Last updated: January 7, 2018
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A 1979 Chrysler 26 Sailboat
SHIP'S LOG FOR THE YEAR 2001
Avocet's web site was started and from March 1st, 2001 to the end of November, 2001 the site averaged 100 hits a month. The previous owner (Al) said "You have no idea the pleasure that I get from visiting your website! You have done a marvelous job and I've referred many acquaintances to your site to see what you've done. Of course they have to rub it in with "why did you sell her?", but I'm happy and I'm very glad that you are. I'm sure that there will be another sailboat in my future but I really did need the break after so many years."
Avocet handles very well under power and is not hard to power in reverse. This photo shows us backing the entire width of the marina since it was easier to back up than to turn around. One important note when powering in reverse, NEVER let go of the tiller because the motion of the water acting on the rudder can move the tiller with amazing force!
The Regina Beach Yacht Club sailors provided help rigging Avocet. The first time out (solo) was a learning experience. Getting used to sailing the boat was relaxing as the wind was blowing at about 7 or 8 knots. I found it was possible to go into the cabin or forward on the deck and she would hold her course. An hour or two later I looked over and saw a Capri 30 heeling over rapidly, and in short order I was doing the same thing. The wind had picked up to 25 knots in just a few seconds. At the time of the gust I wasn't concerned about getting the boat back on her feet but was more concerned on how I was going to lower the main by myself. As it turns out it wasn't a big deal. Avocet sails very admirably -- I'm very pleased, and I can single hand!
Later in the summer three co-workers (Dallard, Cam, and Scott) decided to take a day off and crew. When we got out to the lake the winds were 15 to 20+ knots with a few gusts over 25 knots. It was blowing enough that one of the guys said "If you don't feel comfortable to go sailing don't feel pressured to go". I figured with four guys aboard we should be able to handle Avocet -- and Avocet didn't let me down. We had the full main and about half the head sail. Most of the time we were heeling 15 to 20 degrees, but managed to get the rail down on a few gusts. Since these guys really never sailed before we had a few quite moments when she heeled over, punctuated by one or two yelps. In the end, everyone had a good time and enjoyed the sailing experience. Al said he has been out many times in winds over 25 knots and once had an all-day ride at close to 40 (winds abeam). It can be a hairy ride under a double reef and a patch for a jib (and big waves) but as long as the sails are flattened it's a GREAT ride!
In late August a problem with the roller furling occurred due to halyard wrap. The halyard caught in the track of the foil. The silver cloud in the lining was provided by Chris Keyes (the owner of the Capri 30) who took a photo of Avocet while perched at the top of the mast. Another sailor had a spare halyard and we got the boat rigged again. Once the rigging was tensioned properly the upper portion of the furling seemed to remain stationary. As it turns out had we seen this excellent article: Fine Tuning the Roller-Reefing System we would have known how to correctly setup the furling.
The May/June 2007 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 20-24, featured an article called "Respecting the furler - Advice for avoiding problems with your roller headsail" by Jerry Powlas.
After we got the boat rigged again with the help of Ross MacLennan a C&C 24 owner and his crew, Ruel Gilchrist, we took Avocet out. Ross kept saying he like the way the boat handled and wanted to get out in some big winds and he got his wish! We had the boat over at 30 to 40 degrees with full sail and the rail down to the water with the head sail was dragging in the water. We then put in a single reef and furled the head sail a bit. Ross said he liked the way the boat sailed and it reminded him of a Classic 31 that he sailed in British Columbia. His final assessment is that the boat sails very well, probably best around a 25 degree heel. The head sail has a lot of curve to it so it is very powerful. Ross said that the boat would perform well racing in higher winds but a crew would be desirable. Even with the full sails and the extreme heeling forces Ross never once felt overpowered. After hearing the story, Al said he was GREEN with envy: "I loved to sail the boat in big winds and your description brings it all back. When racing I had a couple of crew that would be on the weather rail and it made a big difference to the speed and heading."
Avocet has certainly met and exceed our minimal criteria:
It has been an interesting first year sailing Avocet and we've learned lots. Every sailing day, from total calm to higher winds, was the best day on the lake! The sailing community at the RBYC is very helpful. Many thanks to all them!
Here are a few more photographs from the 2001 sailing season.