The sail we rolled out was a self tacking
thing about 53sq metres. On conventional rigs I have rarely seen
a self tacking heady do much more than assist the main somewhat
but not something very useful on it's own. Nothing you could
actually sail with in anything less than a gale. So I didn't
expect the motors to get turned off but could feel them reduced
to idle speed. Ian took her off the rumb line (and the wind)
by about 35 degrees and we were going nicely in the mid to low
5,s. Not bad for the sail and motors idling I thought. The wind
was about 9 knots true so motors at low r's and the sail made
sense but then I looked at the controls. We had not been motoring,
they were in neutral! Ian shut the motors down and we continued
at that pace and better. Sometimes up to 7+ knots in wind not
strong enough to lift a cup full of foam off the chop. Not a
horses head in site and making 5 to 7+ knots, 35 to 45 degrees
off the wind (38 best point of sail) on a self tacking heady,
I took to the bow to have a look up the
stay the sail was on and it was loose as a goose (whatever that
means). The sail shape was compromised by the bow in the stay
we were going very well. The lower tell tails
were right on whilst the uppers sets were flogging on the windward
side. When asked Ian said we was a little concerned with the
amount of tension on the backstays. I pointed out that the outer
(masthead) forestay was tighter so winding up the inner wouldn't
increase the tension on the backstays anyway. Then the truth
since the turnbuckle is buried inside the furler,
which would have to be disassembled to get at it, it is a nuisance
to adjust and Ian just couldn't be bothered yet! I wonder how
much improvement it would make. I bet it would be well worth
the effort and I know Ian will eventually
but when it goes
this good sloppy, it can take the urgency right out of hard work.
Going to windward means tacking
I've been on multi's that were very unforgiving on a tack and
with this rig especially, I expected drama. Silly me. The boat
tacked like a 16 ton steely with a full keel. In other words,
like a freight train. Calm, steady and relentless. The helm went
over, the sail ran along it's canopy mounted track and we accelerated
and were gone. Ho hum
Just on 1200 and we are anchoring off Kingfisher.
A Dugong greets us as we settle in for a lunch, just before the
jet ski thing blasts by us less than a boat length away.
A few relevant facts on Lyra:
She is powered by twin Yanmars, 30 hp each.
The folding props impressed everyone from
. literally. Launch day saw the need for heavy
reverse right off the trailer as one keel dug into mud while
the current was pushing and twisting the boat around toward some
piles. Reverse response was powerful and immediate
They are Gori's, which Ian considered pretty dear except when
compared to the crop of feathering styles available.
Ian sent off inquiries to a slew of sail
lofts and received no quick responses except from Gary Saxby
out of Brisbane. Perhaps the others didn't regard Ian as serious
Whatever, the Saxby quote was delivered quickly and even when
the others did get around to a reply Saxby's quote was good so
they got the deal. The inner sail is 53 metres and the outer,
mainly intended as a reaching sail, is a little over 70 metres.
The stick is 16 ½ metres done up
by S&H Spares in Labrador, Gold Coast.
The ground tackle is on 8mm short link
chain with a Sarca anchor and a little Maxwell HRC windlass.
Ian likes the Sarca and anchoring in the Mary River, known for
poor to indifferent holding, is a test of how well the anchor
works. Ian says the river bottom is loose rubble so the anchor
has to get set right in deep to find anything to hang onto. The
windlass seemed powerful enough and had reasonable speed.
There is a small powered winch located
port side deck aft for the furler lines and another for the dinghy
lines and halyards centred between the davits. The sheet winches
are non-powered self tailers located either side in the cockpit.
The single sheet for the inner sail runs from the car to a block
at the clew then back to the car and then to the port side sheet
winch. The car and track are controlled by clutches on the canopy
top accessed by a hatch above the helm. The main sheet winches
are #40 Arco's.
Electronics? Every bloody thing
I heard it took two weeks to run the wires
And the composite material? There was no way of telling the difference
between Polycore and any other material from performance. The
feel of the boat is solid. The design has created
a slow easy motion without the quick, jerking I have experienced
on some cats. Keeping in mind the boat was not subject to rough
seas while I was aboard but my impression suggests it would handle
rougher conditions particularly well. The motors cast minimal
vibration through the decks and noise was low. The insulating
nature of the material was evident when you opened an engine
room door. Years gone by are the final test but nothing I can
see so far indicates any particular shortcoming. I expect to
see more of Polycore in future projects, especially when you
and who isn't lately?
Ian reckons 6 ton displacement. Not bad
for a 40 footer built for comfort.
Lunch done and away we go
. Now the
wind is dead astern and we prepare the bigger sail on the outer
It is important to mention (again) that
Ian designed a motor boat with sails as an auxiliary. Ian does
not do 4 knots so with the wind up our bum I was thinking we
might be motoring most of the way back to the river.
We raised the anchor and once clear of
other craft, rolled out the sail and shut down the motors. The
wind picked up a little on the way back, to a screaming 10 kts
true, gusting to 14 (confirmed later with BOM site for Hervey
Bay) Lyra took off. Best speed was 8.5 knots in seas I would
consider boring in a ten foot tinny
But wait it gets better! When well past
the heads Ian wanted to roll up the sail to avoid the blanks
spots and windshifts and to keep a steady pace. With the sail
rolled up and motors running but not in gear, we were still making
5 knots! We sailed like that for about ten minutes just to make
sure it wasn't momentum or all tide but it wasn't! The tide surely
was contributing but the water boiling off the stern indicated
we were under power and the only source would have been from
the windage of the canopy top!! No joke
now that's what
I call an easily driven boat
Ian is keen for some 30 knot stuff, I'll
be hoping he needs crew.
Calling this boat a motorsailer
seems incorrect. We need a new term.