 was history.

Image courtesy of John C. Harris

Page 1 - The Faering Cruiser Hvit Skygge
Page 2 - Modifications
Page 3 - So Now I Have a Cruiser
Page 4 - First Campout
Page 5 - A Quick Spring Sunday Sail
Page 7 - Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival 2017

Copyright © 2016 László I. Mórocz. All Rights Reserved.

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