Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Element II

I've finally begun building the boat I've wanted to build for years, and the final decision was based on how well Element sails and my enjoyment of the restoration process. I love the elegant simplicity of these Wharram Tiki designs, enough to commit myself to building a Tiki 26 over the course of the next year or two in my spare time. For my needs, the Tiki 26 is the ideal size, still small enough to easily manage for maintenance and moving to different locations on a trailer, yet big enough to have good sitting headroom in the cabins, enough load capacity for long voyages, and the same shallow draft and light weight advantages of the Tiki 21. I still intend to sail Element at every opportunity, and I'm planning some multiday cruises on her a little later this year, but as time permits I will be steadily working away at building Element II. I'll be documenting the process here on a new blog:

Hope to see you there....

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunny Winter Day

I went sailing Friday. This was the first time I've sailed the boat in sunny weather since the launching. Friday's forecast was for stronger wind when I was planning the trip, but as it turned out the cold front that had kept the north winds at 15-20 knots the two previous days had started to blow itself out, and by the time I got to the coast, the wind was east-southeast at maybe 10 knots. The sailing was nice, and Element handled well in the diminishing chop out in the sound, but I still couldn't get more than about 6 knots out of her in those conditions. We'll see when I finally manage to get out on a windy day. I had a fine close reach back into the harbor at Biloxi, and was able to point higher than I ever imagined possible in the combination of light winds and smooth waters.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nice Daysail

Although the wind was really light, maybe 5-7 knots and even less at times, I enjoyed some fine sailing on my most recent day aboard Element. It's amazing how well these boats sail in light air. This is because of the light weight and the slim, easily driven hull forms. In these conditions the Tiki 21 cruises effortlessly along at 5-6 knots, making very little fuss and hardly rippling the water in her wake.